East Japan International Friendship Ekiden
Elite university teams and costumed joggers line up side by side among the 700-plus teams competing in the world’s largest ekiden. In addition to the open division, the event offers separate women’s and men’s Masters races, although mixed-gender teams are permitted in the open division. All teams comprise four runners. Distances:
Open: 10k-5k-5k-5k kilometers
Masters: 4 x 5 kilometers
Women: 5k-3k-2k-5k kilometers
The races are held on the paved roads of a U.S. military depot in Sagamihara and feature the novelty of a cannon as the starting gun.
When: First Sunday of October
Getting there: From Shinjuku, take the Odakyu Line to Machida, transfer to the Yokohama Line toward Sagamihara. The depot is visible from the station. You can also get to Sagamihara via the Keio Line. Go to Hashimoto and transfer to the Yokohama Line.