With running and fitness attracting followers as the annual Tokyo Marathon gains in popularity, a new running course around Tokyo’s Odaiba area (where the marathon finishes) opened on May 22. It offers views of Tokyo Bay and is uninterrupted by traffic.

Along the course stands the Grand Pacific Le Daiba hotel, which from April 29 started a support system for runners. Using its swimming pool Grand Blue — which has men’s and women’s locker rooms each with 96 lockers, seven showers and eight dressers with hair dryers and other amenities — the hotel seeks to provide runners with comfort.

Currently, a collaboration with Reebok Japan, a subsidiary of the German sportswear company Adidas, allows those using the support system to try Reebok’s latest running shoe lines, such as Zigtech and Taikan, for free.

Use of the facility costs ¥900 for visitors and ¥800 for members (yearly membership costs ¥300), and is available for runners from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. From July 16 to Sept. 4, when the pool will be in use, the facility will be available daily from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Grand Pacific Le Daiba is adjacent to Daiba Station on the New Transit Yurikamome Line. For more information, call (03) 5500-6711.

Fine dining with all you can drink

The Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo offers a special dinner plan for three or more people at four of its restaurants through June 30.

Dubbed the Businessman Oen (Support) Plan, though it is available for all diners, the plan offers dinner with a two-hour unlimited drinks service for ¥6,500 per person.

The plan is available at Japanese restaurant Kagari, Korean restaurant Gokoku-Tei, Italian restaurant Fortuna and Chinese restaurant Nan-En. For example, at Gokoku-Tei, seven courses, including kimchi and ox tongue, will be served with a selection of beverages such as makkoli; at Fortuna, a range of dishes, such as four kinds of appetizers, the chef’s recommended pasta and a main course, are included with wine, among other drinks.

Reservations are required and the price includes tax and service charge.

The Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo is a 5-minute walk from the West Exit of Shinjuku Station. For more information or to make a reservation, call (03) 3344-0111.

Charity sake tasting event for Tohoku

The Kobe Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers will host a charity sake tasting event in its banquet hall Rokko from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on June 19.

The 2011 Japanese Sake Festival will support the earthquake- and tsunami-affected Tohoku region, where many renowned sake distilleries are based.

Tickets are ¥2,500 in advance and ¥3,500 at the door, including tax. The proceeds will be donated to the Tohoku region via the Asahi Shimbun Social Welfare Organization and Nikkan Sports News West Japan.

More than 30 distilleries from Tohoku and around Japan will show their wares at the event. There will be more than 200 kinds of sake. The tasting of some special sake will incur a separate charge. Also, some foods that go well with sake will be available from ¥500.

There will also be live jazz and pop music during the event. Announcer Yuki Aoi, who is also a sake connoisseur, will be on hand to conduct a special talk show.

The Kobe Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers is on Rokko Island and is a 1-minute walk from Island Center Station on the Rokko Liner. For more information, call (078) 857-7023.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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