April 26, 2014
Posted by on
Moat and carp streamers in the castle ruins of Tsuchiura
Tsuchiura City seems like a very quiet town that comes alive only a few times a year, in particular during a marathon event every April. Kasumigaura Marathon is a citizens marathon with about 29,000 participants this year (only 20 foreign participants from what I gather).
Where are the people? (Snapshot taken a day before the Kasumigaura Marathon)
Fisherfolk at Kasumigaura lake, the second largest lake in Japan
Sakura print on the road
Personally, it’s insightful to participate in a local event while traveling that I signed up for this marathon as soon as its registration opened in November last year (even before I obtained my visa). It’s quite a good opportunity to observe and be with Japan’s running citizens as part of my summer vacation.
Marathon poster near the tourist information kiosk at Tsuchiura train station
Major international marathons have a great deal of foreign contingents that somehow the local nuances from beginning to end are lost with all those expected international standard type of event planning and participation.
However with the Kasumigaura Marathon and other similar citizen marathons, there is that deeper satisfaction of getting a chance to see and feel something singularly local, though somehow it’s highly likely one can get lost in translation – but that’s part of the journey, and so, this is the kind of reason I often seek (a deeper one than a participation bragging rights from one of those marathon majors).