Ultimate Guide to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics
The Summer Olympics is – since its introduction in the era of the Ancient Greek empire – one of the most highly anticipated sports events on earth. As the world gets ready for the Summer Olympics 2020 in Tokyo, the Japanese capital is busy preparing to host their second Summer Olympics, after the 1964 edition. The concept of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be Achieving Personal Best, Unity in Diversity, and Connecting to Tomorrow.
Whether you’re mingling in the crowd of sports enthusiasts in the stadiums in Tokyo, or watch the events on the large screens or in bars, we have you covered with tips and information on the world’s largest sports celebration.
IMPORTANT: Due to the COVID-19 / coronavirus crisis, the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games have been postponed until 2021.
Summer Olympics 2020 in Tokyo – FAQs
When will the Summer Olympics 2020 take place?
To be ready for this grand sports fest, get your calendar and put a big red circle around Friday, July 24, and Sunday, August 9, 2020. These are the days of the opening and final ceremonies, which means that the total duration of the event is 17 days.
How many countries will compete in the Summer Olympics 2020?
Sportsmen and women of 205 countries will compete for Olympic medals in Japan. These include 193 nations recognized by the UN, plus a shortlist of UN observer states (Palestine), partially recognized states (Kosovo and Taiwan), an almost independent state (the Cook Islands), and independent territories (American Samoa, Aruba, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands). Russia has been banned from the Summer Olympics 2020 by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) because of the manipulation of data regarding the doping use of Russian athletes.
Where will the games be held?
The events will take place in a whole range of venues, spread over Tokyo and its surroundings. In total, 42 sites host sports games, 21 of which are located in the heart of the city. Other sports grounds lay outside the city center and in surrounding towns. The largest stadium is the Olympic Stadium that houses 68.000 spectators. This is the stage for the opening and closing ceremonies, soccer matches, and athletics.
How many different sports will you get to see during the Summer Olympics 2020?
In total, athletes of 33 different sports will compete in 50 disciplines. Out of all these sports, four sports will make their official Olympic debut during the 2020 games. These are karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. Two other sports (baseball and softball) return to the Summer Olympics after being absent for twelve years; these sports were not included in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and the 2012 edition in London.
How to reach the Olympic Stadium from Tokyo’s airports and central train station?
The Olympic Stadium (also called the New National Stadium) lies in Shinjuku district in central Tokyo, 5 kilometers away from the central train station. You can travel from the train station to the stadium via the metro with a stopover in either Yotsuya Station, or via JR train with a change in Ochanomizu station. The stations closest to the Olympic Stadium are Kokuritsu-Kyogijo Station (metro) and Sendagaya Station (JR train).
The easiest way to get from Tokyo’s international airports to the stadium is to travel via the central train station. From Haneda Airport, you can ride a train to the train station, with a transfer in Hamamatsucho or Shinagawa. The other airport, Narita International Airport, is further away but lies within easy reach with excellent bus and train connections. The travel time from Haneda Airport to the Olympic Stadium is roughly 50 minutes, while it takes 90 minutes to reach the sports site from Narita International Airport.
Where to buy tickets for the Summer Olympics 2020?
Unfortunately, tickets for individual sports events are all sold out on the official websites. If you still wish to be part of the festivities in Tokyo, you can book packages to experience the most significant sports event in the world and attend the actual games inside the stadiums. With these bundles, you’ll get to stay in a hotel in Tokyo, join several games, have access to the Olympic House of your country at night, and have the hotel booked for you. Consider that the price of these packages is hefty; a 4-day Olympic adventure in Tokyo sets you back 6500 USD. For US citizens, CoSport is the place to be to set up your Tokyo trip.
Are you traveling from the United Kingdom? You can arrange your journey to Japan on the website of Team GB.
How can you experience the Summer Olympics 2020 in Tokyo without tickets?
In case you weren’t able to get tickets for the games, or you won’t book a package, you can still soak up the atmosphere and experience the events in Tokyo. In the capital, 11 designated venues have massive tv-screens on which you can see all of the sports games. Besides that, Tokyo (and Japan in general) has numerous sports bars where the Olympic events will be broadcasted all day long.
Even other cities have venues with large screens. This way, you can also get the Olympic sense when you stay in Fukushima, Sapporo, Yokohama City, and other prefectures spread over the country.
Which hotels are convenient and close to the action?
For traveling with your family, the hotels in Tokyo should meet specific requirements; a convenient location to visit the stadiums or live site venues, kid-friendly facilities, and, most preferably, family rooms. Many upscale hotels are fully booked and host the athletes and members of the International Olympic Committee. However, plenty of pleasant accommodations still have space to receive sports enthusiasts for the Summer Olympics 2020.
Centurion Hotel & Spa Ueno Station is an excellent choice if you’re looking for comfort and convenience. This hotel has an on-site Japanese restaurant and wellness facilities such as a spa bath, a pool, and a sauna. The private rooms feature a flat-screen tv with DVD-player, free toiletries, and an electric kettle. A buffet-style breakfast is included in the room rate. The location of Centurion Hotel & Spa Ueno Station is remarkably handy during the Olympics; it lies within walking distance from train station Okachimachi Station and metro station Ueno Station, from where you can travel the Olympic Stadium within 30 minutes.
For an authentic Japanese stay, you can opt for Prostyle Ryokan Tokyo Asakusa. The rooms are simple and stylish and equipped with a coffee machine, a tv, and magnificent views over the capital. Some rooms come with a traditional open-air bath. With a couple of stopovers, you can reach the Olympic Stadium in 45 minutes.
A more budget-friendly option is COTO Tokyo Shibuya, an apartment complex located in an area with shopping malls and countless restaurants. COTO Tokyo Shibuya has a shared kitchen with an oven, microwave, kitchenware, and a fridge. The apartment has tatami – the classic Japanese flooring – and even comes with a laundry machine, which is very useful during your multi-day Olympic adventure in Tokyo. The location of the apartment is attractive; the Olympic Stadium can be reached in less than 30 minutes by public transportation, while it only takes 15 minutes to get to the live venue in Yoyogi Park.
It’s recommended to have your accommodation sorted out well in advance, as the room rates tend to go up closer to the starting date of the Summer Olympics 2020.
Check out our special hotel deals for Tokyo.
What will the weather be during the Summer Olympics 2020?
The Olympic games will take place in July and August, which is during the Japanese summer. These two months make for the warmest period in Tokyo by far, and the average daily temperature ranges from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius. Also, keep in mind that July and August are some of the wettest months in Tokyo.
Bring sunblock, plenty of long-sleeve t-shirts, and a hat or cap for maximum protection against the harsh summer sun. A poncho and a sealable plastic for valuable electronics are quite useful for the rainy days.
What will be the route of the Olympic Torch Relay?
The Olympic Torch travels a long route before every edition of the Olympic Games, and the 2020 course will be no different. The Olympic Torch Relay will pass by all 47 prefectures in Japan, before entering the Olympic Stadium on July 24. After being shipped on a flight from Greece, the symbolic flames traverses through Japan for 121 days. Its journey begins on March 26 in Fukushima Prefecture. The torch will travel south, all the way down to the Okinawa archipelago, and back up north across Honshu to Hokkaido. Often, the arrival of the eternal flame is paired with celebrational ceremonies. This means that you can experience the Olympic vibe anywhere in Japan, starting in late March. The torchbearers for the grand entrance in the Olympic Stadium on July 24 will be members of the Women’s National Soccer Team, who won the World Cup in Germany in 2011. You can find the entire route and schedule of the Olympic Torch Relay here.