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I have just returned home from the first Major of the year – Tokyo Marathon 2016!
What a marathon it was, every year the standard is set higher and higher and this year did not disappoint! This was my 3rd year in Japan as an international representative and every year it really does set out to impress. Tokyo is known for its clean, friendly and warming culture and this is why the marathon is becoming more popular every year.
The flight to Tokyo to London is 12 hours and the time difference is +9 hours so the jet lag does really hit but if set your mind straight away it does pass…. hopefully. Once you arrive in Tokyo you will instantly get a sense of how peaceful japan really is! The flight from UK normally arrives around 9am so you get to start the day with clear blue skies. The bus from the airport to the hotel is 1.5 hours but you feel like you are on a tour bus. You get to see the skyline as you cross over many bridges to get into Tokyo. As you booked with Sports Tours International we take you directly to the expo first to collect your bib, as the expo really is the complete opposite side of the city where the hotel is.
The hotel we stay at is the Keio Plaza and it really is right by the start line of the Tokyo marathon. The hotel is placed in a great location called Shinjuju, which is the business district area of Tokyo. The hotel has 2 main entrances (South –which faces the Shinjuku station and north which faces the Tokyo government building, where the marathon start line is). The hotel rooms are a good size all the facilities you need and if you are lucky enough to be in one of the higher rooms, you get to see mount Fuji. One of my favourite things about Tokyo is that they have heated seats for the toilets, only in Japan!
Tokyo is great for exploring; you will never run out of attractions to visit and places to see. My favourites are the Tokyo government building observatory platform, Yoyogi park for the mooring runs, Meriji Shrine, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo sky tree and of course Tokyo Disney. All of these are easily accessible by using the Tokyo metro.
The day of the race was a cold start so many of the runners wrapped up as the normal waiting time is around 1 hour. Myself , my colleague and some lovely clients watch from the start line and then made our way to the half way point to view family members of which we did. We were very fortunate enough to have a lovely couple from Jacksonville Florida USA, The runner Mike had completed every marathon in every state of America. He made sure he wore his American t-shirt on the Day. We also had another client that had completed her 100th marathon on this event!
From the feedback from everyone regarding the marathon was extremely positive and we just wanted to say thank you to everyone that came with Sports Tours.
All the best & I hope to see you in 2017!
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