We run around the Imperial Palace, which is located in the center of Tokyo, Japan. The Imperial Palace is the residence of His Majesty the Emperor, and is a very sacred place for Japanese people. This tour will not take you inside (because you need to apply in advance), but we will run along the promenade around the Imperial Palace, which is about 5km long. Courses that allow you to run 5km without waiting for a traffic light are extremely rare in Tokyo, so the promenade around the Imperial Palace is like a running mecca for runners in Tokyo.
The area around the Imperial Palace is exactly the center of Japan, so there are large commercial facilities, government offices, the National Diet Building, and the prime minister’s official residence.
Tokyo Station, the gateway to Tokyo, is also in front of the Imperial Palace. The brick building of Tokyo Station is very beautiful, so we recommend taking a picture in front of it.
In this tour, we will run not only around the Imperial Palace but also a route that deviates a little from there. Because Yasukuni Shrine, one of the largest shrines in Japan, is nearby. Yasukuni Shrine enshrines the souls of the soldiers who died in the Pacific War, and many people visit the shrine every year on the anniversary of the end of the war. For that reason, it is also a politically controversial place in Asia, but visiting such a place itself will be a memory.
The area around Yasukuni Shrine is also famous for its cherry blossoms. If you visit this place in spring, you may be able to see very beautiful cherry blossoms. By the way, Japan has a culture of cherry blossom viewing (Ohanami), and everyone enjoys picnics at cherry blossom viewing spots during the cherry blossom season. Cherry blossoms can be said to be a symbol of peaceful Japan.
On this tour, we will visit another shrine. It is Hie Shrine. It’s not as big as Yasukuni Shrine, but it’s famous for its bright red Senbon Torii gates. Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto is famous for Senbon Torii, but even if you can’t go there, you can see a similar Senbon Torii at Hie Shrine in Tokyo.
Finally, the Imperial Palace was built by renovating Edo Castle, so it used to be the residence of the samurai boss Shogun. Therefore, you can see many traditional Japanese buildings on this tour. In particular, you will pass through a gate called Sakuradamon in the middle of the running course, and I think this is the most exciting place on the Imperial Palace run course.