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Tie in sporting success in Kyoto with a visit to Japan's cultural capital

Kyoto, Japan
On 21 February 2016, the streets of Kyoto will come alive as up to 16,000 runners pound the ancient city’s pavements for the Kyoto Marathon 2016. The unique course will take runners past seven UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites and many of the city’s main tourist attractions, offering spectacular views of Kyoto.
This includes all five mountains where huge bonfires are lit during the Gozan No Okuribi Summer Festival, and part of the course will also meander through the centre of Kyoto for runners to catch a glimpse of the city’s intricate alleyways and traditional architecture.

This year is the fifth year the marathon has taken place and Kyoto CVB is encouraging all those taking part in the marathon to extend their stay and make the most of the late winter season to discover Kyoto.

Tour operators including JTB Western Japan is arranging a host of sightseeing tours for international visitors in the run up to and following the marathon to various destinations along the course route, such as the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Heian Jingu Shrine. Other tours include a Japanese sake tasting tour and a kimono experience tour for those looking for a flavour of Japanese tradition.

Additionally, runners can choose to ease aching muscles with a Japanese ‘Onsen.’ These are hot springs, usually found in mountainous regions in Japan where the waters are heated up to 44 degrees. The hot springs are often credited for their nerve and muscle healing powers.

For those who want to toast having crossed the finish line, there is also the option to join a Japanese sake or ‘rice wine’ master class and sampling session. Guests will be guided through the history of the iconic alcoholic tipple before sampling five of the finest sakes. There will also be a selection of homemade snacks offered whilst the sommelier guides guests through the different variations on offer. The 80-minute experience starts from £22 per person.

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