2019 Komedawara Marathon Trip

Introduction: I was looking for some fun event and this turned out to be a good one. I have never "run" with heavy weight on my back so I began practicing from the beginning of the month, and I think I have figured out how.

2019/11/23: Moving to Iida

I left home at 3:00pm after packing my bag which is pretty full, walked to a nearby grocery store to buy some drinks and snack on the way to the train station. I will be going to Nagoya then catching a bus to Iida. I was concerned that due to G20 confetence, the bus schedhule could be late because of restrictions on expressway access and other security measures. I hope my travel plan will no be affected.

To Nagoya Station: 15:08-15:28

A loca train at Kachigawa

I took a train leaving Kachigawa at 15:08, the train was not so packed and I could easily find an empty seat for me to sit down. The train moved under bright afternoon sun, with comfortable temperarture. Everything was smooth until the train reached just south of Nagoya station, the train began to snailing and did not get to the platforme. However, soon the train resume moving and I was able to get off, only two minutes delay. I still have plenty of time to catch the bus so I was slowly walking to the bus center. Today I saw many people as usual weekend day, maybe a bit more because today is a holiday, as well as some weird religions people telling about the end of the world. Swinging by Nana chan figure which now looks like Elsa from the movie, Frozen..

To Iida City: 16:00-18:00

Metetsu Bus to Iida

Meitetsu Bus runs at every hour to Iida and I picked the one leaving at 4:00pm so I can get there at 6:00pm, just in time for the dinner. The bus has come to the stop on time. After getting people seated, the bus left to the express way, getting on from Meieki entrance and moved on Loop 1 to Nagoya Expressway 1.

Leaving Nagoys station

Heading north, I can see Highrises at Nagoya, as well as the castle.

The bus was heading north, and I can see Nagoya under evening sun. Getting on Tomei Expressway from Komaki, to east until hitting Chuo Expressway. From here on, the bus was running under the sky of night, making several stops on the way.The bus got off from the express way near Iida, making a stop nearby parking lot where many people got off here. They must be using the parking lot for this purpose. Driving 2 hours on busy expressway by self is much harder than paying money to let someone drive for you. (And still cpeater than taking a taxi)

Dinner, Checking in at the hotel

The bus moved toward Iida station under dark sky. I can see many stores, including some restaurants. I am getting humgry. The bus reached the drop point at 6:09pm, just 10 minutes late. After getting off from the bus, I decided to grab a dinner first. Iida is a bit hard to place to find restaurants. There were a couple of Izakaya places in front of the station, but I wanted something different. I found a Chinese food place which did not have any customer inside, so I asked store staff if I can eat here and the answer was okay. I took my seat and picked Chinese Bowl and Egg Drop soup. They were served very hot but delicious. I ate within 15 minutes. I paid \1,260 and left. Walking under dark sky now with chilly wind, I needed to find my way to the hotel so I walked back to the station to get my bearing set.


After a short walk, I found the hotel I am staying. The operator just gave me a key and there is a machine to do the check-in and also payment. I get my key activated and prceeded to the floor. I settled myself in the room and relaxed. I found that they have a big bath so I got there around 9::00pm. It was nice dipping myself in a hot water and relax. I decided to go bed around 11:00pm, I need to get up around 5:00am.

Checking in at the hotel

2019/11/24: Race day

To Iijima-cho

Waking up at 5:00am with help of alarm clock. I stretched my body, checked my belongings for proper packing. I walked to a hot bath in the morning right after 6:00am, and get myself readyed for the run today. Had my breakfast I brought from home. Finished packing and dropped off the key before leaving the hotel at 7:30am, walking to the station under foggy weather. I am glad today is not that cold.

After arriving at the station, I realized this station do not have IC card reader. So I had to buy a round trip ticket.

 Catching a train leaving at 7:41am, I took a seat by window and watched the train move toward north while making many stops. The beginning is under foggy condition, soon the weather got cleared and I can see the central Alps, then got foggy back again sometimes. The railway was not straight, many windings and ups and downs. In between, I can see farm land, apple trees and persimmon trees. Some are making dried persimmons.

Train at Iida station.

Round trip tickets

I can see mountains, slight snow near peak?


I was a bit more than 1 hour travel and arrived at Iijima statiopn at 8:45am. I stepped out from the train and saw a lady who got ride at the same station as I was. I asked her if she has come for the race and the answer was yes. I chat with her on the way to the starting place, she is here for the first time, from Tokyo. Yes there are some crazy people like me all over the place.

Race 11:00 -

After arriving at the building, I checked in and get my 10kg rice sac. I tried with my backpack that can fit it so I am glad I don't have to cut up my backpack for this race. I get ready for the race and joined the opening ceremony. The envoronment was very festive and actually I was enjoying it. The talk was fun. I realized there are nearly 900 people participating today. After a while, we all moved to the starting point.

Rice sac with 10kg sand in it

Opening ceremony

At the start.

The race started from 11:00am sharp, the beginning is an uphill and I was slowly going up, After coming down hill toward the train station, making a left turn on main street of the town. Soon there is a turnaround and began heading to opposite direcion. As soon as I leave the populated area, the view opened up on a downhill and I can see mountains in front of me. The road is winding for a while with easy slope then crossed the river.

View opens up at the river.

Right after crossing the river the course immediately made a right turn and I realized that I will be going up hill to the top. Kept going to winding road and I made it to the top.

I guess I have to go up this?

Going up hill

A left turn followed and the course continued in the open area, and I was following with other runners to the end of the road. I made another turnaround and began going back the road where I came from.

At the turnaround

On the way back down the hill, I saw a former Ekiden runner who is coming to the race as a guest today and did a hi-five. After crossing the river back, I moved up the hill which I easily came down first. I grabbed water, and a piece of apple. Now I am back to the polulated area, making a left turn toward the hill, and I made it to the goal with 1:20.

I finished the race, well I carried it in my backpack mostly...

The course

I get my certificate printed, picked up a bowl and a coupon for pork soup as finisher prize. and walked to the building to return the rice sac, in exchange I received 10kg of rice which I feel much heavier than the sac I was carrying. This makes me a bit obnoxious because I have to walk back to the train station. I get changed in a large hall and walked out with the rice bowl I received at the goal. I had two serving of rice with pork soup. I see some people bringing their own seasonings and I guess I should do next time.

Meal after the race is delicious

After getting my stomach full, I packed my bag and began walking back toward the train station since I did not want to miss the one in order to go home on time. The good part is that this is a down hill, I hoped to make stops at some historical locations but carrying heavy items did not allow me.

Coming back to Nagoya

To Iida 13:49 - 14:40

Train coming to Iijima station.

After arriving in front of the station, I realized this place is not manned. I am glad I bought my round trip ticket. It was nice sunny day, I put my rice on the floor and waited for the train to come. I was chatting with a guy in a dress suit that he came here to race after visiting Tokyo. He is from Nagoya also and will be taking a bus from Iida as well..I might see him again soon.

The train arrived on time and when I get inside, there were some people inside but I can take up the whole box for myself. The sky was getting cloudy so it is not as nice as in the morning but still enjoyed the view and fresh air. Since it is a line with very less people, many station do not have station staff so I saw people just walk in the car, and being quiet until a conductor ask for the ticket, some even stopped at the exit of the station. Although the system feels like 30, 40 years back, the people's mind about cheating never changes.

It's getting cloudy outside

The train at Iida on time, and I got off and walked outside.

Apple themed stained Glass at the station wall is pretty neat.

To Nagoya 15:34-17:46

After returning to Iida, I had about 1 hour before the bus to Nagoya comes. I walked around and found a gift store to buy some local sweets. When I walked back to the station, I saw the same guy I met at the Iijima station. He was carrying big bags and cannot go anywhere, so I offered him to watch his stuffs so he can walk around to check out the town and also grab the gift. My body was getting stiff so before I get on a bus, I stretched my body, and also used the restroom.

The bus to Nagoya arrived at Iijima station

The bue left on time and began heading toward Nagoya. The bue got on expressway and soon the traffic got stuck adn Mt. Ena tunnel, from here until reached Nakatsugawa, the traffic was very heavy. The bus was moving so slow and the cabin was very warm, this situation made me very sleepy because I was very tired from the race.

Sun is setting.

The bus finally start moving well once passed Nakatsugawa, and when the bus entered Nagoya Expressway, it was passing many cars so I guess the bue must have been moving very fast. The bus exited at Koganaguchi, and moved to Nagoya Bus Terminal.Jut bus reached the destination around 6:10pm, despite of the traffic, the driver did quite good job.

To Kchigawa 18:42 -

After getting off the bus, I picked up my bags and walked down to JR gate. I found a train leaving in 5 minutes so I hurried to the platform. The train was about half filled but no seat for me. So I put my bags on the floor and stood to Kachigawa. I got off at Kachigawa, dropped off my bags at my apartment and immediately headed to grocery store for dinner material. I found some discounted lunch and other items, I don't have to go to restaurnt nearby for the meal. I stayed up until 11:00pm and went to bed.

Cost: \21,510

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