Running along the Tsugaru Road

The 10th Hirosaki & Shirakami Apple Marathon was held the other day.
According to the organizer, 5,720 people participated in the marathon running along the Tsugaru Road, which is the largest number ever.

I joined the half marathon.
Against the backdrop of glorious Mt. Iwakisan, I ran while glancing apple trees on either side of the course.

As my legs got tired, I started thinking, “I’d better retire now.”

When I was almost losing heart, a word “keppare (hang in there)” encouraged me. It was from an old lady who was doing some farm work.

“Keppare! Keppare!”

Her local accent also moved me emotionally.


I barely finished.
When I took a bite an apple handed by the staff, which healed me physically.
I guessed the apple was an early-ripening Fuji. The perfect balance of sweet and sour taste refreshed my exhauted body.

This must be the real pleasure of the apple marathon.
Autumn is the season for sports and appetite and I spent a day like an autumn jewel box full of goodies.


The busy tourism season in autumn for the Tsugaru Road has just begun.
Mt. Iwakisan (1,625m, the height pronouced similarly to the meaning of “always smiling” in Japanese) and apple branches benting low with fruit are ready to welcome you all.