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I'm not a huge fan of jogging on crowded sidewalks even in the US, and I expect many sidewalks in Tokyo and Osaka will only be more crowded.

What locations in these cities would you recommend for jogging?

In Tokyo I will be staying in Kabuki-cho in Shinjuku, so I was thinking of the Shinjuku-Gyoen park. They do charge 200 yen, though, so I'd love to hear of free alternatives. In Osaka, I will be staying two blocks west of Osaka Castle.

Recommendations in other parts of town would also be appreciated.

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4 Answers 4

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Shinjuku-Gyoen is really nice and well worth the 200 yen at least once. The only closeby alternative would be the park around Meiji Shrine, which has fewer open spaces IIRC.

The park east of Osaka Castle is reasonably large and quite nice if you don't mind the (many, but very orderly) homeless campsites there.

An alternative would be the riverside. On Google Maps, the branch of the Yodogawa north of Osaka Castle seems to have trees and paths along most of its east bank, and once you reach the main Yodogawa, it's huge open spaces for miles.

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I would second Meiji Shrine - it's rather pleasant, even if it means a couple of laps rather than a single longer run. –  codinghands Jul 13 '12 at 13:34

A close alternative would be 'Yoyogi Park' which is just two stops south on the Yamanote line or you could even walk or run from Shinjuku. I walked around in Yoyogi and I am pretty sure I did not have to pay there.

There are tons of other parks in Tokyo.

I don't remember seeing any parks in Osaka, but that could just be me.

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There are parks in Osaka too. I remember one with friendly cats and a place where homeless men were camping that I thought might be an interesting place to stay some nights in a future Japan adventure. I'll ask some friends... –  hippietrail Jan 22 '12 at 9:14

The park I thought was wonderful in Osaka is Osaka Castle Park.

Osaka Castle Park

But apparently it's only the second-biggest in Osaka. Wikipedia has a list of parks in the city from which you can choose.

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The classic jogging route in Tokyo is around the Imperial Palace. It's about 5 km for a loop.

http://www.city.chiyoda.lg.jp/english/e-guide/jogging.html

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