Kyoto Marathon is coming soon. There will be crowd of serious runners, athletes and their family members. On February 21st, 16,000 runners will dominate Kyoto almost all day. For those who will be in Kyoto for reasons other than participating in the marathon, do check the following map and plan very carefully.
It is quite understandable that there will be many traffic jams on this day, because many streets will be blocked due to the marathon. This will likely to affect the sightseeing tourists as well. For those who are thinking about using a bus for the main transportation method on this day, think again.
There is a simple tip for every traveler who will be in Kyoto on 21st February; use the subway and stick to one area with many spots. Otherwise, it is possible that a great amount of time will be spent on waiting for and riding the bus. It is possible that subways will be busier than usual, still they should be more relaxing and reliable in terms of the schedule.
The following information is on spots that tourists can enjoy without being affected by the marathon. And the last three spots are places which might be affected badly by the marathon. For more useful and fun tips, please check Kyoto e-Guidebook on Amazon.
Good Spots to Visit on Kyoto Marathon Day (2/16)
Yasaka Shrine Area
Use Hankyu Line and get off at Kawaramachi Station (From Kyoto City, use Subway Karasuma Line, get off at Shijo (210 yen), then connect to Hankyu Line bound for Kawaramachi (150 yen)). Walk east and there will be a bright red Torii gate at Yasaka Shrine. There are other nice spots in this area, such as Kodaiji Temple and Maruyama Park.
Fusimi Inari Area
Thanks to its location, there is little chance that Kyoto Marathon will affect this shrine, which is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Kyoto. From Kyoto Station, Take JR Nara Line and get off at Inari Station (140 yen). For those using the Keihain Line, take the local train and get off at Fushimi Inari. Note that there are thousands of stairs involved in visiting this shrine.
Spots Along Keihan Line
Use Keihan Line wisely on Kyoto Marathon Day. There are Shimogamo Shrine (Demachi Yanagi Station), Gion Area (Gion Shijo Station), Kiyomizudera Temple (Kiyomizu Gojo Station) and Sanjyu Sangendo (Shijo Station) on Keihan Line in Kyoto City.
Not so great spots to visit on 16th February
Heian Jingu Shrine
The gigantic gate of Heian Jingu Shrine is the goal point of Kyoto Marathon. Therefore not only the runners but also cheering crowds will come to this shrine. However, for those who want to see this spot, visit before noon so that there is more chance to avoid the crowd. Use Subway Tozai line and get off at Higashiyama Station.
This is full of beautiful spots including Katsuragawa River, Arashiyama Mountain and Ryoanji Temple. However it is on the course of Kyoto Marathon, so it might not be a good idea to visit on 16th February. If this day is the only day to visit Arashiyama, then be sure to use JR Sagano Line (From Kyoto Station, 230 yen).
Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji
These two spots are always very popular, and the best way to get there is the City bus. Thus it is easy to guess that it will take even longer to get these places. Avoid visiting these locations on this day, and try the following day instead.
For fortunate people who gained the right to run the full marathon in this beautiful and historical town, check “Three Great Jogging Courses in Kyoto” for a final practice.