Skip to main content

Race Entries

Races in Japan usually close entry at least a month beforehand, often much longer. They generally do not have race day entry and race organizers are not willing to make special exceptions for foreigners. If you are coming to Japan for, say, a business trip in two weeks, it is not possible to enter a race. If you are making longer-range plans then it may be possible to find a suitable event using the following services:

Samurai Running Japan is a long-standing entry service that focuses on smaller races to help overseas visitors "experience the 'real' Japan."  Along with entry it assists with accommodations and transportation.

Launched in September, 2015, Runnet Japan is an English-language branch of Runnet, Japan's dominant online entry service, catering to the international community.  The number of races offered on Runnet Japan is still limited but constantly expanding.

Other entry services like Sports Entry, TecNet and the new Sportsnavi Do still offer only Japanese-language and domestic address service, but with swelling numbers of international runners at races across Japan they are bound to get in on the action soon.

Japan's 25 Biggest Marathons
2015 finisher totals except where noted
1. Tokyo Marathon - 35,293
2. Osaka Marathon - 29,680
3. Yokohama Marathon - 21,561
4. Naha Marathon - 18,326
5. Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon - 18,150
6. Nagoya Women's Marathon - 17,231 (women only)
7. Kobe Marathon - 17,087
8. Shonan International Marathon - 16,173
9. Kasumigaura Marathon - 15,601
10. Kyoto Marathon - 15,452
11. Itabashi City Marathon - 14,119
12. Okayama Marathon - 12,412
13. Tsukuba Marathon - 12,290
14. Katsuta Marathon - 11,808
15. Hokkaido Marathon - 11,778
16. Kanazawa Marathon - 11,447
17. Nara Marathon - 11,244
18. Chiba Aqualine Marathon - 11,066 (2014, bi-annual)
19. Kumamoto-jo Marathon - 10,959
20. Toyama Marathon - 10,483
21. Tokushima Marathon - 9,738
22. Fukuoka Marathon - 9,360
23. Ehime Marathon - 9,074
24. Shizuoka Marathon - 9,035
25. Kitakyushu Marathon - 8,957

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Ashley said…
How can I find out when some races are? I am likely moving to Japan in September and would love to do a 10km there end of September or in October. I however am having trouble finding a run (co-ed). If you could advise me on where to look, or if you know of any runs I would appreciate your assistance.

ajherridge@rogers.com
Unknown said…
Brett, I lived in Chitose, Hokkaido from 1997-2000. It took me from October to April to sort out the race entry system. But in the winter there were no races locally anyway. Do they still use the post office system for race registration or is everything on line now?
I know travel in Japan is expensive, but I can heartily recommend the Hokkaido Marathon, Chitose JAL, and Okhotsk. But the prettiest course is Toya Ko in May.
Sean B said…
I am an ultra runner from Atlanta and I am looking for an ultra marathon or marathon Jan 22-30 in Japan, China, s korea etc...
can you help me out and or point me in the right direction?
thank you
Sean B
slimshaby@mindspring.com
Anonymous said…
Hi,

Im currently living in Ishikawa Ken and a friend of mine as well as myself have been considering entering ourselves into the kumejima marathon in Okinawa.

I have tried to research how to enter online and have so far only succeeded in finding out the date of said race and the closing date for entrees.

Any help you could possibly give me would be a great help!! Also, if you know of any running clubs in Ishikawa Ken that would also be appreciated!!

Tom Cole
tom_cole_@hotmail.com
Anonymous said…
Hi Brett

Thanks for your tips, really helpful.

I am very keen to enter the Niigata Marathon on 11 October 2015. I am wondering whether you are able to kindly provide any tips on how to enter or any sites I can go to for entry.

Cheers

Greta
Brett Larner said…
It looks like Niigata sold out on July 8, sorry.
Unknown said…
Hi Brett,
thank you for providing your help :)

We are coming to visit Japan in May and I was thinking of running a Half-Marathon during my visit.

I was doing some research by myself and could only find 1 races in May:Gifu City.

Do you know if the Fuji Susono Half Marathon takes place this year?

Are there any other runs?

thanks in advance,

gilles

Brett Larner said…
Gilles--

Please contact me via the email address in my profile.

Most-Read This Week

Hirabayashi Knocks 'em Out in Osaka (updated)

The rain mostly stopped exactly 10 minutes before the start of the Osaka Marathon , and conditions were actually pretty good for most of what ended up a record-breaking race. Backing off from the organizers planned 3:19/km when the main invited elites told them nobody wanted to go that fast in cold and rain, the women's race was a pack run until the late stages with a group of 7 or 8 stretched out over 5 seconds hitting half in 1:11:38. Shedding one or two at a time as the kilometers went by from there, by 40 km it was down to Ethiopians Waganesh Nekasha and Beyenu Degefa in 2:17:08 with Australian veteran Lisa Weightman 6 seconds back and last year's CR breaker Helen Tola Bekele another 5 seconds behind. Nekasha had the stronger kick and scored the win in 2:24:20, Degefa losing 17 seconds to finish 2nd in 2:24:37 and both just over a minute of their bests. Weightman followed up her 2:24:18 in Valencia in December with a 2:24:43 for 3rd to solidify her claim to a spot on wh

Coach Maeda Calls Osaka Winner Hirabayashi "The Atsushi Fujita of Our Era" (updated)

Koku Gakuin University 3rd-year Kiyoto Hirabayashi , 21, won Sunday's Osaka Marathon in a debut and collegiate record 2:06:18. KGU head coach Yasuhiro Maeda said the secret to Hirabayashi's speed was "the flexibility of his range of motion." At 168 cm and 44 kg Hirabayashi has a "lightweight body," and rather than adding muscle mass the focus has been on increasing flexibility to enable Hirabayashi to run with a long, dynamic stride like African athletes. In Hirabayshi's training Maeda incorporates a program created by a physical trainer to increase Hirabayashi's mobility in areas like the hip joints and shoulder blades. Although he is very thin, it doesn't mean Hirabayashi doesn't eat well. "He eats a lot, but he just doesn't gain weight," Maeda said. In training Hirabayashi can push both the quantity and quality of his training to his limit. "He's been preparing for this marathon since last summer," Maeda said

28 of Top 30 Men at Tokyo Marathon Used Nike's Latest and Previous Platform Shoe Models

an editorial by Kazuhiro Masuda Nike's recent generations of thick-soled platform racing shoes swept the 2020 Tokyo Marathon , with 28 out of the top 30 placing men wearing them, including international entrants. Of these, 9 including new Japanese national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike) wear wearing the new Air Zoom Alphafly Next% model with a 3.95 cm thick sole complying with new regulations from World Athletics. With 10 Japanese men running under 2:08 in a single race for the first time in history, all 10 were wearing models of the platform shoes. Despite a mix in choice of models, the shoes dominated the market in the race. One after another, thick green, black, pink, and green and orange shoes crossed the finish line in Marunouchi, Tokyo. From winner Birhanu Legese to 30th-place Shuho Dairokuno , 28 men had the Nike shoes on their feet. The other 2 were wearing Adidas and Asics. Wearing the latest model of the Nike shoes for his latest national record, Osako said, &q