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Comprehensive highlights and news about sporting experiences and tourism in Japan

Running in Tokyo - Virtually…

Many outdoor activities and events have been trimmed, toned-down and even canceled amid the corona pandemic, but have you been keeping active? As many activities adapt to virtual or non-face-to-face formats, we now see a new tie-up between virtual and marathon! Yes, you read that right! The world-class Tokyo Marathon is being held virtually - in addition to the in-person marathon!

When you envision a marathon, you probably imagine a huge mass of participants starting their run en masse at the sound of a pistol, and competing on a fixed course. That’s typical, of course, but in a virtual marathon, there is no set time or course! That means you can run where and when you want - and at your own pace! How can that be, you ask? You simply activate the official running app during the event and while you run your preferred route, and your GPS information will be collected and calculated to record your distance and time run!

The Virtual Tokyo Marathon will have both a full marathon (42.195km) and a half marathon (21.0975km), and participants will be considered to have completed the marathon by running the required distance of their event within the set period. And participants can break up their race into multiple runs - a rule unique to the virtual marathon! So as long as the cumulative distance comes to 42.195km or 21.0975km over several runs, you can be a finisher in the Virtual Tokyo Marathon 2022! For additional details and complete rules, as well as information on other virtual run events, check out this site (Please note that while entry for the Virtual Tokyo Marathon 2022 has already ended, future virtual events are in the works.)
VIRTUAL TOKYO MARATHON 2022:https://tmf-virtualrun.jp/en/event/0000000025
TMF VIRTUAL RUN:https://tmf-virtualrun.jp/en/

But even in a virtual run such as this virtual marathon, it's important to research an appropriate course to run! There are plenty of parks in Tokyo perfect for running and frequented by local runners. Today, we’ll introduce two popular running courses, one in Odaiba, home to the 2021 Olympic Village , and the other at the Imperial Palace, home to the Japanese Emperor.

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Only 20 minutes away from Tokyo Station, the Odaiba running course follows along Odaiba Marine Park and Shiokaze (sea wind) Park, both adjacent to the sea. At 7km in length, the path looping through the two parks has signs and markers, allowing you to run at your own pace. Most of the paths are paved and easy to run on, and Odaiba has a wide range of scenery, including various monuments and nearby shopping malls, Aqua City Odaiba and Decks Tokyo Beach, making it an attractive place to run - or hangout.

Next up is a course encircling the Imperial Palace! Located a short distance from Tokyo Station, this area has a special place in the hearts of Japanese people because the Japanese Emperor resides here. And due to this and other historical meaning, it is popular as a tourist destination as well.

And actually, this is one of the most famous running courses in Japan. There is a popular phrase in Japanese - “Imperial Palace Run”, and just as you would imagine, involves nothing but, well, running around the Imperial Palace. Not “running around” the palace, but running “around the palace”.

This 5km run is popular with office workers and there are many who enjoy jogging this course not only on the weekends, but on weekdays after work before they go home. There are many regular pedestrians as well, so runners must take care not to zone out while enjoying the beautifully arranged paths and exquisite scenery of the Imperial Palace.

So for now, train and prepare your body in this virtual running event, and then, when you can travel abroad again, come to Tokyo and join the many Tokyo runners on these terrific running courses!