Staying Active in Tokyo: exploring Tokyo’s parks
Between the variety of foods that Tokyo has to offer and the (too) convenient options of stopping by Lawson or Seven-Eleven on the way to or from school, it can be hard to stay active in a new, foreign environment. Even though the morning commute can sometimes feel like a marathon, I have found a new (and much more fun) way of exploring the city and getting a couple of miles in: parks! Tokyo has an abundance of green spaces, many of which are designed for those who want to get some exercise. While I haven’t been to a majority of them by any means, I have some favorites.
My first is Shin-Yokohama Park which is located right by the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama. This park has a long walking path that stretches down the lake in the center. I visited on a weekend morning and there were several families with their small children and pets that had come to enjoy the weather. The walking path is pretty flat but if you go down far enough you can get to some of the slopes that encircle Nissan Stadium. There happened to be a game the day I went and I could hear the loud cheers from outside the stadium! Yokohama itself is right by the ocean and the pier is another great location to walk as it has the best scenery.
Shin Yokohama Park (source)
My next recommendation is the Komazawa Olympic Park which I actually haven’t been to yet but plan on going to soon. As is evident by the name, this park was used for the 1964 Summer Olympics and the facilities are still in use for a variety of events. Along with a jogging path, the facilities boast a tennis court, gymnasium, and Japanese archery range. The park also lets visitors rent bikes to use which is something I haven’t seen in other parks. As it is an Olympic venue, there is a lot of information (in English) on the official park website which makes it easier for tourists to access. I am looking forward to checking out what the park has to offer!
Komazawa Olympic Park (source)
Lastly, if you are living in more residential areas in Tokyo, there will most likely be a small park nearby. The one by my house is super nice and has a lake in the middle that is filled turtles, koi, and, on the weekend, rowboats! While it doesn’t have an extensive walking path as it is pretty small, it is a nice place to catch a breather after coming back from class and it is very relaxing. I have found that getting out into Tokyo’s parks is not only a great way to stay active, but to see the community you are living in and the people outside of your dorm/homestay. In my area there are a lot of families who bring their young children and elderly with their pets, making for a lively environment. I hope to visit many more parks before I finish this semester!
The park near my homestay (source)