The Tokyo Marathon is notoriously difficult to enter, but don't let those select few have all the fun. The Tokyo Marathon Expo is open to the public, and is a great place to catch up on all the newest clothing, gear, and events in the world of running. For those who were lucky enough to get into the big event, the Expo is the perfect way to stock up on some last-minute supplies or souvenirs and get psyched up for the big race.
The Tokyo Marathon Expo is held in the Tokyo Big Sight convention center in Odaiba, and is held in conjunction with the registration and bib pick-up events for the marathon runners. It is held on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday preceding the Tokyo International Marathon, which is held on a Sunday in late February each year. Runners are required to go to pick up their bib number, and they will also receive their T-shirt and timing chip, as well as some various information and goodies.
Beyond the registration tables, the Expo is an open event for the general public. As the Tokyo Marathon is now one of the six World Marathon Majors, its expo easily lives up to those elite standards. It's a monstrous event filled to the brim with vendors of every sort. Come to buy clothes, shoes, socks, watches, drinks, powders, tape, braces, and sunglasses. Want to see next year's products? This is the place to do it. Want to buy some new, quirky equipment that you can't find in mainstream sports shops? Do it here.
The expo also includes plenty of products featuring the Tokyo Marathon name and logo that you can keep as a memento or give out as souvenirs. Of course there are two huge walls of various Tokyo Marathon T-shirts, but might you be interested in event-themed towels, coffee mugs, smartphone cases, boxes of chocolate, or even calculators? They've got it. There are plenty of English speakers on-hand, and credit cards are widely accepted.
There is a very nice exhibit dedicated to the history of the event, displaying the medals, posters and trophies from years past.
There is also plenty of information distributed, including route maps, signs for spectators to hold, and booklets explaining information about the marathon. There are also many other marathons advertising their own events - if you were looking into running 42.195 km in practically any country across Asia and Oceania, you can definitely find someone here who's ready to tell you all about it.
There are also some fun events set up at the Expo, which is noisy and brimming with games, demonstrations, and photo ops.