From Araki-Cho to Tocho: Shinjuku’s most famous attractions in one run

In our previous running article, we focused on an eastern route between the Tadaima Japan Shinjuku Ryokan and the Imperial Palace. This time, we head west for an eight-kilometer urban adventure that will take you to some of the city’s most popular attractions.


The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building: one of the many famous sights you’ll experience during this run.

Get an early start

This is an urban run, so unless you want to deal with human traffic jams, begin your journey at the crack of dawn. This route will take you through a variety of locales, from the pristine, futuristic skyscraper district of Nishi-Shinjuku to the beautiful parkside streets of the Shinjuku-sanchome shopping district. And, if you aren’t pressed for time, a few detours can open up limitless sightseeing options.

Get an early start to avoid the crowds.

Wake up with the city

When it comes to navigation, the first leg of the journey is the most challenging. Distinct landmarks are few and far between, and the winding historic streets of Araki-Cho can be tricky. Whatever route you choose, try to head north toward Akebonobashi Station. The map data linked here will help you stay on track.

Once you reach Akebonobashi Station, you’re all set. Head west on Route 302, one of Tokyo’s main thoroughfares. From here, navigation can take a mental back seat for a while, and you can simply take in the area’s unique urban scenery.

A view from an overpass near Akebonobashi Station. The skyscrapers in the distance are your goal.

Wave to Godzilla

As you jog west, you’ll notice your surroundings start to change as you enter Shinjuku-sanchome, one of Tokyo’s most famous shopping and entertainment districts. As you jog past department stores and movie theaters, keep glancing to the right. You don’t want to miss the famous Godzilla statue, perched atop the Toho Cinema complex in Kabukicho.

Getting down to business

Once you pass under the Omekaido Overbridge, famous for appearing in almost every Hollywood film that takes place in Tokyo, you’ll be entering Nishi-Shinjuku. Once again, the scenery will change—sidewalks widen and you’ll suddenly be surrounded by an ultramodern concrete jungle. Your turning point, the towering Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tocho for short) is here.

A view of Tokyo Metropolitan Building No. 2 from the courtyard of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Building

Explore your options

Once you reach Tocho, you have several options. If you are on a leisurely run, take a break and do some stretching in Shinjuku Central Park. Or, you can check out another famous movie spot and head over to the Shinjuku Park Tower (immortalized by the film Lost in Translation).

When you are ready to head back to the Tadaima Japan Shinjuku Ryokan, just continue south until you reach Koshu Kaido, another one of Tokyo’s historic main streets. From there, simply head east.

Heading home

After navigating the crowded sidewalks near Shinjuku Station, you’ll find the return trip to be scenic and relaxing. A slight detour to the north of Koshu Kaido will grant you the pleasure of running alongside Shinjuku Gyoen, the final attraction of this run. You can run on the side trail for free, however, entering the park requires a small fee—well worth it if you have time (and energy) to spare.

Once you arrive at the ryokan, kick back, relax, and enjoy another hot bath—the perfect reward for your Shinjuku adventure.

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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 160-0007
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