Asia Pacific

Tokyo, Japan

Includes Kawasakai. See our separate running guides for Yokohama & Chiba

SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia

Tokyo, Japan is one of the largest and most densely populated cites in the world. It is a fascinating city, mixing history and tradition with commercial interests and glitz. Tokyo is also a significant destination for business and leisure travelers. The situation for running in Tokyo is better than you might think. It might not be possible to step right outside your door and go for a great run, but with some planning there are some wonderful running possibilities. If you’d like to have an in-person guided running experience in Tokyo, we highly recommend our friends at Go! Running Tours.

The best places to run in central Tokyo revolve around the Akasaka Palace, the Imperial Palace, and Yoyogi Park. There are also good paths along the along  Tama, Meguro, Arakawa, and Sumida rivers. Another favorite run is a loop around Odaiba Island. If you’re in the Tokyo Disney/Chiba area, we’ve mapped a nice run along Tokyo Bay through several seaside parks. For a hill running adventure, head to Mount Kumotori. We’ve also created some special routes passing by Tokyo 2020 Olympics venues…that are also nice runs! See also our guide to YokohamaNOTE: Some parks in Tokyo don’t open till 8am.

A quick geographic orientation: the Imperial Palace is the heart of the city, and many of the government and administrative offices are in that area (Kasumigaseki). Main commercial areas are Ginza and Shinjuku to the south, and Ikebukuro to the north. The Yamanote Line is the the railway that circles much of the main part of the city. The central downtown part of Tokyo is relatively flat, but becomes hillier to the west and the north. Tokyo is also defined by its rivers and by Tokyo Bay.Although staying within some proximity of these spots will allow for easy access to a good run, Tokyo’s extensive public transportation system provides easy access to all of our routes. Even better, in some spots there are hotels and other facilities that allow you to change and shower, for free or for a modest fee.

Many thanks to Namban Rengo, a wonderful running club in Tokyo, for their help in preparing this guide. We’ve also mapped out the best places to run in Yokohama, Japan’s second largest city, located  35 km south of Tokyo.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Tokyo, Japan

See All Routes
  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

Chiba Running Options

Tokyo, Japan

Several routes in this city 40 km east of Tokyo: waterfront routes near Tokyo Disney and at Inagi Seaside Park; Chiba University & Chiba Park; Aobanomori Park; and paths around Kasori Midden & the adjacent riverside path.

Mount Kumotori

Tokyo, Japan

A very challenging hill run, accessible by transport from Tokyo. Mt. Kumotori is a 2,017 meter mountain located in the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park. Great views of Mt. Fuji.

The weather is somewhat similar to Washington, D.C.: Hot and humid summers, lovely springs (cherry blossoms!) and falls, and cool winters with relatively rare snow or ice. Please plan your hydration carefully in summer!


If you’re in Tokyo for a business trip and don’t have a lot of time, you’ll want to try to stay within proximity of a good running spot. There are lots of hotels in Shinjuku, just north of Yoyogi Park and the National Garden. Also, south of Yoyogi Park there’s a good selection in the Shibuya area. Another good option is the Chiyoda area. There are a few hotels in between the Akasaka and Imperial palaces, and a larger number just east if the Imperial Palace. New Otani Hotel, Palace Hotel, and Akasaka Tokyu are good hotels with great locations.

Near the Meguro River trail, there are lots of hotels in the Shibuya area, just to the northeast of Ikejiri-Ohashi station, and in the Shinagawa area, near the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum. The Westin Tokyo in this area has running maps and hosts group runs in the morning. There are some good hotels in the Ota area, just east of the the southern section of the Tama River trail.

Another option is to stay on or near Odaiba. Great access to running, but a little far from business districts.

There are running stores central locations near running. Several stores are in the Shinjuku area just north of the Akasaka Palace. Adidas RunBase is a great location along the 246 between the Akasaka and Imperial Palace. There are Asics, Puma, and Nike stores just outside of Yoyogi Park. On Odaiba, there’s a Puma store.

Art Sports is a small specialty running store chain, with several locations in Tokyo: the Taito area just south of the museum cluster; at Shibuya station; in the Ginza near Hibya station; and just north of Inokashira Park, near the Tamagawa Josui trail.

Runner Resources

Namban Rengo Running Club is an international running club formed in the 1980s. It’s comprised of runners from abroad and also within Japan. It’s a fairly serious running group — most are training for races. They do training runs Wednesdays, 7:30pm followed by dinner. They have a great Websitewith lots of resources for running in Tokyo.

Konageipark running club is a small club that has been active for 20+ years.

Tokyo and Japan running calendar

Tokyo Marathon. Last Sunday in February. One of the world’s major marathons.

TELL 5k and 10k. First Saturday in May, during Golden Week. Around the Imperial Palace. Great cause, Tokyo English Life Line.

Run for the Cure. November.