It’s that time of the year again—the fun and wacky half marathon in Obuse town is on this Sunday 14th July. In it’s 17th year, it’s sure to amuse and entertain the runners, walkers and bystanders alike.
Whether you’re a committed competitor or a weekend warrior, the Obuse Mini Marathon is a fun-filled family event held every summer in Nagano prefecture.
If you’re new to marathons in Japan and you want to witness one then you can’t go past the Obuse Mini Marathon, a 21.0975km race around Japan’s chestnut capital. It’s not your average marathon—participants are encouraged to run in colourful costumes and characters. The race held every summer on the second Sunday of July is well-known among locals and competitors with local celebrities and guest runners lending support. Don’t miss out on the spectacle throughout the day and award ceremonies such as the Best Costume Award. Here are photo highlights from the 16th Obuse Mini Marathon—just a preview of what to expect this Sunday.
Spectators hang around the starting line hoping to catch the elite runners set off at 6 a.m.
Obuse Town’s huggable mascots will be on the side of the road to cheer you on or simply make you say “kawaii”.
Look it’s Brook from One Piece minus his partners in crime.
Anpanman’s Melonpanna is pushing his trusty car Gou instead of riding it.
Recognise this character from Ghibli’s Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta)?
Japan’s well-known robot, Gundam, warms up his gun … and legs.
Colours and creativity is the aim of the game … race in this case.
Lace them up real tight for maximum grip and minimum slip.
Obuse’s fire brigade trumpet corp rehearses along Obuse Station, the point where runners have been gathering since 5:20 a.m.
It’s almost 6 a.m. and Group A runners are getting ready at the starting line, a couple of metres behind the Obuse electric cars.
And they’re off! Runners participate in the marathon to share the fun with friends, families and co-workers.
Now that costume is jaw-dropping!
The Obuse marathon is a well-established and organised event and as part of its safety-first rule, doctors are on run-by.
How far do you think the Swedish character Moomin went in last year’s half marathon?
The last man to begin!
Along with refreshment stations, expect to see entertainment along the course like the all-women gospel group who raised every runner’s spirits.
Superman prepares to fly through the finishing line which is just 50m away.
Adults, school kids or adult school kids can enter the race.
Spiderman relies on his legs this time and not his web to finish the race.
Wait for your families and friends cross the finish line at Obuse Park.
Hundreds of volunteers make the spectacular marathon possible.
Group A runners are expected to finish the race under one and a half hour—so they should be done by 7:30 a.m!
Whether you come first or last, the Obuse half marathon is all about fun with the f a.m.ily.
For some laughs and entertainment on a Sunday, wake up early and bring the family along to the 17th Obuse Mini Marathon!
Opening ceremony begins at 5:40 a.m. Start time is at 6 a.m. near Obuse Station. Finish area is Obuse Park so be there just after 7 a.m. to catch the winners. Award ceremony is at 8 a.m. Costume award ceremony is at 9:30 a.m. Closing session is at 10:30 a.m.
Shuttle buses will operate from 4 a.m. No convenient parking lot available around the marathon area.
For more details, visit the Obuse Marathon Official Website.