How much walking in japan?


Are you worried about how much walking you’re going to be doing in Japan on your upcoming trip?  I mean, you’ve probably seen some videos on social media where people are walking crazy distances, right? Well, no worries, I’m here to hopefully help shed some light on that!

During my recent trip to Japan, I walked between 8,000 steps to well over 40,000 steps in one day! That’s equivalent to walking anywhere from 6.4 km to 32 km!  Let’s look into which factors will most likely affect how much walking you’ll be doing and how you can prepare and optimize your upcoming trip to Japan.

japanese walking culture?

 Do you know what’s truly amazing about Japan? The love for walking that’s ingrained deep in their culture. It’s fascinating how despite having one of the best public transportation systems in the world, walking still remains incredibly popular among them.  The compact nature of Japanese cities and neighborhoods encourages walking as a convenient mode of transportation. Not to mention, walking aligns perfectly with the Japanese value of health and wellness, allowing them to stay active while appreciating the intricate details of their environment. In a bustling prefecture with many cities renowned for their popular tourist attractions like Tokyo, you’ll often find locals covering impressive distances on foot to fully experience the charm of each location.

How much walking in tokyo, osaka, kyoto, and okinawa?

To provide you with a better perspective let’s break down the number of steps I took and the distances I walked during a 3-week trip to Japan. 

Tokyo = 9 days, Total Steps = 324,940 steps or 260km. Average steps per day = 36,104  or 29km. 

Okinawa = 4 days,  Total Steps 51, 655 steps or 41km. Average steps per day = 12913 steps 10km. 

Osaka = 4 days, Total Steps = 77,399 steps or 62km. Average steps = 19349 steps 15.5km. 

Kyoto = 4 days,  Total steps = 76,962 steps or 61.5. Average steps = 19,240 steps or 15km. 

Total in Japan = 21 days, Total steps = 530,956 steps or 425km. Average steps per day = 25,283 Steps per day or 20km.

The Graph below will help you visualize how many steps I took in each prefecture out of the total 530,956 steps I took or 425km.

324,940 STEPS 61.1%
77,339 STEPS 14.6%
76962 STEPS 14.5%
51,655 STEPS 9.7%

Is walking the only way to get around japan?

No! Walking may be a popular choice for getting around in Japan, but fear not my fellow adventurers, there are plenty of other transportation options to make your journey a breeze. Public transportation is a reliable and convenient choice, with subways, buses, trains, and taxis readily available to whisk you away to your desired destinations. For those longer distances, hop aboard the famous Shinkansen or Bullet trains, known for their swift and comfortable travel between prefectures. But if you’re up for some extra excitement and freedom, why not try renting a bike or scooter? It’s a fun and affordable way to explore Japan’s vibrant cities at your own pace. Many cities now offer rental services for bikes and scooters, ensuring you have a fantastic and enjoyable sightseeing experience. Just remember to familiarize yourself with the local driving rules and regulations to avoid any hiccups along the way. 

How should i efficiently plan my day for japan

By making the most of your map, taking advantage of public transportation, optimizing your timing and routes, and tapping into the knowledge of the locals, you can craft a well-structured itinerary that keeps your walking to a minimum and maximizes your overall experience. Let’s dive into these 4 tips that will help you create an itinerary that’s efficient and enjoyable.

1. Research And Map your Itinerary

Take a moment to identify and mark those must-visit landmarks, restaurants, and activities that have captured your imagination. Whether you’re a meticulous planner or a spontaneous explorer, plotting your agendas, even just a few days or the night before, can work wonders. This nifty trick allows you to group destinations together and prioritize based on proximity. In vibrant cities like Kyoto and Tokyo, where famous landmarks are scattered, having a sense of the distances between them is key to optimizing your route. Not only will it save you precious time and money, but if you’ve booked a timed event, arriving a little early can spare you from the rush hour chaos, long queues, and any potential delays. 

2. Familiarizing Yourself With Public Transportation

Before you dive into the vibrant cityscape, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the incredible train lines, subway networks, and bus routes. Luckily, your trusty phone can be your ultimate guide! With a quick glance at Google Maps, you’ll unlock the secrets to seamless navigation. Keep an eye out for signs, arrows, and train directions—they’ll be your loyal companions on this urban adventure. Sure, Tokyo’s transportation system may seem a tad daunting at first, but fear not! Just follow the instructions and rely on those handy digital tools, and you’ll be navigating like a seasoned local in no time. Bid farewell to getting lost, wasting precious time, and unnecessary walking. 

3. Optimize Timing and Routes

Here’s a little secret: consider planning your itinerary around peak and off-peak hours. By avoiding rush hours, you can enjoy a smoother commute and reduce the chances of getting caught in congested areas. When mapping out your route on Google, keep an eye out for options with fewer transfers and directions. These gems will save you time, minimize walking, and keep your wallet happy. Grab yourself a day pass that offers unlimited rides within a specific area. With this handy pass in your pocket, you can effortlessly hop on and off public transportation, exploring multiple attractions without the need for extensive walking between them.

4. Asking The Locals!

Engage with the locals to gain insights into the area and minimize unnecessary walking! While English may not be widely spoken, most Japanese people are friendly and eager to assist foreigners. Strike up conversations with hotel personnel, restaurant staff, or residents to seek their advice on optimizing your itinerary, They can offer valuable tips on hidden shortcuts, efficient routes, or alternative destinations you may not have considered. Embracing their guidance can lead to unexpected discoveries and potentially even new friendships along the way.

5 . Plan For Breaks!

Consciously set aside a day or two to simply relax and rejuvenate, and you’ll find yourself appreciating every moment of your adventure. I totally understand the excitement of wanting to do it all during your trip to Japan, especially if it’s your first time! Including rest days in your itinerary will make your experience even more enjoyable. Rest days provide the perfect opportunity to take a break from all the planning, walking, and scheduling you’ve been doing. Just imagine how refreshing it would be to lounge in a picturesque park, soak in the peaceful atmosphere, or treat yourself to a soothing onsen experience. Allowing yourself these moments of respite amidst the excitement will prove to be invaluable.

How much walking should i do to prepare for my trip?

Before my trip in Japan, I regret not preparing my body for the amount of walking required. I assumed my regular gym routine was enough, but walking over 25km a day proved otherwise. Here are some suggestions to help others avoid my mistake to prepare for Japan.

1. Evaluate Your Physical Fitness

Before you embark on your exciting adventure, take a moment to assess your current fitness level. It’s important to consider any pre-existing health conditions or physical limitations that could impact your ability to walk comfortably for long periods. If you’re unsure about your fitness level, why not reach out to a professional? They can provide valuable insights and guidance, ensuring you’re fully prepared for the amazing challenges that lie ahead in Japan. By taking this proactive step, you’ll be setting yourself up for a fantastic trip filled with comfortable and enjoyable walks. Your health and well-being matter to us, so let’s make sure you’re ready to explore Japan to the fullest!

2. Gradually Increase Walking Routine

To prepare yourself for the amazing distances you’ll be covering in Japan, it’s a great idea to gradually increase your walking routine in the weeks leading up to your trip. Trust me, depending on your itinerary, you might find yourself strolling anywhere from 5km to 30km a day! Start with shorter walks and slowly increase the duration and distance over time. Aim to add 1km to your routine every week until you feel comfortable walking 5km or more. Oh, and here’s a helpful tip: during your exploration, you’ll usually find yourself walking 1-5km at a stretch before taking a break or stumbling upon a delightful restaurant you want to check out. So when planning your walking routine, remember not to go to the extreme! Take it at your own pace and enjoy the journey without overexerting yourself.

3. Take regular Breaks and listen to your body

Remember, your body needs some break too! While exploring Japan, it’s important to listen to your body and give yourself regular breaks. The good news is, Japan has got you covered with plenty of rest areas, benches, and beautiful parks where you can take a moment to relax, recharge, and soak in the surroundings. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way that pushing yourself too much can result in minor injuries and fatigue, which can put a damper on your experience. So, let’s be smart about it! Pace yourself, enjoy the journey, and allow yourself enough time to rest and rejuvenate. Your body will thank you, and you’ll be able to make the most out of your incredible adventure in Japan!


Let’s talk about shoes, my friend! When it comes to exploring Japan, investing in the right footwear can make all the difference. Trust me, you’ll want shoes that provide ample cushioning, arch support, and a sturdy sole. Sneakers, running shoes, or walking shoes are popular choices that are designed specifically for the walking adventures you’ll embark on. Personally, I recommend kicks like Adidas UltraBoost or Nike Vaporfly for that extra cushiony goodness. Say no to high heels or stiff shoes that might give you a hard time navigating those uneven surfaces and stairs. Oh, and make sure your shoes are easy to slip on and off because many attractions and traditional places in Japan require you to remove your shoes before entering. Prioritize comfort and functionality above all else to ensure your exploration of Japan is a joyous and pain-free experience.

Understanding the significance of walking in Japan is the key to crafting a truly remarkable and delightful journey. As you plan your adventure, remember to consider the unique aspects of your destination, the efficiency of public transportation, and the layout of the cities you’ll be traversing. By doing so, you’ll be well-equipped, both physically and mentally, to embrace the walking challenges that lie ahead. Don’t forget to take breaks along the way, allowing yourself to fully immerse in the vibrant culture, indulge in heavenly cuisine, and marvel at the timeless beauty that Japan offers. While it’s essential to have a loose plan, don’t be afraid to lose yourself in the wonders of this incredible country and embrace unexpected discoveries. So, lace up your shoes, my friends, and embark on an unforgettable odyssey through Japan’s captivating landscapes and bustling cities. Get ready to create memories that will forever hold a special place in your heart. Safe travels and enjoy every step of this extraordinary adventure!

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