Founded in 2009, the Minamiuonuma Gourmet Marathon is held in the picturesque Niigata countryside. The rural surroundings mean the course winds you around newly planted rice fields, alongside rivers, and even through the International University of Japan campus grounds. If the spectacular views aren't enough, there's another fantastic reason to participate.
The gourmet marathon showcases some of the region's best eats, including meat and fish, mountain vegetables, locally grown koshihikari rice, and Hakkaisan Sake. There are approximately fifty different food vendors available to purchase food from after the race. For those who participate, all-you-can-eat rice is included in your entry fee.
Do note that despite the event being referred to as a marathon, the events include a half marathon, quarter marathon (approximately 10km) and a 1/8 marathon (approximately 5km).