Challenge Yourself at the Kyoto Marathon in February 2018!

  • Do you like running and joining marathons and competitions? Are you looking for somewhere in Japan to test your strength and endurance? Discover the charms of the city of international culture and tourism in this one-of-a-kind event. Take in the stunning Kyoto landscape as you run at the Kyoto Marathon 2018!

    Kyoto has been the location of a number of long-distance running events for many years. The first relay race started on Kyoto’s very own Sanjo Ohashi Bridge. In 1994, Kyoto hosted its first half-marathon and in 2012, it launched a full marathon. The next Kyoto Marathon is scheduled on February 18, 2018.


    The race begins at the Nishikyogoku Athletic Park which is also the venue for other races such as the All-Japan High School Ekiden Championship and the Empress’s Cup, also called the Inter-Prefectural Women’s Ekiden. Can you imagine the excitement of running along the same place as past, present, and future world-class athletes?

    From the Nishikyogoku Athletic Park, the runners will take the Gojo-dori, Kadonooji-dori, and Shijo-dori Streets all the way to Fushihara-tsutsumi dike of the Katsura River. Passing the dike also means you already covered at least five kilometers of the 42km race.

    The next landmark is the Ninna-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the head temple of the Omuro School of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Seeing it means that you have completed a quarter of the marathon’s distance as it is at 10.9km from your starting point. Once you reach the Imamiya-jinja Shrine, you would have covered 15.4km of the race. People pray for protection against illness at the Imamiya-jinja Shrine, which is a noteworthy landmark.

    The next stop to look forward to is the Kyoto Botanical Garden. Let the beautiful flowers of Japan’s oldest botanical garden rejuvenate your weary body. The garden also marks that you are over halfway through the race.

    Kyoto’s Kamo-gawa River is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike for strolling or cycling. Running along its riverside means you are three-quarters of the way through the marathon. After passing the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Kyoto City Hall, the landmark you can look for is the Heian-jingu Shrine where the finish line is.

    One of the main attractions of the Kyoto Marathon is that there are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites located along the race route. This includes Tenryu-ji Temple, Ninna-ji Temple, Ryoan-ji Temple, Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kamigamo-jinja Shrine, Shimogamo-jinja Shrine, and Ginkakuji-Temple. You will also get the chance to see the five mountains where bonfires, forming the shape of giant Chinese characters, are lit during the Gozan no Okuribi held in Kyoto every summer.

    Application Information

    There are two categories in the Kyoto Marathon. One is for the Japan Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF) athletes and the other is for general participants. Only 16,000 participants may run in the marathon and since applications have already exceeded this number, participants are chosen by lottery. Results of the lottery will be announced on October 6th, 2017.

    The registration fee is 15,000 yen for overseas participants who make their entry through the multilingual website and 12,000 yen for domestic participants who apply through the Kyoto Marathon’s Japanese website. The application for participation is open until August 31st, 2017. Upon application, donations to the Assistance Program for Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake can also be made.

    Challenge your strength and endurance in this exhilarating race! See Kyoto in a new light as you take part in the Kyoto Marathon 2018!

    Kyoto Marathon application website

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