Tokyo 2020 have unveiled the marathon and race walk courses for the Olympic Games ©Tokyo 2020

The Olympic marathon course at Tokyo 2020 will "highlight the essence" of Japan's capital, according to International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe.

Coe's assertion follows the unveiling of the routes for both the marathon event and for the two race walk competitions, held over 20 kilometres and 50km respectively.

The marathon course will take in both modern and traditional districts of Tokyo, with the event set to start and finish at the Olympic Stadium.

Landmarks on the course will include Kaminarimon - meaning Thunder Gate - which is claimed to be guarded by the deities of wind and thunder.

The Imperial Palace, the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan, will also be passed along with the Zojoji temple. 

Tokyo Tower and Nihombashi bridge, the historic centre of the Japanese capital, are other landmarks on the route.

The final stages of the marathon course will be uphill, as athletes head towards the Olympic Stadium.

"The marathon course is a growing highlight of the athletics programme with imaginative courses that show off the best of cities, are challenging for athletes and are fan friendly," said Coe.

"The marathon course highlights the essence of Tokyo - a blend of tradition and modernity and the race walk course captures the serenity and beauty of the parks and green spaces tucked away in this busy, bustling metropolis with the stunning backdrop of the majestic Imperial Palace.

"We are delighted with both courses and thank the organisers for their creativity and thoughtfulness."

Tokyo have included numerous landmarks on the route for the marathon ©Tokyo 2020
Tokyo have included numerous landmarks on the route for the marathon ©Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020 said marathon running in Japan has a "long history and proud tradition", highlighted by the near-300,000 people who applied to take part in this year's Tokyo Marathon.

Nearly 36,000 runners eventually participated in the event with more than one million claimed to have been watching on the streets.

"It is really exciting to imagine just two years from now the side streets along the Tokyo 2020 marathon and race walk route filled with countless fans," said Naoko Takahashi, who won marathon gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

"I look forward to seeing some great performances from the runners, who will be encouraged by those fans lining the route.

"They will be memorable races."

Race walk events will take place in the outer gardens of the Imperial Palace, with a one kilometre loop course for the 20km events and a two kilometre loop for the 50km event.

The walk events will providing an unforgettable experience for the athletes, according to Tokyo 2020, as well as for spectators and television viewers.