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Sister City: Mt. Fuji and Sports

oside_fuji_sister_city_plaqueEditors note: The Sister City relationship of Oceanside and Fuji City was founded in 1991. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Sister City relationship, OsideNews will features a series of articles about Fuji, written by the Fuji City Tourism Division and Fuji-Oceanside Friendship Association.

Continued from previous Fuji-Oceanside sister city article.

Various sport events are being held on and around Mt. Fuji each year.

Mt. Fuji Women’s Ekiden

Ekiden is a celebrated running race which originated in Japan 80 years ago. The race continues to grow in popularity with racers competing from across the globe. Each December a race is organized in Fuji city in which a champion is decided from the all the competing Japanese female university students.

Ekiden is a relay running race in which runners pass a ‘tasuke’ (a sash used as a baton) to each runner. Each runner feels the responsibility for placing well in the race. Because each section is different in length the strategy of each team deciding who will run in each section makes it a unique sport.

It is a famous sporting event with a tough course and a beautiful Mt. Fuji in the background.

Fuji Climbing Ekiden

The most unique and demanding race is one that takes place on the stage of Mt.Fuji and is called “Fuji Climbing Ekiden”.

This race begins in Gotemba which is located to the east of Fuji City. The race, held on the first Sunday in August, goes from the foot of Mt. Fuji to the summit a distance  of 47.93Km or 29.78 miles, altitude difference 3,258m or 10,688 feet). Fuji Climbing Ekiden is known as the toughest relay race on earth with the most height difference in the world. The most difficult is the Shimoyama interval as every year runners are falling over each other. It is one of the most exciting races in Japan and we would like you to invite you to participate in this race.