Runner's Guide to Yokohama

It’s more than just a port city or the 2002 FIFA World Cup final match – Yokohama is the second  largest city in Japan by population (only surpassed by Tokyo, of course) and the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Known as a historic downtown port district, Yokohama was home to one of the first foreign settlements in Japan and is now home to the largest Chinatown in Japan  – also one of the largest in the world. Downtime in Yokohama can be spent shopping in the Motomachi shopping district, visiting bars at Noge, or viewing the 19th to early 20th century foreigners’ mansions at Yamate, formerly known as The Bluff.

Visitors can also spend a day walking around the Minato Mirai area, make their own Cup Noodles at the Cup Noodle Museum, or get a bird’s view of Yokohama from the top of the Cosmo Clock 21 ferris wheel. Looking to shop til you drop and eat some good food? You’ll want to head over to Landmark Tower (once the tallest building in Japan!), the Red Brick Warehouse, Marine Walk mall, or Queen’s Square mall.

From wide sidewalks to lush parks and prime waterfront areas, you’ll find plenty of space to run in Yokohama. Just time your runs wisely; the sidewalks can be congested with pedestrians, pets, and children, particularly in the evenings and on weekends.

Shin Yokohama Park

Shin Yokohama Park running course
Source: Nissan Stadium

Shin Yokohama Koen (also, Shin Yoko Park) is not just any park – it’s a park designed to accommodate runners! Running is easy here with a 5KM, 2.2KM, 1.8KM, and 940 meter course all sorted out for you – distances are clearly written on the blue runner’s lane.

Even if it’s raining, you can do loops under the cover of the Nissan Stadium – each loop is 940 meters. “Rest houses” with changing rooms, showers, and coin lockers are located on the northeast side of the stadium and by the stretching area on the 1.8KM course.

Nissan Stadium Yokohama Running
Source: Nissan Stadium (click to view)
Shin Yokohama Park Nissan Stadium Yokohama running
Source: Nissan Stadium (click to view)

Minato Mirai

If you were to ask about running spots in Yokohama, the Minato Mirai area is always going to come up. It isn’t a particularly big area but running in this part of town will give you great views of Rinkai Park, the Red Brick Warehouse, and Yamashita Park.

If you’re coming from afar, The Space and the Sports Park are easily accessible and useful for those running around Minato Mirai. The Space has 5KM, 6KM, and 10KM running courses mapped out here. Similarly, the Sports Park has a simple map featuring two 5KM courses and a 1KM course here (the same map is featured below with landmarks in English).

Night or day, solo or in a group, Minato Mirai offers some of the best grounds for a run. Keep in mind that its location by the sea means that the winds can be strong (and cold).

Running in Yokohama map
Source: Minato Mirai Sports Park Running Station (click to view)

Other Places of Interest

One of Yokohama’s largest parks, a loop around the Negishi Shinrin Koen (Negishi Forest Park) is 1.3KM – and it’s not all flat! If you’re looking for some hills, this is a great enclosed space for runners. Coin lockers and showers are available on-site.

The park is a quiet, relaxing place away from the hustle of the city. During the spring, cherry blossoms bloom and the park becomes busy with those reveling in the warmer temperatures. Whether it’s the fall foliage or a dusting of snow, you’ll be reminded of nature’s beauty every time you run through the park.

“Negishi Station” “Yamate Station” (JR Negishi Line)
1-2 Negishidai, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0853
Take the JR Negishi Line to Negishi station or Yamate station; then walk about 1KM (15 to 20 minutes) to the park.

Umi no Koen (Marine Park) is home to the only beach in Yokohama city where you can swim. The running course around the park is marked every 200 meters for a total of 2200 meters.

During the summer, you’ll find visitors sunbathing, swimming, or even gathering shellfish (primarily for consumption and only up to 2KG per person). The Marine Park also boasts a multipurpose field and a barbeque area (BYOB).

10 Umi no Koen, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0013
Take the Seaside Line to Umi no Koen Minamiguchi station, then walk about 5 minutes (400 meters) to the park.

Running in Minato Mirai
Running at Minato Mirai | Source: Lea Lea Running

Running Stations in Yokohama

Weekdays 0900 to 2200
Weekends 0800 to 2100

Facilities: Changing rooms, shower
Costs: ¥400 for a locker in the changing room, ¥100 to use the shower facility

Primarily a soccer practice facility, the Sports Park also has soccer fields and a futsal court.

6-2-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa
7 minute walk from Minato Mirai line Shin Taka Shima station
15 minute walk from Yokohama station

Sports Authority at Mark Is

Daily 1000-2000

Facilities: Changing rooms, shower
Costs: ¥600 for visitors, ¥300 for members

Has sports apparel, running shoes, and towels for rent. Running lab lets runners check their running form and receive a gait and foot analysis.

Sports Authority at Mark Is Minato Mirai B2F, 3-5-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa
Connected to Minato Mirai line Minato Mirai station
8 minute walk from JR Sakuragicho station

Weekdays 0700-1400, 1600-2200
Weekends and public holidays 0800-1900
Closed every Monday

Facilities: Changing rooms, shower, lockers
Costs: ¥680 per use, or unlimited usage for ¥7,700 per month (different rates for less usage available

Geared towards runners and cyclists. Has sports apparel, running shoes, sunglasses, and fitness watches available for rent – the first item is always free, subsequent items require a small fee.

Kannai Capital Building 201, 2-25 Benten Douri, Naka ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa
7 minute walk from JR Kannai station
5 minute walk from Yokohama Municipal Subway Kannai station, Minato Mirai line Nihon Odori station and Bashamichi station
8 minute walk from JR Sakuragicho station

Red Brick Warehouse running in Yokohama
Running by the Red Brick Warehouse | Source: Walker Plus