Work Up a Sweat! Top 3 Running Tracks in Osaka

Work Up a Sweat! Top 3 Running Tracks in Osaka

Ian Hamilton

Central Osaka is relatively flat, which makes it a great place for running. There are a number of public spaces and paths designed with running in mind. Despite the bustle of the city, and Japan's reputation for being crowded, you shouldn't have any trouble running along these paths.

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So grab your running shoes and get ready to hit the pavement: the hum of city life is everywhere on the streets of Osaka.

1. Osaka Castle Park


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This route is ideal for those that want to take in every angle of the castle and its impressive stone walls.  Depending on the time of day that you run, you may have to weave your way past people carrying large cameras or suitcases, but just think of it as a moving obstacle course. There are a number of convenience stalls in the park, a perfect stop for a cool drink after your run.

Distance: 3.4 kilometres per lap.

Route highlight: The large fountain with the backdrop of Osaka Castle, an impressive sight at night when the castle is lit up.

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Douglas Sprott on Flickr

Run further: Instead of running through the interior castle grounds on your second lap, head north along the outer castle wall.

Closest Train Stations: Osakajokoen Station, Morinomiya Station and Tanimachi Yonchōme Station

2. Utsubo Park


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A shorter course that takes you through an intimate park north of the bustling shopping streets of Namba and Shinsaibashi. It is worth a visit just to see how locals use this outdoor space, it is packed full of people on weekends. The park has fountains and winding paths through its gardens, and it even has tennis courts.

Distance: 2 kilometres per lap.

Route highlight: The water fountain and smooth pebble man-made stream.

Run further: Head north up Yotsubashi-suji towards the National Museum of Art, once you reach the riverside head east and you combine this run with the Nakanoshima Park run route.

Closest Train Station: Hommachi Station

3. Nakanoshima Park


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An ideal route for runners who like to run by the water's edge. This park is on an island in the middle of the city which boasts rose gardens, wide paths next to large open grassy spaces and European style architecture. Come here for an evening to see locals running laps in the park, as part of their marathon training. If you are lucky you may even spot a group of locals practicing sword fighting (known as kenbu) under the highway bridge.

Distance: 2 kilometres per lap.

Route highlight:  This unique spiral ramp onto the eastern bridge, which is adjacent to the large fountain that shoots water into the river at the eastern tip of the island.

Run further: Cross the bridge at the eastern tip of the island (up the spiral ramp) and continue running along the north bank of the river.

Closest Train Stations: Naniwabashi Station and Kitahama Station

Now that you've got a plan to run, reward yourself by reading about all the delicious Japanese food you can eat afterwards,  or check out our other articles about running in Tokyo and Yokohama.