From Shinjuku to Tokyo Tower: Enjoy a Scenic Run Filled with History

With its maze-like streets and skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, navigating Tokyo can be intimidating. However, if you take some time to explore the city on foot, using famous landmarks as a guide, you’ll find that many of the city’s most famous attractions aren’t very far apart.

Of these attractions, Tokyo Tower still stands tall as one of the city’s most popular sightseeing spots. Even though Tokyo Skytree has recently eclipsed it in both form and function, Tokyo Tower is still worth a visit—especially if you can run there.
The tower’s central location and high visibility make it the perfect running destination. Read on to learn the best way to run, jog, or walk there from our very own ryokan located in Arakicho, Shinjuku.

Anthony’s previous running articles

Getting Started

Our starting point: the Tadaima Japan Shinjuku Ryokan

Once you are warmed up and ready to go, head south to reach Shinjuku-dori (Street), the first of two main thoroughfares that you’ll use on this jogging adventure. Next, head east until the road dead-ends at the Imperial Palace grounds as described in this article.

Circling the Imperial Palace

Crossing the Imperial Palace moat near Route 1.

Gradually work your way south by circling the palace grounds, syncing up with the ever-present flow of fellow runners. Once you spot the Ministry of Justice, one of Tokyo’s historic red-brick buildings, it’s time to turn right and head southwest on historic National Route 1, a road that could take you all the way to Osaka (don’t worry, we won’t be running that far… this time).

Next up: Toranomon Hills

Continue along Route 1 and before long you’ll soon spot the monolithic Toranomon Hills on your left. With its signature triangular roof, the mixed-use skyscraper is one of the newest additions to the Tokyo skyline.

Toranomon Hills

Soon after passing Toranomon Hills, Tokyo Tower will constantly loom in the distance. Resist the temptation to veer onto side streets. Stick to Route 1 until you reach the Ikura intersection, marked by the presence of the unmistakable NOA Building. From here, make a left and you’ll find yourself at the base of Tokyo Tower within a matter of minutes.

The Noppon Brothers are Tokyo Tower’s official mascots and are eagerly waiting to greet you after your run. 2018 marks Tokyo Tower’s 60th anniversary.

The adventure continues

Now that your run is complete, explore Tokyo Tower to your heart’s content. If you’re really up for a challenge, you can even conquer the tower itself by climbing up the stairs!

Once you’ve thoroughly enjoyed your time in the tower, take a stroll through nearby Shiba Koen, one of Tokyo’s first public parks. Shiba Koen was established in 1873 when land owned by feudal lords was converted to public property.

Finally, don’t miss the awe-inspiring Zojo-ji. It was the official temple of the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Edo period, and it’s a massive sight to behold. Situated in front of Tokyo Tower, it’s a classic photo spot.

Zojo-ji at dusk.


So there you have it—a six-kilometer route from Shinjuku Ward to Minato Ward. This route isn’t the fastest way to travel between these two locations, but it’s certainly the most scenic. Give it a try at night. The well-lit streets and illuminated skyscrapers make for a tranquil running experience. Check out the route by clicking here.

For smartphone users, please click the link below to go to the Tadaima Japan website which includes additional location details:

From Arakicho to Tokyo Tower: Enjoy a Scenic Run Filled with History

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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,
Hours Check in: 4 p.m – 10 p.m.
Check out: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Price Visit for details
Close None
Access Four-minute walk from
Yotsuya-sanchome Station
(Exit 4)
via the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
Phone +81-(0)3-6709-9677
Language Japanese