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Ultimate Travel Guide to Tokyo Olympics

What to know about travelling to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Taking place from July to August, the 2020 Summer Olympics will be spread across 34 venues. This is the second time Tokyo has hosted the Summer Olympics, with the first time being in 1964.

Drawing crowds from all over the world, the Tokyo Olympics are not to be missed. You can watch on TV, but why not visit Tokyo and watch an event in person?

From the Olympic Stadium to the Dream Island Archery Field, there are so many places to visit. Here's everything you need to know if you're planning to travel to Tokyo.

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When are the Tokyo Olympics?

The Tokyo Olympics begin on 24 July 2020. They end on 9 August, after 17 days of non-stop action. There are many events to fit into just over two weeks, so check out the key dates below:

Opening Ceremony

The Tokyo Summer Olympics begin with the Opening Ceremony on 24 July, which is always an inspiring spectacle. This event will take place at the New National Stadium, which has a capacity of 60,102. The stadium is situated in Shinjuku.

Athletics

Widely regarded as the most popular Olympics events, the athletics category covers Track and Field, Marathon and Race Walk. To watch Track and Field events, you can be in Tokyo any time from the last day of July until the end of the Summer Olympics.

The women's Marathon Final takes place on 8 August, and the men's is on the day after. Race Walk events take place from 6 to 7 August.

Aquatics

The aquatics events are some of the most popular in the Summer Olympics. These include swimming, artistic swimming, diving, water polo and marathon swimming.

The main swimming events take place from 26 July to 2 August, whilst diving events are spread across the full length of the Summer Olympics. For water polo events, you'll want to be in Tokyo at the very end of the Olympics on 8 to 9 August.

Gymnastics

Also very popular, the Gymnastic events are ones that many people want tickets for. This category covers Artistic, Rhythmic and Trampoline.

Trampoline events take place from 31 July to 1 August. Rhythmic Gymnastic finals take place on 8 to 9 August, whilst Artistic events are spread across many days from 25 July to 4 August.

Closing Ceremony

The Olympic Games will come to an end with the Closing Ceremony on 9 August 2020. Like the Opening Ceremony, this will take place at the New National Stadium and will be a hot ticket in town!

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Where are the Summer Olympic events taking place?

There are a total of 34 venues for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Some of these include:

Olympic Stadium

The New National Stadium is also known as the Olympic Stadium. It's the venue for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as some athletics and football events.

The Old National Stadium was the main venue for Tokyo 1964. The stadium has been rebuilt for the 2020 Olympics, with a maximum capacity of 68,000 people.

Tokyo Stadium

The Tokyo Stadium is a multi-purpose venue that will be used for Olympic football matches. It will also be used for rugby and the modern pentathlon. This venue is also known as the Ajinomoto Stadium.

Ariake Gymnastics Centre

The Ariake Gymnastics Centre is a temporary venue for the Summer Olympics gymnastic events. Once the events are over, a new sporting venue is expected to be built in its place. This venue will have a capacity of 12,000 people.

Tokyo Aquatics Centre

Many of the swimming events will be held at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. With a capacity of 15,000, this venue can be found within the Tatsumi-no-Mori Seaside Park.

Sapporo Odori Park

The venue for the Marathon and Race Walk events, the Sapporo Odori Park is in the heart of Sapporo City. This is a beautiful city park that is 1.5 kilometres long. There are 92 types of trees in this stunning green space, which is always popular with tourists. The Sapporo Odori Park is also the venue of many festivals and celebrations every year.

When should I book flights to the Olympics?

Once you've purchased your tickets for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, you will need to book your flights as soon as possible. Don't leave this too late!

Though many airlines are providing additional flights to cater for those travelling to the Tokyo Olympics, you don't want to miss your seat on the plane in case they sell out fast!

Visit our guide to booking flights to Tokyo and find out what you need to know about booking plane tickets to Japan.

Where should I stay during the Tokyo Olympics?

There are so many place to stay in Tokyo. Remember that the city will be incredibly busy, so you may want to book accommodation close to a specific event venue.

If you're planning to be around for the Opening or Closing ceremony, then you will want to book accommodation in Shinjuku.

The Ajinomoto Stadium, also known as the Tokyo Stadium, is in Chōfu. This is a 25-minute drive from Shinjuku in typical Tokyo traffic. It's good to try to stay close to the events that you're attending to avoid spending hours in traffic, or take public transport.

If you want to watch the Marathon events, you'll need to stay near Sapporo. Despite being a Tokyo 2020 Olympics venue, this is actually in Hokkaido and is roughly 8 hours from Tokyo by train. Or, you can catch a quick flight from Tokyo that’ll take less than 2 hours.

Before you travel, always check which venue you want to be near. You might be surprised how far you'll have to travel if you accidentally pick the wrong place!

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How do I get tickets to the Olympic Games?

Don't expect to book tickets directly from the Tokyo 2020 website. Instead, you'll need to find an Authorised Ticket Reseller.

The official Tokyo 2020 website has an Authorised Ticket Reseller list.

Most countries have just one or two official ticket resellers. Purchase your tickets from these trusted resellers. Otherwise, buying Olympic tickets from an unauthorised reseller might leave you open to scams or fake tickets that don’t allow you entry into the event.

How much does it cost to go to the Olympics?

Olympic ticket prices vary considerably.

If you want to attend a Preliminary stage, you can pay as little as ¥2,500 Japanese Yen for one of the less popular events. This is approximately £18. A ticket for one of these events, like Preliminary Softball, makes attending the Olympics an achievable dream even for those on a budget.

Prices for tickets to popular finals, like the Athletics final, can cost up to ¥130,000. This is equivalent to around £915.

Tickets for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies are even more costly. To attend the Opening Ceremony, it can cost you up to ¥300,000 – that is around £2,100.

If you want tickets to the Olympics, they are available to suit every budget. But, the tickets for the big events can be expensive and will be in very high demand.

How do I get to the Olympic events?

You will want to fly into Tokyo International (Haneda) Airport, or Narita International Airport. Visit our ultimate guide to flying to Tokyo for all the information you need to know.

Once you're in Tokyo, most people will travel by train or subway. This is the cheapest way to get around and is very convenient. You can also reach the venues far from Tokyo, such as those taking place in Sapporo, via train.

You can visit the official Tokyo 2020 Olympics website to find the closest train or subway stations to each venue. The Olympic Stadium is a short walk from Sendagaya and Shinanomachi stations on the Sobu Line. Meanwhile the Tokyo Aquatics Centre is just 10 minutes from the Tatsumi Station on the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line.

What will the weather be like during the Tokyo Olympics?

July and August are the hottest months in Japan when the Olympics will be taking place.

You should prepare with appropriate sun protection, including hats and sunscreen. Always ensure that you have water on hand to stay hydrated, as temperatures can reach 35°C.

The air in Tokyo will be humid, with sudden torrential rainfall possible. Severe wet weather can start very suddenly, and is something you should prepare for with umbrellas or raincoats.

What else should I see in Tokyo besides the Olympics?

Whilst in Tokyo, why not enjoy some of the other famous sights?

Look out for Tokyo Tower, which is a 1,092 ft observation tower that gives the best view of the city. You might also like to visit the Shibuya Crossing, which has appeared in many films. The Shibuya Crossing is the world's busiest intersection and is amazing to see in person.

Other top attractions in Tokyo include the Sensō-ji Buddhist Temple, which is an awe-inspiring sight, and the bustling Ginza Shopping District.

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What other cities should I visit in Japan?

Kyoto

A trip on the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto will take just over 2 hours. This is a great place for a day trip or to spend a few days exploring, as there are many spectacular shrines and the beautiful Maruyama Park. It's also worth visiting the Nishiki Market, which has been running for more than 400 years.

Osaka

In less than 3 hours, you can get to Osaka on the bullet train. Here you'll find the Universal Studios Japan theme park, and the Osaka Aquarium. Why not enjoy dinner and a show at the Dōtonbori district, too?

Hiroshima

Travel from Tokyo to Hiroshima takes approximately 5 hours by train, or can be done as a day trip from Kyoto. Much of the city was destroyed during World War II by an atomic bomb. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a thought-provoking place and is dedicated to the legacy of being the first city to suffer a nuclear attack in the world.

Sapporo

It takes around 8 hours to get from Tokyo to Sapporo by train, or you can catch a short flight there. Sapporo is the venue of some Olympic events, so you may want to stay closer to Sapporo rather than in central Tokyo depending on what tickets you have. Interesting attractions in Sapporo include the Beer Museum, the Ishiya Chocolate Factory and the iconic Clock Tower. Sapporo is also a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding during the winter months.

Nara

It takes roughly three hours to travel from Tokyo to Nara. Nara itself has some beautiful parks and temples, and is a place for those that love to be immersed in Japanese history. Nara was Japan's first capital, and it's worth just wandering around and taking in all of the sights.

Explore our Japan travel hub

Do you want to learn more about travelling to Japan? Our Japan travel hub has everything that you need to know for your trip, including details about flights to interesting guides to attractions.

Can I protect my trip to the Olympics?

Before you travel, consider protecting your trip with travel insurance. Cover-More offers a range of policy benefits to help you travel with peace of mind to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

 
 

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