Tokyo Cycling: Riding along the Zenpukuji River

Tokyo’s lesser-known rivers are great for quick, scenic rides

Anthony Griffin
Kokoro Media
Published in
4 min readMar 22, 2024

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In previous articles, I’ve often mentioned that Tokyo’s rivers offer some of the best cycling the city has to offer. Major waterways such as the Arakawa and Tama rivers are obvious choices for long, uninterrupted rides. However, Tokyo’s smaller, lesser-known rivers can also be great for a quick, scenic ride — if you know where to find them. The Zenpukuji River is one such hidden gem. Read on for a step-by-step guide to enjoying one of the best cycling routes on Tokyo’s west side.

Route Overview

The Zenpukuji River cuts through several large parks — the perfect place to escape into nature.

The Zenpukuji River is actually a tributary of the larger and more famous Kanda River, splitting off from it near Nakano-fujimicho Station on the Tokyo Metro subway line. The river course in this article starts just before the waterways split in the dense urban setting of southern Nakano Ward, cuts through a series of expansive, beautiful parks, and ends up in the tranquil neighborhoods of Suginami Ward.

Getting Started

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Anthony Griffin
Kokoro Media

Founder and principal consultant (www.consultsaga.com) helping Japan-based organizations market to and communicate with international audiences.