If you are a serious runner and traveler, maybe you can do both by participating in Kyoto Marathon. Today, Kyoto City opened its application process for Kyoto Marathon 2014 to everyone including foreign tourists. I have already submitted my application. The application deadline is September 10th.
It is a big event and about 15000 people will run through Kyoto city. You can enjoy running and viewing the beautiful historical spots at the same time. I recommend you come earlier so that you can run in a good condition. As a matter of fact, you need to do the registration process (ID check and so on) 1 – 2 days prior to the marathon day. Without this registration you can’t run. The Kyoto Marathon is held in Kyoto city on February 16th 2014. It starts at Kyoto Nishikyogoku Stadim and ends at Heian Jingu Shrine. The gigantic big Torii gate is your goal.
There are several categories.
1. Normal 42.195 km marathon
2. Pair-marathon where the first person runs 24 km and the second person runs the rest. Note that you can NOT apply from the English site.
3. Wheelchair race
Fee: 15000 yen (participants from foreign countries) for the normal marathon. 20000 yen per team for pair-maration. You will be asked to donate 500 yen – for Great East Japan Earthquake reconstruction support program. It is not an obligation, and it will not affect the possibility to be chosen for the lottery, which will be held if too many people apply.
You can register from here. Note that usually more than 30000 people apply to Kyoto Marathon, so you may or may not be chosen by lottery. Good luck.
If you have no plan for running the Kyoto Marathon 2014, you might want to avoid coming to Kyoto on February 16th. The city will close down some roads due to the marathon and it will have a huge effect on the transportation system. On the other hand, if you are lucky enough to be chosen, then do reserve the hotel room as soon as possible.