【Report】Tokyo Marathon Friendship Run 2024



On the day before the Tokyo Marathon 2024, Saturday, March 2, the Tokyo Marathon Friendship Run 2024, a fun run event aimed at fostering hospitality and exchange for foreigners and runners from overseas was held in Asakusa area, Tokyo. The event saw 935 participants from 54 countries.

 The Tokyo Marathon Friendship Run began in 2012 as a fun run event to foster relationships between runners from Japan and overseas. During the COVID-19 pandemic, runners from all over the world were able to enjoy virtual fun runs using apps in 2022 and 2023, but this time an actual run was held for the first time in five years. Starting and finishing at the Taito Riverside Sports Center Athletics Stadium located close to the Kaminarimon gate of Senso-ji Temple, which is part of the Tokyo Marathon course, the runners enjoyed the scenic course of approximately 5 km centered around Sumida Park, from where you can also see the Tokyo Sky Tree.


At the opening ceremony, after a cheering performance by Blue Pegasus from the Komazawa University, Tadaaki Hayano, chairman of the Tokyo Marathon Foundation, gave an opening speech to encourage the participating runners. "This is the 10th anniversary of the Friendship Run. I hope you all enjoy it!"


The fun run was divided into five groups and started in different waves. Chairman Hayano, guest MC and Tokyo Marathon Foundation Sports Legacy Project Charity Ambassador M Takashi, and live narrator Koyata Aso served as starters. When they gave the signal, the runners from Japan and overseas headed out and enjoyed their run in Japan while interacting with each other.


After finishing the race, participants enjoyed the "Asakusa Experience," another fun part of the Friendship Run, where they could experience a selection of activities related to Japanese culture, such as the tea ceremony, taiko drums, rickshaws, kimekomi woodwork and origami. Many runners from overseas were experiencing Japan's unique culture for the first time, and each activity seemed to be deepening international exchange.


When we asked Sonia (from Germany), who was making a paulownia bill holder with beautiful patterns using the kimekomi woodwork technique, what she thought, she said with a smile, "It's really fun to experience Japanese culture. I ran in Japanese streets and was able to communicate a lot with the Japanese runners, so it was a really nice event." She also indicated that this will be her first time participating in the Tokyo Marathon, saying, "I'm really looking forward to tomorrow as well.''


Tokyo Marathon Friendship Run 2024 was the first actual run in five years to welcome runners from overseas. In order to offer Japanese cultural experience, members of the Asakusa community including the local shops Kakinuma (tea ceremony), Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten (taiko drums), Ebisuya (rickshaws), Hakocho (kimekomi woodwork), along with the university student staff, hospitality goodwill ambassadors (high school and university students), and many others, helped make this possible. We hope that in 2025, we will be able to continue to offer hospitality and exchanges with residents and runners from overseas and hold more fun and exciting events.

Thank you to all the runners who participated.

  • 東京地下鉄株式会社