How to register for Tokyo Marathon

So you’ve seen all the funny costumes from Tokyo Marathon and thought “Hey, I can run 42 km in a silly costume too!” Or maybe you just want to run the marathon for normal, marathon-running reasons. Regardless of why, the next step for you is registering for Tokyo Marathon.

Tokyo Marathon 2013 Costumes

Costumes from Tokyo Marathon 2013

Here is what you need to know about Registering for the 2014 Tokyo Marathon or 2015 Tokyo Marathon:

1. Registration for Tokyo Marathon 2015 will open in August of 2014. So mark your calenders.

Registration details are usually posted in early July on the Official Tokyo Marathon Website (link in English). Registration for Tokyo Marathon 2014 opened in August of 2013; the registration for Tokyo Marathon 2015 will open in August of 2014. Registration for Tokyo Marathon 2016 should open in August of 2015.

2. Registration is free. Unlike some of the other marathons it is free to register. The masses of registrations only attribute to the popularity of the Tokyo Marathon races.

3. Registration for Tokyo Marathon works on a lottery system. The chances of you actually getting picked, though, is less than one in ten, decreasing each year. For the 2013 Tokyo Marathon, 303,450 people registered for a 42km race with a cap of 25,000.

One of the costumes from the 2013 Tokyo Marathon

One of the costumes from the 2013 Tokyo Marathon

4. When you register, you need to fill out detailed information, such as your estimated time for the Tokyo Marathon 2015. They do this in order to stagger the starting blocks, so that everyone has room to run.

4. If you win the lottery, you must pay 10,000 ($120) yen to run in the race (if you live in Japan). If you are coming from an outside country, you have to pay 12,000 yen ($140). You pay via credit card. This only counts for your entry fee; it does not cover your transportation, plane ticket, food, or other travel expenses.

5. If you don’t win the lottery and you still want to participate, you can pay a hefty for an entry ticket. Naturally, I didn’t have that kind of money, so I will spend Tokyo Marathon 2014 on the sidelines again, taking pictures.

It is common for Japanese celebrities or die-hard Marathon fans to shell out the extra cash to get a ticket.

6. Even if you don’t get a spot in the race, it is still fun to just watch Tokyo Marathon from the sidelines. I spent Tokyo Marathon 2013 cheering, taking pictures, giving food the racers, and chatting with other observers.

Hanging out on the sidelines of the 2013 Tokyo Marathon

Hanging out on the sidelines of the 2013 Tokyo Marathon

7. A startling number of participants in Tokyo Marathon wear costumes. It is fantastic and wonderful to see people running in elaborate costumes. For the 2013 Tokyo Marathon, there was a man dressed in a Jesus costume, carrying a large cardboard cross, someone who dressed like a member from the band KISS, a man wearing a gigantic pencil costume, and many, many more hilarious costumes. If you want to see my ranking from the 2013 Tokyo Marathon costumes, click here.

8. There is always next year. The registration period for Tokyo Marathon 2015 is in August. Check the official Tokyo Marathon website for more information about registering for the 2015 Tokyo Marathon in July.

For more information, check out the Tokyo Marathon FAQ page (in English)

Tokyo Marathon Costumes

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About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

15 Comments on How to register for Tokyo Marathon

  1. Do you know when the lotery will take place?

  2. Any ideas where I can get a Tokyo marathon 2015 entry at the “hefty” price or do you know of where I can buy places from injured runners who have a place? My boyfriend got a place in the lottery and I’d really LOVE to be able to run it with him.

  3. Marathon Tours out of Boston, MA has been offering package with guaranteed entry for the Tokyo Marathon. They have several different packages to choose from that include hotel, sightseeing, daily breakfast, and of course guaranteed entry. Good luck!

  4. I think you are one year off with registration. Registration is always the August before the race. (I ran Tokyo marathon 5 times so far).

  5. tom ciccarelli // 17 February, 2014 at 7:06 pm //

    Thanks for the info. Where do I go to register for the 2015 lottery? I’ve spent the last 2 hours searching but can’t find anything. Please help me!!!!

    • Hi Tom,

      Thank you for the message. Sadly, I’m about 100% sure that registration for Tokyo Marathon 2015 is closed. Registration is only open during the month of August (annoying, I know. I missed it too).
      Perhaps next year?

  6. Genevieve // 18 July, 2013 at 8:14 am //

    The registration isn’t closed. It’s this August (2013). They just hadn’t updated the website for the 2014 race when you posted this. ^^’

4 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Tokyo Marathon 2013: Best and Worst Costumes | Texan in Tokyo
  2. The 40 Best Costumes from Tokyo Marathon 2013 | Texan in Tokyo
  3. Tokyo Marathon 2013: From the Sidelines | Texan in Tokyo
  4. Tokyo Marathon 2014: What to expect | Texan in Tokyo

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