Haisai! My name is Takuma. I'm an American-Japanese, who acquired Japanese citizenship in 2010. I've been running in Okinawa since 2004 and created this website to provide information for runners in Okinawa and throughout Japan. The Races in Okinawa page lists the dates, locations, general details, cost, and home pages for every race open to the general public. If you're looking for Good Places to Run in Okinawa, check out my list of suggestions, with maps and detailed descriptions of each route. I run at these locations regularly, so be sure to say hello if we cross paths. The Links and Information page has the following headings: race information, Japanese running magazines, bulletin boards, and various links. The links, which include a running calculator, maps, and podcast information, are limited to my absolute favorite running resources. Be sure to check them out! In addition, Training Menus (in metric) are available for various race distances. Written in MS-Word, the menus can be downloaded and adapted for your own training. The Japanese for Runners page provides helpful vocabulary for talking about running in Japanese. With vocabulary ranging from beginner to advanced, the lists are divided into the following categories: cheers, race day, body parts, training, and athletes. I've added a Pronunciation Guide for those who don't know any Japanese. To get a brief summary of my running background, take a look at My Running Profile. To view my race history, which also includes short reviews of those races, go to my My Race History. I usually run along Rt. 330, at Manko Park, at Shintoshin Park, or on the treadmill. If you see me, say hello!
My long-term dream is to run all races, including the ultramarathons and triathlons, that are offered in Okinawa. After I run a race, I'll write a commentary, which I'll add to My Race History. I'll add additional web pages (with pictures and more thorough commentaries) for marathons and longer races. These commentaries should give you a good idea of what to expect for each race.
My last race was the Iheya Village Trail 24K Run on January 28, 2017.
My upcoming races will be the Higashi Village Azalea Marathon on March 12, 2017, and the Kourijima Magic Hour Run on April 15, 2017.
Some simple--but unique!--running tips:
1. Raise your hand before crossing the street. Throughout Japan, raising your hand means that you are about to cross the street. This is something that all small children are taught to do, and that all drivers know about. Obviously, this isn’t something you should count on, but I’m sure you’ll see that it makes a big difference. Sometimes, cars will even come screeching to a halt!
2. Learn some run-related Japanese. Whether you’re running or just cheering for some runners, using the local language can go a long way to having more positive interactions. Check out my Japanese for Runners page for an extensive list of running vocabulary.
3. Learn how to tie your shoes! A lot of runners fret about how to tie their shoes--especially before a big race. On one of my random net searches, I came across a quirky site that introduces literally hundreds of ways to tie your shoes. The one I decided is best for runners, and which I have been using for years, is this one: Ian’s Secure Shoelace Knot. The knot is easy to tie, easy to learn, looks great, and is extremely secure--the perfect knot for runners!
If you have suggestions for this site, or just want to say hello to a fellow runner, send me an e-mail (the e-mail link is at the bottom of this page). I'd be especially thrilled to hear from people in Okinawa or Japan. (Feel free to comment in either English or Japanese.) I hope you enjoy running in Okinawa, a runner's paradise!
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