On The Run Through The Kyoto Night Running, Bathing, Drinking
The 'My second hometown' project, through the free magazine Enjoy Kyoto and its affiliated website, is aimed at showing foreign visitors the deeper charms of this amazing city.
Feel the pulse of the city with a sightseeing jog Nijō-jō Castle run
Kyoto has some magnificent jogging spots. Favorites with the locals are the banks of the Kamogawa River, Kyoto Imperial Palace, and Nijō-jō Castle. The perimeter of Nijō-jō Castle is ideal for jogging—one lap is an easy 2 km, and the footpaths, especially those on the east and south sides, are relatively wide and easy to run on—so you’ll see many of Kyoto’s local running population in all kinds of gear pounding the pavement at different paces. This course is well worth a run, not only for the special feeling of jogging against a backdrop of a World Heritage Site, but for the magical atmosphere at night with the illuminated East Gate and Southeast Tower Corner rising in the night sky.
Running with the locals is a different way of sightseeing and a great way to experience the pulse of the city and its people for yourself. If you’re lucky, you might even make some new jogging friends.
One more thing—keep in mind that these are public paths shared by everyone, not only runners. For your own safety and that of others, avoid blocking the footpath, speeding, bumping into others or generally making a nuisance of yourself!
Across from Nijōjō-mae station on the Kyoto City Subway Tōzai line
8:45 am – 4 pm (closes at 5 pm)
December 29 - 31
Adults 1,030 yen / Junior High and High School Students 350 yen / Elementary School Students 200 yen
*Includes entry to Ninomaru-goten Palace. A separate fee of 200 yen will be charged to view the Painting Gallery.
If you purchase an advance ticket to Nijo Castle on your smartphone (either an entry ticket + admission ticket to
Ninomaru Palace or a single admission ticket) you can enter without having to wait in line at the ticket counter.
After working up a sweat, get naked with the locals! Thoron Onsen Inari Bath house
After you’ve worked up a sweat jogging, make your way to Thoron Onsen Inari, just a 10-minute walk from Nijō-jō Castle. This bath house has been a favorite with locals for close to a century. It is the bath house in Japan to use the rare mineral thoron to create artificial hot spring water, which was introduced by the present owner some 25 years ago. Since then the baths at Thoron Onsen Inari have enjoyed a reputation for warming the body to the core. The bathhouse is popular with foreign tourists and allows tattoos. Just be sure to follow bathing etiquette. A standing shower booth provided before the entrance to the main bathing area is an easy-to-understand reminder to wash yourself before soaking in the tub. After bathing, try a glass of draft beer served by the bathhouse “mom”, or that favorite post-bath drink of Japanese people, coffee milk.
A seven-minute walk from Nijōjō-mae station on the Kyoto City Subway Tōzai line
Monday to Saturday 3:30 pm – 11:30 pm,
Sunday 9 am – 11:30 pm
Ages 12 and older: 450 yen / Ages 6–11: 150 yen / Under age 6: 60 yen
An incredibly realistic VR ninja attraction NINJA VR KYOTO
Ninja VR Kyoto offers thrillingly realistic ninja training experiences using the latest virtual reality technology and is a huge hit with foreign tourists. After basic training learning how to throw shuriken ninja stars, shoot fukiya blowguns and more, it’s time to strap on VR goggles. This ninja training VR attraction will have you battling against hordes of attacking ninjas, toppling them with your sword and you dodge shuriken flying your way. There is also a course designed for children 7 and under, so the whole family can live out their inner ninja fantasies.
A three-minute walk from Higashiyama station on the Kyoto City Subway Tōzai line
11 am – 9 pm (latest booking time is 8 pm)
Hands-on training + VR experience set: Adults 5,600 yen /
Children (under 7 years old) 3,600 yen
Children (under 7 years old) 3,600 yen
Raise a glass of beer with the English-speaking owner Sanjō Madobe Belgian Beer Shop
Nothing beats a refreshing beer after a bath, and luckily Sanjō Madobe Belgian Beer Shop is just a short walk from Thoron Onsen Inari. It’s owned by the friendly Mr. Seto, who also speaks English. His recommended brew is Delirium Tremens beer. At 8%, the alcohol content is on the high side, but it has a deliciously fruity and slightly sweet flavor. For a post-jog refreshment, Mr. Seto suggests Hoegaarden Rosé, which is Hoegaarden White with an added touch of raspberry. Relatively low in alcohol, it’s popular for its berry and rose aromas and pretty ruby color.
A six-minute walk from Nijōjō-mae station on the Kyoto City Subway Tōzai line
Monday to Thursday 5 pm – midnight, Friday to Sunday 1 pm – midnight
*Open all year round