What are the attractions along the Kyoto Marathon course?
Passing by seven UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites, runners can fully enjoy the attractions of Kyoto’s picturesque scenery, including spectacular views of the five mountains on which huge bonfires are lit during the Gozan no Okuribi summer festival.
Enjoy the Feastures of Kyoto
Located along the course are the seven UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites of Tenryu-ji Temple, Ninna-ji Temple, Ryoan-ji Temple, Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kamigamo-jinja Shrine, Shimogamo-jinja Shrine, and Ginkaku-ji Temple, as well as many other tourist attractions including Umenomiya-taisha Shrine, Matsunoo-taisha Shrine, Seiryo-ji Temple, Daikaku-ji Temple, Hirano-jinja Shrine, Wara-tenjin Shrine, Daitoku-ji Temple, Imamiya-jinja Shrine, and Heian-jingu Shrine. Other landmarks along the course include famous works of modern architecture such as Kyoto City Hall and the recently renovated ROHM Theatre Kyoto.
Kyoto – City of “Beautiful Scenery”
Runners follow a course along the Katsura River with a view of Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama, and then pass through the picturesque Sagano area and Hirosawa-no-ike Pond. The course then leads to Kinukake-no-michi Road, which has been famous for its scenic beauty for over 1,000 years, passes through the Kyoto Botanical Gardens, extends along the Kamo River, a symbol of Kyoto, and then takes the runners on a trip through history in the verdant Kyoto Gyoen National Garden. Yet another major thrill of the Kyoto Marathon is the view of the five mountains that are the focus of the Gozan no Okuribi festival. During the festival, huge bonfires are lit on the mountains to form the Chinese characters "大" (meaning "large" or "great") and "妙法" (meaning “Buddha’s teachings”) and two familiar shapes (a torii shrine gate and a boat).
They cheer you on! Kyoto – City of Universities
A total ten universities can be found along the course. Enthusiastic student involvement adds to the excitement of the race. Many students enter as runners, while others serve as volunteers and as members of the various cheer leader groups that encourage the passing runners.
Kyoto – City of Road Races
As with the All-Japan High School Ekiden Championship and the Empress’s Cup (Inter-Prefectural Women’s Ekiden) races, which have been gateways to success for future world-class, top athletes, the course starts at Nishikyogoku Athletic Park and continues along main streets in the ancient capital, such as Nishioji-dori Street, Higashioji-dori Street, and Marutamachi-dori Street.