Whether travelling for business or leisure, there are tricks to starting the day out right at your point of destination. Waking to the sound of a favorite song, for instance, showering and getting dressed like usual, or enjoying a solid breakfast. These can all be vital.
And how about starting out the day with a run? Your senses are sure to be awakened as well on a run through the city before it has gotten into full swing, experiencing the weather and temperature along with the scents and sounds of the city as it starts to get into motion.
If your run originates at Zentis Osaka located in Osaka’s Kita district, we recommend a running course that leads along the Dōjima River through Nakanoshima.
As the General Manager of Zentis Osaka relates, “This is a course that gives a sense of Osaka’s cultural side as it makes its way east along the Dōjima River past contrasting views of modern buildings and historic architecture, Nakanoshima’s cultural facilities, parks and so on. That’s what makes it appealing. You can also enjoy the flowers and greenery at Nakanoshima Park and get a true sense of the Aqua Metropolis Osaka, so I would really hope any runners might give this course a shot.” Let us now allow Zentis Osaka’s General Manager, who likes to run himself, to introduce the course.
Admire the Contrast between Historic Architecture and Modern Buildings
Head out the entrance of Zentis Osaka and turn right. Start out with some stretches on the pedestrian-only Nakanoshima Garden Bridge over the Dōjima River first.
Cross over to Nakanoshima on the Nakanoshima Garden Bridge, then get started with your run. “First, take in the views of famous works of architecture found in Nakanoshima, including the old building for the Bank of Japan Osaka Branch, the Nakanoshima Library and the Osaka City Central Public Hall as you run. Also, what I would hope for you to enjoy along with the famous architecture are the old bridges made of stone that span the Dōjima River. The Suishō Bridge (top photo) in particular is distinguished by the beauty of its arches.”
Enjoy Nakanoshima Park’s Flowers and Greenery
As your run takes you farther the riverside promenade, both sides of the path will become more verdant.
“Back amid this planted greenery on the right-hand side is the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, which exhibits its collection of over 4,000 pieces of ceramics, including National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties.”
The largest rose garden in Osaka is found at the Nakanoshima Rose Garden, where around 4,000 roses of a variety of cultivars are said to bloom magnificently in springtime and autumn. Keep running through this stretch where the air is perfumed with roses and head toward the eastern tip of Nakanoshima.
Look back from the Barazono Bridge that links Nakanoshima’s eastern and western halves for a view of the Osaka City Central Public Hall with its red-brick exterior and bronze roof.
Experience the Aqua Metropolis Osaka
The eastern tip of Nakanoshima. “This is where you come to the confluence of the two rivers that flow along both sides of Nakanoshima: the Dōjima and the Tosabori. The sun comes up in front of here. This is a spot with a nice feel to it,” he says, referring to the Nakanoshima Park Kensaki Fountain. The distance so far is 1.5 km, 3 km with the trip back, making casual enjoyment as a morning walk an option as well.
For those inclined to run a bit more, cross to the right bank of the river from Nakanoshima and head further eastward. Look back from the Tenma Bridge for views of the Tenjin Bridge, which connects to the eastern tip of Nakanoshima, and in the distance, Zentis Osaka as well. The distance so far will be 2 km, 4 km with the trip back. Doesn’t that sound like a nice course to refresh the body and mind?
Venture on to Osaka Castle
Runners who still have not had enough can head uphill from the Tenma Bridge, aiming for the Osaka Castle.
“As you climb the hill and turn the corner at Tanimachi 2-chōme, Osaka Castle’s tower will appear straight ahead, looking small, which will give you the encouragement to set your sights there and go for it!”
The distance to Osaka Castle’s Ōtemon Gate is 3.5 km. With the accomplishment of this veritable morning run, 7 km with the trip back, you should be able to spend the day filled with confidence.