A must-see for athletes! The sporting competition guide

Report on Tokyo Marathon 2015

As an athlete, you probably want to participate in a race overseas at least once in your life. In recent years, there has been a growing number of competitions in Japan that those from abroad can take part in.

Tokyo Marathon 2015
Tokyo Marathon 2015. (C)TOKYO MARATHON FOUNDATION

One of the representative marathons of Japan is the Tokyo Marathon, which started in 2007. Anyone from around the world can participate. In 2015, there were runners from eighty-eight different countries.

The Tokyo Marathon course
(C)TOKYO MARATHON FOUNDATION

The appeal of the Tokyo Marathon is that it takes you through famous spots in Tokyo, such as Shinjuku, Ginza, and Asakusa.

Participant 1
(C)TOKYO MARATHON FOUNDATION

Tom from Canada (left) noticed that the scenery was beautiful, Victoria from the United States (center) liked the course, and Andrea from Brazil (right) said that the streets were very clean.

Participant 2
(C)TOKYO MARATHON FOUNDATION

The Japanese people also seemed to make quite an impression. James from Kenya (left) felt that the volunteers were very kind, Shane from Australia (center) was pleased to hear the crowd rooting for Australia, and Kim from South Korea (right) was encouraged by the enthusiastic support.

The Tokyo Marathon is held in late February every year. Online applications are received in August and the results of the draw are announced in late September. The winners pay their participation fee by mid-October by credit card, or other method, and receive their invitation in late January. In 2016, the marathon will be held on February 28.

Participants in most other competitions are also selected through drawings or in order of application. Participation in the competitions introduced in this article can be applied for online. Applications are accepted around six to eight months before the events are held, followed by drawings, and winners are notified about three to six months in advance. Entries are complete when participation fees are paid in the specified manner. Check the websites of the respective competitions for details on schedules and payment methods.

Marathon race guide

Here are some recommended races from among the marathons that you can apply to run in, both from within Japan and abroad.

Kyoto Marathon

Kyoto Marathon
(c)KYOTO MARATHON

With a course that takes you to seven World Heritage Sites, you can enjoy the appeal of Kyoto, a world-renowned city abundant with culture. Participants can also take commemorative photos with maikos, apprentice geiko (geisha)s after they complete the course. In 2016, it will be held on February 21.

Kitakyushu Marathon

Kitakyushu Marathon

A course that takes you to famous spots in Fukuoka Prefecture, including Kokura Castle, Kanmon Straits, and Moji Red Brick Place. In 2016, it will be held on February 21.

Tokushima Marathon

Tokushima Marathon

A course that runs along the Yoshino River in Shikoku’s Tokushima Prefecture. Held in late April every year.

Nagano Marathon

Nagano Marathon

Run past the stadium in Nagano where the 1998 Winter Olympics were held, on a pleasant course where you can see beautiful mountains as you run. Held on the third Sunday of April every year.

Sendai International Half Marathon

Sendai International Half Marathon

Held in early May every year in Sendai City of Miyagi Prefecture in the Tohoku Region. The three courses consist of the half marathon (13 miles), the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) run, and the 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) run.

Those from abroad can also participate in the competitions below. The following are the names, locations, schedules, and websites of the competitions.

Yokohama Marathon

Kanagawa Prefecture / mid-March

Osaka Marathon

Osaka Prefecture / late October (applications for 2015 are no longer accepted)

Kobe Marathon

Hyogo Prefecture / mid-November (applications for 2015 are no longer accepted)

Shonan International Marathon

Kanagawa Prefecture / early December (Held on December 6 in 2015)

NAHA Marathon

Okinawa Prefecture / early December (Held on December 6 in 2015)

Nara Marathon

Nara Prefecture / mid-December (Held on December 12 &13 in 2015)

Guide to other track meets

Below is an introduction to recommended competitions, such as triathlons and cycling events.

[Trail Running] Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji

Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji
(c) NPO FUJI TRAIL RUNNERS CLUB

The trail is about 167 kilometers (100 miles) in length with a cumulative altitude of 8,634 meters (5.4 miles). The course that runs around the base of Mt. Fuji is very popular. Held in late September (applications for the 2015 event are no longer accepted).

Hakusan Geotrail

Ishikawa Prefecture / late August (Held from August 22 to 28 in 2015)

Shinetsu Five Mountains Trail

Niigata & Nagano Prefecture / late September (Held on September 22 & 23 in 2015)

Japan Mountain Endurance Race HASETSUNE CUP

Tokyo / late October (Held on October 31 & November 1 in 2015)

[Ultra Marathons] Hida Takayama Ultra Marathon

Hida Takayama Ultra Marathon

The two courses that take you through old townscapes and natural scenery consist of the 100-kilometer (62-mile) course and the 71-kilometer (44-mile) course. Held in early June every year.

Challenge Fuji 5 Lakes Ultra Marathon

Yamanashi Prefecture / mid-April

Historical Road Tango 100km Ultramarathon

Kyoto Prefecture / mid-September (Held on September 20 in 2015)

[Bicycle Race] Tour de Okinawa

Tour de Okinawa

A bicycle race with the beautiful ocean waters of Okinawa in the background. Held in November every year. (Held on November 8 in 2015).

[Triathlons] Goto Nagasaki International Triathlon

Goto Nagasaki International Triathlon

The famous course that was host to IRONMAN Japan. Here, participants can enjoy the beautiful rows of islands. Held in mid-June every year.

IRONMAN 70.3 Centrair Chita Peninsula Japan

Aichi Prefecture / early June

IRONMAN Japan Hokkaido

Hokkaido / mid-August (Held on August 23 in 2015)

*The information posted here is based on data gathered on July 15, 2015.

TOP photo credit
(c)KYOTO MARATHON