Hokkaido is beautiful all year round. Whether its delicate cherry blossom blooms in May, vibrant autumn colours in September or fluffy blankets of snow in winter, you'll always be mesmerised by the island's seasonal changes. Yet, the most popular season for Japanese locals to visit Hokkaido is probably summer.
Compared to Japan's other prefectures, Hokkaido's summer has the mildest climate. With cool and less humid weather, it's the best time to immerse in the fantastic natural landscape in a variety of activities like rafting, trekking, fishing…and of course, running!
Sign up for the 30th Hokkaido Marathon on Sunday, 28 August 2016. Kicking off from 9:00 a.m., the JAAF-certified event will feature a full marathon and 11.5 km fun run.
3,000 fun runners and 17,000 full marathoners are expected to flag off at Odori Park, an iconic flower and fountain garden. They will run along the same, mostly flat road course through the city, passing by highlights like Susukino, Japan's largest entertainment district.
Just after the 10 km point, marathoners will diverge towards Ishiyama-dori, passing by Hokkaido University, one of Japan's oldest and most illustrated institutions. They will meet the turning-point past the 25 km mark, before heading back to Odori Park.
All finishers will be given a SVOLME running shirt and completion certificates. Marathoners will receive finisher medals and commemorative towels too.
The first eight men and women overall marathon winners and leading three in each age group will be awarded. One male and one female marathoner will also be noted with 'rookie awards', and may be invited to the Seoul International Marathon.
Registration fees are 5,500 JPY for the 11.5 km fun run and 13,000 JPY for the full marathon.
The application period closes on 3 April 2016 at 6:00 p.m. local time (GMT +9).
For more information, visit the official Hokkaido Marathon website.
Make the most out of your trip by exploring the best of Hokkaido this summer! Shout out in the comments below if summer is your favourite season!