- Get an early start
- Wake up with the city
- Wave to Godzilla
- Getting down to business
- Explore your options
- Heading home
Anthony’s other running articles
・Araki-Cho: a runner’s hub for exploring Tokyo
・From Araki-cho to Tocho: How to jog all the way around Shinjuku
・Araki-cho running: Circling the Akasaka Palace
・Araki-cho running: Sprinting in Shinjuku
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.