Tokyo (Japan) : With Tokyo being selected to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tokyo Marathon 2016 wheelchair race was sanctioned by the international Paralympic Committee. Tokyo established the “Semi-Elite” category for superior athletes from outside of Japan to provide better participation opportunities for runners from outside of Japan in the 2016 event.
Around 37,000 runners ran through the streets of Metropolitan Tokyo. With its blend of old and new, Tokyo provides a fantastic venue for one of the worlds greatest marathons. Tokyo joined in 2013 as a sixth and the newest race of the World Marathon Majors, to provide momentum to the marathon movement, to help running take root across Japan and unite runners and race supporters across the country.
A participant from Taiwan, said “He runs at his second time!” Through its theme, “The Day We Unite,” the Tokyo Marathon unites runners, 10,000 of volunteers, and over 1,720,000 crowds cheering on the race day. The organisers and participants united in their effort to advance the sport, raise awareness of athletes, and increase of the level of interest in racing among running enthusiasts.
Kyosuke Hagihara, a volunteer, said, “My name is Hagihara, Selamat pagi!” Mai Naha, a volunteer, said “There are many foreign runners in Tokyo Marathon. So that’s why we help them as volunteers.” Hagihara further said, “There are a lot of participants came from Southeast Asia. I met people from Taiwan, HongKong, Malaysia and Indonesia. I think multilingual support is becoming more important.”
Roger, another volunteer, said, “Runner together with volunteers, we’re great big team, really enjoyed the day!” Tokyo Marathon unites people and makes a great contribution to provide a dream to our society.
Tokyo, a member of the World Marathon Majors, will continue to implement a variety of initiatives to help develop the sport of running, letting more runners from Japan and overseas experience a world-class race. Ivan Aditya, a runner from Indonesia, said, “The route is really nice, actually in Asakusa, I like it! because mix of modern and culture is combined, it’s amazing for me!”
Kencho-ji Temple, the first large-scale Zen (Zazen) training monastery in Japan, was founded in 1253 by the Chinese Zen priest Rankei Doryu (Daigaku-zenji) upon the request from a regent of the Kamakura shogunate, Hojo Tokiyori, to gain national prosperity through Zen.
And at the present day there are many foreign people trying Zazen here. Zazen is a particular kind of meditation and part of Zen Buddhism. The aim is to reach enlightenment. In this practice, trainees sit with their legs crossed and their backs straightened (lotus position) as they meditate. Kencho-ji has held Zazen session for foreigners for about 10 years in order to meet their demands. And it has a good reputation.
Souinn Fujio, a priest of the Kencho-ji Temple, said, “They say it’s an experience in a different world they never had before. And there are many people who want to do it again. I feel there are many foreigners who want to try Zazen.”
A participant from India said, “It had a very calming effect that’s what I can say. So after this session I feel very calm.”A particpant from USA said, “It was very interesting. I don’t usually… I’m very busy so usually my mind… I’m always thinking about future, thinking about other things… So it’s interesting to have to just focus on the present my self at the moment and let these thoughts about other things like food… and these things just come and go. So I very much enjoyed it and it was very interesting to me.” A participant from France said, “And the monks are very nice. They explain clearly how to do, what it is about. It’s very helpful. Yes, I would try again.”