Run Comfortably! 3 Recommended Running Courses Within Kyoto City!

For those who run regularly, you'll want to go running even if you're on a trip. This time, check out these running courses within Kyoto City that are recommended by local college students. From courses along scenic rivers to ones near popular sightseeing spots, you're sure to find something suitable. There's also information about nearby rest spots where you can re-hydrate if you get thirsty!

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Kamogawa Course (Round Trip: Approximately 2.5km)

The first recommended course is the Kamogawa River course that goes along the river. A popular resting spot for Kyoto citizens, Kamogawa River (鴨川) runs through the heart of Kyoto and converges with Kamogawa River (加茂川) and Takanogawa River. There are 3 running courses that start from Kamo Ohashi Bridge, the place where the three rivers become one.

The first course is the Marutamachi Course (the course outlined in red in the picture above). It's the course that's nearest to the city center, and it is also the shortest of the 3. From Kamo Ohashi Bridge to Marutamachi Bridge, the course is 1.27km one-way and approximately 2.5km if you go both ways.

Kamo Ohashi Bridge is near the Keihan Electric Railway Demachiyanagi Station, while the Marutamachi Bridge is near the Keihan Electric Railway Jingu-marutamachi Station. You can get off the bridges to reach their respective riversides.

The path continues further south beyond Marutamachi Bridge, but it goes into the city area, so it can get crowded depending on the time of the day. It's best that you turn around and head back to the starting point when you reach Marutamachi Bridge.

Rest Spot

The riverside is maintained as a park. There are benches here and there, so you can sit down and relax while taking in the scenery. 

Taking a break at the river delta at Kamo Ohashi Bridge is also a great idea!

Getting a Drink

Along the west side of the river, next to the plaza or the benches, you can find water coolers. The picture above is of a water cooler located near Kojinbashi Bridge (the first bridge south of Kamo Ohashi Bridge). There are also water coolers to the north of Kamo Ohashi Bridge.

On the east end of Kamo Ohashi Bridge, there's a convenience store where you can buy some drinks. Head south from the east end of Marutamachi Bridge, and you can find drink vending machines and convenience stores along the road.

There are also vending machines near the west end of the Kojinbashi Bridge.


There are 4 public toilets along the course. Pictured above are the toilets located near the north side of Demachibashi Bridge (the first bridge north of Kamo Ohashi Bridge).

*North of the Kamo Ohashi Bridge, it is split into the Kamogawa River (west) and the Takanogawa River (east). However, Demachibashi Bridge is a bridge that goes across Kamogawa River (加茂川).

Additionally, there are also toilets at the foot of the Marutamachi Bridge (east side) and the west end of the Kojinbashi Bridge.

Kyoto Gyoen Course (Outer Course: Approximately 4km / Inner Course: Approximately 3.8m)

Next, there's the Kyoto Gyoen course that sits in the city center. While the inner course that runs through the garden is certainly free of traffic lights, even the outer course that goes around the garden is smooth and without any road crossings.

The picture above shows part of the outer course.

This is the inner course. Since the garden is filled with greenery, it's comparatively cool even in summer, making it pleasant for runners. It's mostly gravel paths and dirt paths here, so it's kind on the feet.

Rest Spot

There are many benches dotted around the garden, so you won't have trouble finding a resting spot. Resting with sunlight streaming through the trees... sounds good, right?

There are also resting spots where you can get some light bites as well. The Tominokoji Rest Area pictured above is located near the tennis courts on the southwestern side of the garden. Nakadachiuri Rest Area is located on the west side of the garden, right near the Nakadachiuri-gomon entrance. Both rest areas are open between 9:00 AM and 4:30 PM.

Getting a Drink

Here at the Nakadachiuri Rest Area, there are also drink vending machines. They're located outside the building, so you can get drinks even when the rest area is closed.

There are exercise spaces in the east corner of the garden (Imadegawa Hiroba), as well as the southeast corner (Tominokoji Hiroba). You'll find water coolers near the exercise areas.


Toilets are located near the Tominokoji Rest Area, Nakadachiuri Rest Area and several other places throughout the garden. You'll have no trouble finding one.

If you take the outer course, there are also public toilets near the south end of the east side of the garden (north side of the Teramachi Marutamachi intersection).

Nijo-jo Castle Outer Course (1 Lap: Approximately 1.8km)

Lastly, there's the Nijo-jo Castle outer course that goes around the popular tourist spot, Nijo-jo Castle. This is a running spot that's popular even among locals.

During the castle opening hours, the right side of the castle (where the entrance is) can be crowded, so it's necessary to slow down your running speed. However, it's still a smooth run in general, given that there are no traffic crossings on this route.

Rest Spot

Nijo-koen Park southeast of the castle is a great place to rest after your run. There are kids' play equipment in the park, but in the corner, you'll find a covered bench area. You'll find a drink vending machine too.

Getting a Drink

Besides the park, there are several drink vending machines along the course. There's also a convenience store on the south side of the castle.


There are 2 toilets located near the course. One of them is on the south side of the castle.

The other toilet is located within Nijo-koen Park, which was mentioned in the rest spot section.


This is an introduction of a few running courses within the city center. Pick a suitable one based on your lodging location or desired running distance!

Kansai Feature

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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We're a group of local college students in Kyoto that produce information about Kyoto's charms to release to the world. We write articles about Kyoto using information that only locals could know. We hope you enjoy our work!
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