Traveling offers a break from the usual routine and is often an opportunity for reflection, relaxation, and discovering new things. Fitness, however, is one routine that many travelers maintain wherever they are in the world.
For runners, the sheer size and density of Tokyo can be intimidating at first. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll find that Tokyo’s clean air and ample greenery make it ideal for city running. Additionally, Tokyo’s incredible public transportation network and hospitable residents ensure that you are never in any real danger of getting lost or stranded.
Looking for a great starting point to access Tokyo’s most famous attractions on foot? Look no further than Araki-Cho, located on the eastern edge of Shinjuku.

Araki-Cho offers adventure in every direction

The beauty of Araki-Cho is that a jog in almost any direction can take you to some of Tokyo’s greatest sights. Head west for Shinjuku Gyoen, arguably one of the city’s most beautiful parks. Push yourself a little further, and you can cruise past the skyline-defining Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in the Nishi-Shinjuku skyscraper district. Or, head east, toward Nihombashi, the historic center of Tokyo. For this article, we’ll stop just shy of Nihombashi to focus on the city’s most popular jogging spot: the Imperial Palace.

Running through history

A lap around the palace is exactly five kilometers and the incredible scenic variety is just what runners need to stay motivated. Seeing traditional castle gates and stone walls against the sleek backdrop of central Tokyo skyscrapers never gets old. Fortunately, Araki-Cho is just over two kilometers away from the palace grounds and the journey is filled with some impressive sights of its own.

Our starting point for this course is the Tadaima Japan Shinjuku Ryokan, an oasis of culture and tradition located in the heart of Araki-Cho. Jogging through the historic neighborhood in the direction of the Imperial Palace is a great way to keep your pace up and avoid some of the traffic lights on nearby Shinjuku-dori (Avenue). Upon reaching Yotsuya Station, take a moment to enjoy the view of Roppongi on the southern horizon—another famous part of town within jogging distance.

A quick detour south of Yotsuya Station will grant you a peek at the Akasaka Palace.

Discover your pace

Once you arrive at Yotsuya Station, it’s a good time to finally merge onto Shinjuku-dori to enjoy the clean, spacious sidewalks that will lead you straight to the Imperial Palace. Once you reach the palace grounds, the rest is up to you.
Run one lap and head back to Araki-Cho for a trip that’s just under 10 kilometers. In the mood for a challenge? Pace yourself with one of several groups circling the palace and run two or three laps before heading home. Flexibility is one of the best features of this course. Once your run is finished, a dip in the traditional Japanese bath at the Tadaima Japan Shinjuku Ryokan is the perfect way to relax and recover.
For an interactive map of this course, click here. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional articles covering more running courses that are easily accessible from Araki-Cho.

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Writer / Translator

Originally from Riverside, California, I've been living, working, and writing in Japan since 2009. Japan has become my second home, and I'm especially fond of Shinjuku, Tokyo. That being said, I also love getting out into the countryside and exploring the entire country. Through Tadaima Japan, I hope to share the wonders of Japan with a wider, international audience. Check out my articles if you enjoy exploring on foot, convenient cafes, and affordable dining.


Address 12-4 Arakichō, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to
Hours Check in: 4 p.m – 10 p.m.
Check out: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m
Price Visit for details
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Access Four-minute walk from Yotsuya-sanchome Station (Exit 4) via the Tokyo Metro Marunouichi Line
Phone +81-(0)3-6709-9677
Language Japanese