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Stretch Your Legs
The venue of choice for runners is the Imperial Palace Outer Garden. At the west end of the park, Sakurada-mon's (Gate of the Field of Cherry Trees) small courtyard is the traditional starting point for the 5-km (3-mi) run around the palace—though you can join in anywhere along the route. Jogging around the palace is a ritual that begins as early as 6 am and goes on throughout the day, no matter what the weather. Almost everybody runs the course counterclockwise, but now and then you may spot someone going the opposite way.
Looking for a challenge? Japan hosts a number of marathons throughout the year and one of the most famous is the Tokyo Marathon (www.tokyo42195.org), which is held in February. Plan ahead if you're going to sign up, because the registration deadline is at the end of August of the previous year (most of the country's running events require signing up and qualifying far more in advance than their counterparts on other shores). The marathon starts at one of Tokyo's most prominent landmarks, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office in Shinjuku-ku, winds its way through the Imperial Palace, past the Tokyo Tower and Asakusa Kaminarimon Gate, and finishes at Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Center in Koto Ward.
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