Mar. 16, 2020 UPDATE
Kyoto Marathon 2021- 京都マラソン 2021 -
Many runners from overseas take part in the event so there are volunteer interpreters and other services to make overseas runners feel at home. At the check-in at Miyako-Messe there are English and Chinese speaking staff so you needn’t worry about the language barrier.
English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean
There are English and Chinese speaking volunteers
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PeriodFebruary 21th, 2021（rain or shine）
VenueStart: Nishikyogoku Athletic Park | Finish: In front of Heian Jingu Shrine (Only marathon and ekiden relay)
Story & Recommendation
16,000 people run in Kyoto! A big marathon event
Kyoto Marathon started in 2012, and is held annually. 16,000 runners take part in the event, while 15,000 volunteers and staff support the event from behind the scenes. As you can see, it is a really big event. The runners aim to complete the course within the six hour time limit. The marathon course is lined with 7 world heritage sites, beautiful views, and sightseeing spots, so you can enjoy everything Kyoto has to offer while you run. Besides the marathon there is an ekiden relay for two runners, and a wheelchair race. As this marathon is held in the world-famous sightseeing city of Kyoto, over 2,000 participants come from overseas. The application period starts in summer and when applications exceed the fixed number a lottery system will take place. So if you are planning to come to Kyoto in February, how about applying?
Run a marathon while taking in Kyoto’s scenes
Kinkaku-ji Temple, Shimogamo Shrine, Ninna-ji Temple and many other world heritage sites are by the marathon course. Besides these temples there are also many sightseeing spots like the Togetsu-kyo Bridge in Arashiyama, Mount Daimonji, and the Kamogawa River where you can enjoy the nature in Kyoto. The real charm of this event is that you can run while viewing Kyoto’s shrines, temples and the beautiful scenery.
Last spurt at Heian Jingu Shrine
The finish of Kyoto Marathon is in front of Heian Jingu Shrine. It is just before the huge torii gate that is one of the symbols of the shrine. I am sure that it must be a great feeling of accomplishment to make it to the goal after giving the race all you have, especially because the people cheering by the course get louder and louder as you get closer to the goal. All the runners that finish the course within the six hour time limit will get a Kyoto Marathon finisher’s medal.
Cheer leading groups by the course
One of the specialties of Kyoto Marathon is how runners are cheered. Many of Kyoto’s students take part in the cheering by playing musical instruments, cheerleading and other performances by the course. Their cheering makes the event all the more lively!
On February 16th and 17th a welcome event is held at Miyako-Messe (Kyoto International Exhibition Hall). Here you can check-in for the marathon and there are booths by the sponsors and Kyoto Marathon merchandise on sale. There are also food stalls by well-known Kyoto restaurants where you can taste their dishes. You don’t need to be a runner to go to the welcoming event.