The quadrennial event will see some great athletes from around the world competing for glory.
A year in waiting will finally culminate in the form of one of the biggest sporting events. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will take place in Japan from 23rd July to 8th August. The extravaganza was postponed to 2021due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
All the athletes will be trying to produce their best to win medals for their country. Japan has created world-class facilities for the Tokyo Olympics. With events and venues spread across the city, a comprehensive pointer is required to understand the mapping.
We start by taking a look at the six venues in the Heritage Zone and the Olympic Games Village.
Tokyo International Forum
A multi-purpose exhibition centre in the Yurakucho business district in Tokyo, the Tokyo International Forum was built on the site of the Old City Hall in 1996. It has been the stage for several notable events during its short existence.
The Forum served as the stage for the draw for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in 1999. It has also featured several musical guests, most notable among them being Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez.
The Tokyo International Forum has a hall that seats 5,000 people in addition to seven other halls. The Tokyo Olympics weightlifting competitions are scheduled to take place in these halls.
Nippon Budokan, located in the Chiyoda area of Tokyo is one of three arenas being used for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that were part of the 1964 games. The arena was constructed for the judo competition in 1964 and gets its name from Japanese for Martial Arts Hall.
Over the years, the Nippon Budokan had transformed itself into a musical hub, straying from its initial purpose of sports. The arena has hosted several famous bands and musicians like The Beatles, ABBA, Bob Dylan, Kiss, Frank Sinatra and Iron Maiden to name a few. Another key event in the arena was the Muhammad Ali Vs Antonio Inoki hybrid rules fight, which is seen as the forerunner to mixed martial arts.
For the upcoming Olympics, the Budokan will host Judo and Karate competitions and could seat 14,500 people.
Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
Located in Shibuya, Tokyo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium was built in 1954 for the World Wrestling Championships. This sporting complex was later included in the 1964 Summer Olympics to host gymnastics.
During its long history, the arena has hosted several sporting events, with key ones being the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships and the Final Four of the 2010 Women’s Volleyball World Championships. It also hosted two NBA games between the Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz in 1990.
Able to seat around 10,000 occupants, the Gymnasium is also a regular host of the Japan Table Tennis Championships and will be hosting the Table Tennis competition during the upcoming Olympics.
The Ryogoku Kokugikan is an indoor sporting arena located in the Yokoami neighbourhood of Sumida in Tokyo. It is also known as the Sumo Hall, as it majorly features sumo wrestling tournaments.
The first Ryogoku Kokugikan was built in 1909 when the popularity of Sumo Wrestling was growing in Japan. The structure was frequently used for tournaments till 1954, before it was replaced by Kuramae Kokugikan before the current Ryogoku Kokugikan replaced it in 1985. It is a regular spot for wrestling tournaments in the country.
It was also where Ferrari held its 70th anniversary celebrations. The Kokugikan also featured a performance by the Beatles great Paul McCartney in 2018. For the Tokyo Olympics, this famed arena which can seat upto 11,000 people, will feature the boxing competition.
Yoyogi National Gymnasium
Designed by famed Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, the Yoyogi National Gymnasium was built in 1964 to host diving and swimming events at the 1964 Summer Olympics as well as a few basketball games. The Gymnasium’s suspended roof design is a well-known spectacle.
Located in Shibuya, Tokyo the Yoyogi National Gymnasium featured several major sporting events including multiple Figure Skating Championships, 2006 and 2010 Women’s Volleyball World Championship and three National Hockey League games. Their most recent performer was Britney Spears who had concerts on continuous days, both selling out.
Seating close to 13,300 people, the Yoyogi Gymnasium will be the handball hub for the upcoming Summer Olympics.
Japan National Stadium
Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Athletics (track and field) and Women’s Football Final
The crème de la crème, the Japan National Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium that will serve as the epicentre for the Tokyo Olympics. The stadium was built on the site of the Old National Stadium, which was used for the ceremonies in the 1964 Summer Olympics.
The stadium, which was first designed by architect Zaha Hadid, was first planned to be completed in time to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup. However, several issues forced back the inauguration and the stadium had to be further redesigned by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma in 2015. The construction was finally completed on 30 November 2019 and the first match that was played here was the 2019 Emperor’s Cup final, which was won by Andres Iniesta’s Vissel Kobe.
The stadium will host both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and will also feature the final of the women’s football competition.
Harumi Futo – The Olympic Village
Harumi is a spot located in the island district of Chuo in central Tokyo. It will serve as the official central hub for all athletes from around the world, as the Olympic Games Village of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
The locale was created as land reclamation from seabed fill. It was the planned site for an international exposition for the 1940 Olympics which failed to materialize due to World War II.
The Village is expected to cater for 2000 visiting guests and 8000 games staff per day. 21 buildings were built with three kinds of apartments.
Self-driving buses with predetermined routes are being considered as well as a plaza which contains a general store, café and media centre. The plaza has been built with sustainability being a key consideration of the process. After the Olympics, the plaza will be deconstructed and the wood will be reused for other activities.