Soja Marathon is the largest event for the city and draws runners and families from all around Japan and in recent years international visitors have also joined into this sporting event. Held in mid-February which is still winter time but this cool climate is refreshing. This marathon offers something for everyone, including the 800m family event where young children, mothers pushing their babies in strollers, and those who just want to join in on the festivities of the day.
There are four main courses offered; full marathon, half marathon, 10km and 5km and the start time is staggered throughout the morning. Along the courses are supporters and volunteers offering Soja spirit with school brass bands playing, taiko drum clubs chanting, as well as those checkpoints handing out energy drinks and fruit. The marathon is one of the most scenic in west Japan with the routes winding through central Soja city and weaving around the famous historical sites of Bitchu Kokubunji Pagoda, some of the largest burial mounds in Japan that are landscaped with fruit trees, and fields of ‘nanohana’ mustard flowers. All participants receive memorial gifts to show that they joined in, the gifts range depending on the course done and at the end of your run you get to enjoy locally made food served to you at the finish line.
About the Area
Soja is an inland city in southwestern Okayama Prefecture. It is borders the cities of Okayama, Kurashiki, Takahashi and Ibara and the towns of Kibichuo and Yakage. This unique geographic position has meant that the city has always been deeply intertwined in regional cultural and political affairs.
With a name that literally means “all shrines”, it would be easy to assume that the city contains a lot of them and you would be correct. However, in many ways, Soja is very much a temple town, in that there are two major ones near the city center.
One of the most interesting parts of the city is the old shopping street that runs parallel to Route 180. There, you will find clues to life in the Meiji era in the stories told through its homes and storefronts.
Access: Take the Hakubi Line from JR Okayama Station to JR Soja Station. There is a free shuttle bus that will take you from the station to Soja City Sports Center
1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).
|Cancellation Date||Up to 21 days prior||20-8 days prior||7-2 days prior||Day prior to start of tour||Day of tour||After start of tour/non-participation with no contact|
|Cancellation Fee||No charge||20% of tour fee||30% of tour fee||40% of tour fee||50% of tour fee||100% of tour fee|