The biggest Japanese marathons you should take part in!

  • Sport is one of the main activities that keep us healthy. There are a lot of types of sports, and one of the most popular and easy to do is running. It is a simple exercise, but it moves the entire body. Because of its popularity, some countries hold many competitions, one of them is marathon with typically 42.195 km course. Japan has many marathons held around the country as well, some of them are labeled IAAF.

    Hokkaido Marathon

    Hokkaido Marathon is one of the most famous marathons in Japan and is held in Sapporo. There are two kinds of marathons which are held by this marathon committee, Full Marathon and Fun Run (11,5 km). Both marathons’ starting and finishing lines are in Odori Park, the participants line up between Nishi 3-chome and Nishi 4-chome and the finishing line is at Nishi 8-chome. The marathon results are eligible for world record performance because both the Japan Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF) and Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) have been sanctioning this course. Currently, the best record among men is held by Ambesse Tolosa from Ethiopia (12th Edition, 1998), and by Kiyoko Shimahara from Japan among women(23rd Edition, 2009). The latest marathon will be held on August 30th, 2015. Unfortunately, the entry has already ended.

    Hokkaido Marathon website *Japanese only

    Hokkaido Marathon’s course 2015

    Osaka Marathon


    Osaka Marathon is organized by Osaka Prefectural Government and Osaka Association of All Athletics (OAAA). There are two events, classical marathon (42,195 km) and a challenge run (8.8 km). The start lines of both marathons are in Osaka Castle Park, finish line of challenge run is in Osaka City Hall and the finish line for classical marathon is in INTEX Osaka. This year, the marathon will be held on Sunday, October 25th, 2015.

    Osaka Marathon website


    Tokyo Marathon


    Tokyo Marathon is one of the six major marathons in the world with IAAF Gold Label. There are classical marathon with the start line at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, and 10km Race with similar start line and the finish line at Hibiya Park. The latest marathon was held on February 22nd, 2015 sponsored by Tokyo Metro.

    Tokyo Marathon website


    Yokohama Marathon


    Yokohama Marathon is an annual marathon road running held in mid-March in Yokohama Prefecture. The marathon’s motto is “We are striving to make this an enjoyable event that people can participate in, watch or support”. It has four types of marathons, classical 42,195 km and 10km, and wheelchair 10km and 2km. The race starts in Minato Mirai District, goes to Kannai District, Metropolitan Expressway Bayshore Route and then comes back to Minato Mirai District.

    Yokohama Marathon website

    Fukuoka Marathon


    Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the IAAF Gold Label marathons in Japan. It is held annually in December. The marathon is divided into two groups, group A starts from Ohori Park and group B starts from Heiwadai Stadium, with the finish lines being in Heiwadai Stadium.

    Fukuoka Marathon website


    Related article
    97 Things to Do in Osaka, the Japanese City of Street Food, Culture, and Comedy, in 2018