2023 tokyo marathon

what you need to know

March 5, 2023 (Sunday)
0910 – 1610

¥23,300 Japan residents
¥25,300 overseas residents

37,500 (marathon)
500 (10km)

Tokyo, Japan

With the memories still fresh of Kenyan running superstars Brigid Kosgei and Eliud Kipchoge running the fastest marathons ever recorded on Japanese soil in March, for us mere mortals, it’s time already to think ahead to next year and start planning for the Tokyo Marathon 2023.

The granddaddy of road marathons in Japan, and one of the six World Marathon Majors is finally back on track! For those at home who haven’t been following along with this race through the ups and downs of the pandemic, let’s quickly recap.

The annual early-spring race, which has been operating in its current form since 2007, just barely took place in 2020 with a limited field of 300 elite runners. A far cry from the typical cap of approximately 35,000 runners.

As the pandemic raged on in 2021, the race was rescheduled for the first time ever from the spring to the fall on Sunday, October 17, 2021. Unfortunately with a state of emergency a regular occurrence in the nation’s capital in those autumn months, the event was postponed yet again.

This time, the 2021 Tokyo Marathon was rescheduled to March 2022 – back to its usual early-spring timeframe – while keeping the 2021 name attached. The 2022 Tokyo Marathon in itself was cancelled; thus, preventing the occurrence (and confusion) of two Tokyo Marathons in the same year.

Such creative liberties were similar to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which kept the 2020 namesake despite postponement to the following year. When major events are planned years in advance and goods have already been produced in the millions, unconventional measures are implemented to save billions.

No affiliation. Samurai Sports is not officially associated the Tokyo Marathon organizing committee. We’re just out here putting in the work for you, summarizing information that is made available, as it’s put out by the Tokyo Marathon Foundation. In addition, this page is a work in progress and will be updated as more information is made public.

Tokyo Marathon 2021 runners
Finish straight at Tokyo Marathon 2021
Runners on the Tokyo Marathon 2021 course
Finish straight at the Tokyo Marathon
©Tokyo Marathon Foundation

How do i get in?

 There are five categories of entry methods to gain a slot to the Tokyo Marathon 2023. Keep in mind that many international runners still have a deferred entry from the last couple of years. Those with deferred entries must make sure to pay the event fees before the deadline to confirm participation. For more details about applying for entry to the 2023 Tokyo Marathon, see the official website.

  1. Charity runner (4,000 slots) – apply from July 11 to July 24, 2022
  2. ONE TOKYO Premium Member Entry (1,000 slots) – apply from August 1 to August 12, 2022
  3. Tokyo Resident Entry (500 slots) – apply from August 15 to August 26, 2022
  4. General Entry (approx. 30,000 slots) – apply from August 29 to September 9, 2022
  5. RUN as ONE – Tokyo Marathon 2023 (Semi-Elite) {350 total slots (300 domestic, 50 overseas)} – apply from August 1 to August 12

Charity

Often perceived as one of the more ‘sure-fire’ ways to gain entry to the Tokyo Marathon, charity entry is simply a matter of donating a minimum amount of money towards a charity of the athlete’s pre-selected choice. The amount of donations required  will differ depending on the charity organization, but expect at least a minimum of  ¥100,000  or more.

Notably, charity entry is not for finding donors and raising money over time. Once a charity entry is accepted, runners have less than three weeks to pay the minimum fee. 

Application Period
Residents of Japan: July 11 to July 24, 2022
International Residents:
July 15 until full
Results: July 25 – July 27 
Payment: 11:00 a.m. on August 8 until 5:00 p.m. on August 19, 2022 (JST) (for accepted charity runners only)
Maximum Capacity: 4,000 

・34 official charity organizations; notably, only 19 of these 34 organizations accept international applications. The current list of accepted charity organizations is here.

RUN as ONE (Semi-Elite)

Finally, for the serious runners out there, a final option, or perhaps a first option, is the Semi-Elite category. This category only accepts 300 runners domestically (150 men and 150 women) and 50 overseas runners, (25 men and 25 women) so competition for entry is sure to be fierce.

In order to be eligible for this category, applicants must submit an official finisher’s certificate confirming qualifying times achieved from July 2019 until June 2022. Additionally, Japan-based runners must be registered members of the JAAF (Japan Association of Athletics Federations). Overseas runners’ race results must be from events that are World Athletics Label, World Athletics Elite Label, or World Athletics Elite Platinum Label.

Qualifying times for both the domestic and overseas applicants are as follows:
Men’s Full Marathon: under 2hrs 32min
Women’s Full Marathon:
under 3hrs 19min 

Domestic Only
Men’s Half Marathon: under 1hr 05min
Women’s Half Marathon:
under 1hr 20min

Application Period: 11:00 a.m. on August 1 until 5 p.m. on August 12, 2022 (JST). Applicants must enter through the RUN as ONE website.

If the total number of applicants surpasses the allotted slots, then those who are the fastest among the pool of applicants will be accepted. Unsuccessful applications automatically transfer to General Entry for further possible selection.

Tokyo Resident

Only for residents of Japan living in Tokyo. Unsuccessful applications automatically transfer to General Entry for further possible selection.

Application Period: 11:00 a.m. on August 15 until 5:00 p.m. on August 26, 2022 (JST)
Maximum Capacity: 500 

ONE TOKYO Premium Member

For premium members of the One Tokyo running group. This paid membership group has an annual fee of  ¥4,400 and allows members access to presale events, among other benefits. More information is available in Japanese on the official One Tokyo website

Application Period: 11:00 a.m. on August 1 until 5:00 p.m. on August 12, 2022 (JST)
Maximum Capacity: 1,000

General

For everyone else! In the past, there have been close to 300,000 general entry applications, meaning applicants have a one in ten shot at getting into the big show.

Application Period: 11:00 a.m. on August 29 until 5:00 p.m. on September 9, 2022 (JST)
Maximum Capacity: about 30,000

Ginza Nishi yon-chome running in Tokyo
Near the finish at the Tokyo Marathon 2021
Running course Tokyo Marathon 2022 Marunouchi

the unknown

Given that the event is still months away, many unknowns about the event remain. For instance, protocols pertaining to COVID-19 (such as pre-testing, certification, and prevention measures), details about aid stations, and race day spectatorship are still unclear. As of writing August 2022, pre-race COVID testing ““is planned to be conducted. However, if the testing doesn’t take place due to any changes in countermeasures planned in accordance with the laws on infectious diseases, the event fee will be partially refunded.”

One painfully clear difference for the upcoming Tokyo Marathon is the significant increase in the entry fee. Citing additional costs for COVID-19 testing, race fee refund insurance, and increased event expenses, the 2023 Tokyo Marathon will cost at least ¥23,300 for domestic runners or ¥25,300 for international runners. In comparison, entry fees for the last ‘normal’ edition of the Tokyo Marathon in 2019 were ¥10,800 for domestic runners and ¥12,800 for international runners. Across the pond however, entry fees for the 2019 New York Marathon were $255 for NYRR members, $295 for non-members, $358 for non-U.S. residents.

Notably, as of August 2022, the borders to Japan remain closed to the common tourist seeking to travel Japan at their own leisure. Currently, visitors to Japan must have a visa, which generally requires purchase of a tour package. There is no official timeline on when Japan’s borders will open to visa-free travel for tourism purposes. 

2021 Recap

In early March of 2022, the 2021 Tokyo Marathon finally took place. Despite some small changes, a slight wrong turn from lead runners and about a third less runners than usual, the race was crowned a success. Course records were smashed in both the men’s and women’s divisions with team Kenya taking home the golds. On the women’s side it was Brigid Kosgei running the third fastest marathon in women’s history. For the men, Eliud Kipchoge recorded the fourth fastest marathon time in history. Together, the Kenyan pair ran the fastest marathons ever in Japan. For the road running faithful in  Japan and worldwide, it was an event that was not to be missed.

2021 Results

Accommodation

“Where should I stay?” It’s one of the most frequently asked questions, participants are divided on whether it’s best to stay near the start or the finish – there’s no correct answer. Ultimately, it’s up to personal preference. In the past, we’ve observed more athletes opt to stay closer to the finish near Tokyo Station than the start.

Of course, if you live in or close to Tokyo, you can easily commute to the start line in Shinjuku by train in the morning. There’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed and preparing a simple meal of foods you’re used to before an important race! 

near start

Staying near the start means you won’t need to rush on the morning of your race and affords one the ability to sleep in just a little longer. The Shinjuku area is lively and tourist-friendly. Hotels near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building are particularly convenient for those seeking accommodation near the start line. 

$$
Hilton Tokyo (not Tokyo Bay or Tokyo Odaiba)

Hyatt Regency
$

Washington Hotel
Keio Plaza Hotel
Keio Presso Inn
Rose Garden Hotel

Closest Stations: Shinjuku station, Shinjuku-nishiguchi station

near finish

Staying near the finish is another option many consider if you just want a short stroll back after a hard race. Hotels near Tokyo station are slightly more expensive compared to Shinjuku – but also a bit quieter. Some recommendations are: 

$$$
Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
$$
The Tokyo Station Hotel
Marunouchi Hotel
$
Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Marunouchi 
Courtyard by Marriott Tokyo Station
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Tokyo Kyobashi

Closest Stations: Tokyo station, Nihombashi station, Otemachi station

2023 Tokyo Marathon Expo

The Packet Pick-up/EXPO information is just in its provisional stages, but as of now it is currently scheduled to take place as follows: 

March 2 (Thu) and March 3 (Fri), 2023
10:00 a,m. – 9:00 p.m.

March 4 (Sat), 2023
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m

For the 2023 Tokyo Marathon, the expo returns indoors to the Tokyo Big Sight South Exhibition Halls. 

Closest Train Stations:
Kokusai Tenjijo (Rinkai Line), Tokyo Big Sight (Yurikamome) 

Tokyo Marathon EXPO at Tokyo Big Sight
Bird's eye view of the Tokyo Marathon 2021 EXPO
Tokyo Marathon 2021 course map and expo displays
Tokyo Marathon t-shirts
ASICS billboard display for Metaspeed
Display of shoes at the marathon expo

Packet Pick Up/Expo schedule

March 2 (Thu)
TBA…
Packet pick-up
@ Tokyo Big Sight South Hall
TBA…Tokyo Marathon Expo 2023
@ Tokyo Big Sight South Hall

March 3 (Fri)
TBA…Packet pick-up
@ Tokyo Big Sight South Hall 3
TBA…
Tokyo Marathon Expo 2021
@ Tokyo Big Sight South Hall

March 4 (Sat)
TBA…Packet pick-up
@ Tokyo Big Sight South Hall 3
TBA…
Tokyo Marathon Expo 2021
@ Tokyo Big Sight South Hall 2-4

Wooden masu sake cups Tokyo Marathon 2021

2021 Course Facts

Notable Names (from 2021 marathon)

race day schedule

0910…Marathon First Wave Start
@ front of Metropolitan Gov. Building No. 1
0925…10km First Wave Start
@ front of Metropolitan Gov. Building No. 1
1110…10km Finish
@ Nihonbashi
1610…Marathon Finish
@ Tokyo Station / Gyoko-dori Ave.
©Tokyo Marathon Foundation (2021 Tokyo Marathon)
Tokyo Marathon 2021 course profile
©Tokyo Marathon Foundation
©Tokyo Marathon Foundation

Finisher Medals

Not decided yet… But last year’s looked awesome! 

Tokyo Marathon 2021 medal
©Tokyo Marathon Foundation
Elite race medals for the Tokyo Marathon 2021
©Tokyo Marathon Foundation
Tokyo Marathon 2021 medal
©Tokyo Marathon Foundation