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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


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.
Jim 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
Anonymous said…

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
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.


Brett Larner said…
It looks like Niigata sold out on July 8, sorry.
Gilles Scheuren 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,


Brett Larner said…

Please contact me via the email address in my profile.

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