Kyoto city is going to have its third marathon competition in February. This marathon is open not only to Kyoto citizens and Japanese people but also to foreign tourists as well.
Here you can see the route and some sightseeing spots on the course. Although it is not possible to go inside while running, it might be worthwhile to follow the course and visit these places beforehand or afterward.
The map below has names of the streets (red), the route (blue) and several spots on the course. This map focuses on the course, therefore other information such as train stations and bus stops are omitted. To get to the starting point get off at Nishikyogoku station from the Hankyu Line (Kawaramachi, Karasuma Shijo Omiya, etc.).
1. Nishikyogoku Stadium: The starting point of the Kyoto Marathon.
2. Umemiya Shrine: Umemiya Shrine was built 1300 years ago in a different area then moved to the current place thanks to Empress Danrin around AC 800. Many people visit this shrine and make a wish to have a baby. At the end of February or at the beginning of March, this shrine is filled with beautiful plum blossoms.
3. Katsuragawa River: Katsuragawa River will guide the runners of the Kyoto Marathon to the Arashiyama area. At the beginning of April, the cherry blossoms make this river colorful.
4. Ninnaji Temple: Ninnaji Temple is designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This temple was built in 866 by Emperor Kouko. After Emperor Uda succeeded, this temple was managed by the members of the Imperial family. A war which started in 1467 devastated Ninnnaji Temple, but thanks to the third Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu in the Edo era, it was reconstructed.
Open Hours: March – November 9:00-17:00 (Last Engry 16:30) December – February 9:30-16:30 (Last Entry 16:00)
Price: The main hall – 500 yen/adult, 300 yen/JHS & Elem. student
The museum – 500 yen/adult, 300 yen/HS & JHS student, free/Elem. student
The cherry blossoms viewing spot – 500 yen/adult, 200 yen/HS, JHS student & Elem. student
5. Ryoanji Temple: Ryoanji Temple is famous for its stone garden. There are 15 stones in the garden and it is unknown what these stones mean. It is said that seeing all the stones at once is impossible, but there is a spot where all the stones are visible. This temple is also designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Open Hours: March – November 8:00-17:00 December – February 8:30-16:30
Price: 500 yen/adult, 300 yen/JHS & Elm. student
6. Hirano Shrine: Hirano Shrine is packed with many tourists during the cherry blossoms season. There are about 50 different cherry trees in this shrine.
7. Kyoto Botanical Garden: Kyoto Botanical Garden has a wide variety of plants from all over the world. Night Flower Garden & Alpine Garden were added to the garden recently.
Open Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Last Entry 16:00)
Price: Entrance – 200 yen/adult and HS student, free/JHS & Elem student
Greenhouse – 200 yen/adult and HS student, free/JHS & Elem student
Closed on: December 28th – January 4th
8. Takaragaike Pond: Takaragaike Pond is one of the most underrated spots in Kyoto. One lap is about 1600 meters, which is perfect for jogging or walking. In addition, since this pond is surrounded by a few scenic hills, it becomes very beautiful and colorful during autumn leaves season.
9. Kamogawa River: Kamogawa River is one of the most beautiful and suitable jogging/walking courses in Kyoto. The exceptionally gorgeous view encourages runners to keep moving forward.
10. Heian Jingu Shrine: Heian Jingu Shrine is the goal for Kyoto Marathon. The red gigantic Torii Gate is the sigh that the goal is getting closer. Heian Jingu is built to commemorate 1100 years anniversary after moving the capital to Kyoto. Although an entrance fee is required (600yen/adult), Shinen Garden is worth checking out.