Ikegami Honmonji 10 km
Five loops around the picturesque Ikegami Honmonji temple add up to one of the hardest 10K races around. Hilly doesn’t begin to describe the course; you plummet, you scale, and for good measure, you traverse heavy gravel around the temple once per loop. But the blossoming cherry trees surrounding this magnificent old temple provide a blissful shelter for a post-race recovery that can easily last the afternoon.
For a race so close to Tokyo, Ikegami Honmonji is rather low key, though winning times can still dip below 34 minutes. No more than a few hundred runners participate in the races, which include separate 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s age divisions, as well as kids races.