Running is a very popular sport in Japan and the Tokyo Marathon is hugely oversubscribed at registration time (opens January 21st).
But even if you are not running the event, there’s a festive atmosphere along the course so it’s worth checking out. Good places to watch are near the starting point: the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku, near Tokyo Station where the race finishes, or in Ginza where you can combine viewing with some shopping—but wherever you watch it from, expect crowds.
Usually, the marathon takes place in late winter, but in the hope of organizing a fully fledged marathon around the COVID-19 pandemic, the date has been shifted to October.
Typically, there are about 38,000 runners—37,500 for the marathon and 500 for the 10km race. The event usually starts with the wheelchair marathon and 10km at 9.05 am, followed by the marathon and 10km starting at 9.10 am. The 10km races are due to end at 10.50 am and the marathon at 4.10 pm.
Note that although watching the race is free, entering is not—last time the marathon was held, it cost ¥16,200 yen for Japanese residents and ¥18,200 for non-residents, while the 10km costs ¥5,600 for Japanese residents and ¥6,700 for non-residents.