Running in Tokyo.

My husband an I are both fitness runners, and have been for many years. I have wanted to do a blog on running here, so this morning with camera in hand, I went for a run. Apologies for the phone camera photos.

This blog will mostly be photos of my usual running route. Since we live close to Tokyo Bay on one of the artificial islands, we usually run along the walkways that go along the canals between the islands. It is a pleasant — and less crowded — place to run than the sidewalks. Take a look…

Not all the canals have walkways, and not all are connected, but this is where I start my run. The man under the bridge is fishing. There are many huge fish in the canals.
Considering that Tokyo is the most populated metropolitan area in the world… this is pretty empty.
Lots of ducks and other water birds live on the canals.
This is a floating bridge under the roadway bridge, and goes up and down with the tides. 
I usually run about 2.5K down to this park, then take the pedestrian bridge in the photo to turn back toward home. More ducks and cormorants… 
This park was one of our grandson’s favorites when he visited with his mom and dad last month. It has a “river” that the kids all like to splash around in. 
We call this the “Miffy Park” because of the sculpted topiary, and today I got to see the woman who keeps the bushes trimmed!
Such a pretty little park to run through.
Across the bridge and past the baseball fields…
This part of my route runs along the street… with an elevated highway on one side, and the monorail tracks on the other.
There is another park between the apartment high-rises. All the parks here have functional drinking fountains, and CLEAN and well-stocked restrooms… but no trash cans… And no trash.
Day-cares and preschools bring the kids to the parks and along the canals almost everyday for playtime. The railings along the canals are all “kid-safe” so no one ends up in the canal.
The monorail passing overhead at the park. This train goes all the way to Haneda Airport, and passes by our apartment every 4 minutes during the day.
After running through the park, I cross the street and run along this sidewalk back to the canal. Pretty azaleas today…
Back on the canal (the other side) and heading toward home. The Japanese are very sun-conscious, and tend to cover up more when they run… even in the warm weather. All  the sunscreen I have seen here is SPF 50 or higher.


The walkway on this canal ends here in this pretty garden. The hydrangeas are all starting to bloom.
A construction wall along the street… with a nice mural.
I really like the attitude that the Japanese people have toward nature and the environment. I wish everyone was so respectful of nature.
One last loop around one of the smaller islands and then home again. I can see this spot from my apartment window. Under the monorail bridge they have nesting and roosting platforms for the water birds. Not many ducks stay here during the warmer months though. It is crowded with several species of ducks — and many cormorants — during the winter.

There are lots of places to run in Tokyo besides the canals where we usually run. Running is very popular here. We often see “running clubs” out and about on the weekends. There are many large parks and gardens to run in, and the outer perimeter of the Imperial Palace is almost exactly 5 kilometers, so it is often used for 5K runs and races (future blog post!) Down near the Imperial Palace, which is close to the Ginza and Shimbashi areas of Tokyo, there are actual running stores that provide shower and changing facilities for people to use during their lunch hours or after work. These stores will even rent shoes and running attire if you don’t feel like bringing your own from home. It is a nice fitness/exercise option for those workers who commute in from outlying parts of Tokyo.

So if you plan to visit Tokyo, make sure to bring your running shoes and try it out!


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My husband and I were both born and raised in Kansas, but for the past 20+ years we have been living in Atlanta, Georgia. Now, with our children grown and out of the house, we have the opportunity to spend two years living in Tokyo. My husband will be working with the Japanese counterpart to his American company. UPDATE 2023... After 4-1/2 years in Tokyo, we returned to Atlanta. Now we are heading to London for a three year job assignment!

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