How do you usually spend your free time with your pets? Owning a pet in urban areas sometimes can be difficult because of the limited number of places you can take them for a walk. If you live in, or have ever been to Tokyo, you have probably seen a sign saying “No Pets” (ペット禁止) or “No dogs allowed” at many shops and restaurants. Fortunately, there are numerous pet-friendly spots such as beautiful parks where you can walk your pets or allow them to play freely in nature. Here is the ultimate guide to the best pet-friendly spots in Tokyo!
1. Yoyogi Park
Nestled in Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi Park is a beautiful urban oasis which is known as the 5th largest park in Tokyo. It is a short walk from JR Harajuku Station, and is also a few minute train ride to other must-visit tourist attractions such as the Shibuya and Shinjuku area. This great location is also within walking distance of Meiji Jingu Shrine, one of the most famous and sacred Shinto shrines in Japan with a history of over 100 years.
Inside the park you will find peaceful ponds, fountains, forests, lawns and much more. A spacious dog park (ドッグラン = dog run in Japanese) is also available, which allows your best friend to play freely while surrounded by refreshing nature. Yoyogi Parks’ dog run is divided into three areas which you can choose from according to the size of your dog. From late March to early April, it also attracts numerous visitors as a famous cherry blossom viewing spot with over 600 cherry blossom trees in full blossom.
How to use the dog parks in Yoyogi Park
To use the dog park in Yoyogi Park, you need to register some information about your dog in advance. Visit here for more details!
2. Showa Memorial Park
Showa Memorial Park is a national park located in Tachikawa city, about a 30-40 minute train ride from central Tokyo. Tokyo’s largest park was originally opened to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the enthronement of Emperor Showa in 1983. It is home to enjoyable playgrounds for children, a beautiful Japanese-style garden, refreshing cycling paths as well as lovely flower fields that attract a large number of people with the colorful carpets of seasonal flowers in all seasons.
Dogs are allowed in the park, but have to be on a leash everywhere except the dog run. There are 5 types of dog parks in the park which can be used for different purposes. Open Active Area is perfect for dogs who want to run and play actively with balls. Beginner’s Zone Area allows your dog to get ready for their first dog park adventure safely. Take your furry friends to the Small Dog Area where they will be able to enjoy the company of other small friends!
3. Shinozaki Park
Shinozaki Park is a lovely nature spot which is located in Edogawa-ku, Tokyo. This peaceful park lies along the Edogawa River which runs through the prefectural border between Tokyo and Chiba. It is home to baseball fields, tennis courts, spacious playgrounds for children as well as a BBQ area which can be used for free! It is also known as the 10th largest park in Tokyo with countless seasonal plants such as cherry blossoms in spring and beautiful hydrangea in early summer. The dog park is open 24 hours and can be used by anyone, but advance registration + proof of your dogs rabies vaccination are needed at the park service center. There are two separate areas for different sizes of dogs where they can unwind and play freely and safely. CAFE HAN is a pet-friendly cafe serving refreshing drinks and light meals which is within walking distance of the park!
4. Roppongi Hills
Roppongi Hills is a modern, giant building complex which is home to attractive shopping spots, business offices, luxury hotels, art museums, great restaurants and much more. While it is mostly known as a modern hub with many offices and shops, there are also some pet-friendly spots where you can spend some time with your best buddy! Take your dog to Mori Garden, a lovely Japanese-style garden that feels like a green oasis in the heart of the busy district full of skyscrapers. Enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms in spring, or visit in winter for the stunning display of bright illuminations. Roppongi Hills is one of the best areas for Christmas illuminations and a large Christmas market. There is also a number of cafes and restaurants where you can take your dog. Originating from New York, Shake Shack is a world-famous hamburger chain which has a Roppongi location with pet-friendly seats available on the comfortable terrace! For more (pet-friendly) spots in Roppongi Hills, click here.
5. Tokyo Midtown
Tokyo Midtown is another modern entertainment hub which is about a 16-minute walk from the Roppongi Hills area. This shopping complex consists of multi-purpose buildings, including offices, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, parks, art museums and urban residences. Midtown Garden is a symbolic natural attraction in Tokyo Midtown where you can walk your dog while surrounded by beautiful nature. It is home to a wide variety of seasonal plants and flowers that are beautiful with different landscapes for each season. Green Dog is a friendly pet shop which boasts a large selection of pet supplies and high-quality services such as trimming and grooming. You can also temporarily leave your dog there when you want to go shopping or have lunch at restaurants where pets are not allowed.
6. LaLaport Toyosu
LaLaport Toyosu is a giant shopping mall which opened in 2006 in Toyosu area, Tokyo. It is home to more than 200 shops and restaurants as well as a wide range of facilities and experiences for everyone. The first floor of the main building is designated as “Pet welcome area”, where you can find a dog park, a pet shop and a dog-friendly cozy cafe. Their dog park is spacious and features clean, naturally-grown grass which is safe for your dog to run and play on. ILIO is a pet shop located next to the dog park which offers a range of services including trimming, a pet hotel and medical care. After letting your furry friend play, take a short break at Les Deux Bleue where you can relax while enjoying the beautiful views of Tokyo bay!
7. Komazawa Olympic Park
Nestled on the border of Setagaya-ku and Meguro-ku, Komazawa Olympic Park is loved by locals as a perfect spot for enjoying a variety of sports in nature. It was originally developed as the 2nd venue for the Tokyo Olympics held in 1964 and boasts a number of great sporting facilities ranging from an athletic field, to baseball fields to tennis courts. Their well-maintained jogging course also allows you to run around the pleasant park safely and comfortably.
The park is also an ideal environment for pet-lovers to spend a great time with their pets. Unleash your dog in their dog park which comprises of two separate areas for different sizes of dogs. They have comfortable benches where you can sit and relax while watching your furry friend playing with other dogs. Don’t forget to register at the Komazawa Olympic Park Administration Office (located inside the park) before heading to the dog park.
8. Ino-forest Dog Garden
Ino-forest Dog Garden is a popular dog park located in Yumeno-shima Marina in Koto-ku, Tokyo. They have a reservation-only policy and only accept dogs registered on their website in advance. The park is divided into several areas, including separated dog areas for different sizes of dogs, a small hill overlooking the entire park, spacious play areas and a refreshing leash-free path featuring cherry blossoms in spring. Unleash your best friend at “Tottoko Forest” where they can freely explore the peaceful forests under the shade of trees that protect them from the sunshine. You can also find professional trainers who also occasionally provide private dog training. Yumenoshima Park and Yumenoshima Tropical Greenhouse Dome are also within walking distance.
9. Aqua City
Aqua City Odaiba is a popular shopping mall in the futuristic Odaiba area with more than 120 shops and restaurants. PETEMO and HARNESS DOG are friendly pet shops where you can enjoy browsing a huge selection of pet supplies and products with your dog. Have lunch at TACO BELL, Eggs’n Things, or LONGBOARD CAFÉ which are all dog-friendly shops located on the 3rd floor. They offer a casual dining experience with the great views of Tokyo Bay featuring symbolic structures such as Rainbow Bridge and the Odaiba Statue of Liberty. After lunch, head to Odaiba Marine Park where you can take a relaxing stroll with your best buddy while feeling the comfortable sea breeze.
10. Minato Dog Park
A short walk from Shinagawa Station, Meguro Dog Park is a perfect place to take dogs to play. The Minato Dog Park is located in Shibaura Chuo Park, a lovely oasis in the middle of bustling Shinagawa. The park is built on top of a water treatment plant. The dog park consists of two areas, one for the smaller dogs and another one for the larger sized dogs. In order to enter, you need to register your dog at the municipal office, then bring the dog tags and the updated rabies vaccination card to the dog run registration location and they will give you permission to enter.
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Pets need an adequate amount of exercise on a regular basis to stay healthy physically and mentally. But in a super sized city like Tokyo, finding a place where you can take your dog for a walk can be a little challenging. Fortunately there are many pet-friendly parks and spots in Tokyo which are safe, clean, and easily accessible by public transport. Taking your pets there will be a refreshing and memorable experience not only for you but also for them! Just remember that at some of the dog parks you’ll need to register your dog before entering.
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Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with travelling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. She also loves to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.
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