Tokyo 2020: Your Complete Guide

2020 Olympics: Everything You Need to Know

Olympic Games in Japan

Tokyo 2020 will be the 29th Summer Olympic Games and the second time that the Olympic Games have been held in Tokyo.

This will be the fourth time the Olympic games have been held in Japan with the previous Japanese Summer Olympic games being held in 1964. Japan also hosted the Sapporo 1972 and Nagano 1998 winter Olympic games. 

Tokyo 1964 was the first Olympic games to be held in Asia and the 2020 Olympics will make Tokyo the first city in Asia to hold the games twice.

This is the third time that Tokyo has been nominated to hold the Summer Olympic games, yet the city has only hosted once before. 

Tokyo was set to host the 1940 Summer Olympics, however, the games had to be relocated to Helsinki, Finland following the outbreak of war between Japan and China in 1937. The following games were also scheduled to be held in Tokyo but were cancelled due to the second world war.



Where Are the 2020 Olympics?

The 2020 Olympic and paralympic games are set to be held in Tokyo, Japan.

The opening ceremony will take place on the 24th of July and the closing ceremony on the 9th of August 2020. 

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics run a little behind, beginning on the 25th of August and concluding on the 6th of September.


The Olympic torch relay will visit all 47 prefectures of Japan, highlighting the different cultures and beauty in each area. The Olympic torch relay will begin in Japan from J-village on the 26th of March.

Where in Tokyo Are the 2020 Olympics?

The Tokyo Organising Committee (TOC) is expecting to receive over 600,000 Olympic fans from overseas alone. Around 30% of the estimated 8 million tickets have been reserved and sold to spectators coming from overseas. 

The games will take place in 42 different venues and stadiums spanning across nine different Japanese prefectures. 

There are two zones in which the vast majority of the games will be held. These zones have been termed as the “Heritage” zone and the “Tokyo Bay” zone. 

Some events with specific venue requirements will be held outside of Tokyo, such as the Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido and the Fukushima Azuma baseball stadium.



These two Olympic zones act as an intersection with the Olympic Village lying where the two zones meet. These two sections meet to form an infinity symbol. 

The Tokyo Organising Committee stated that “the ‘infinity’ symbol embodies the boundless passion, commitment and inspiration of the world's elite athletes, the limitless potential of future generations, and the lasting legacy that will be passed on to the people of Tokyo, Japan, and the world.”

The Heritage Zone

The Heritage zone will use as many existing venues as possible for the upcoming games, as requested by the Olympic Agenda 2020.

The Heritage zone is situated close to the main business district of Tokyo, which sits just North-West of the Olympic Village.

The Heritage Zone is home to 7 Olympic venues and it is hoped that the Heritage zone will help to sustain the legacy of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.



This plan will incorporate many of the original stadiums used in the 1964 Olympics. Some of the original venues being used include the Nippon Budokkan, Baji Koen Park, Yoyogi National Gymnasium, and the New National Stadium.

The Tokyo Bay Zone

The Tokyo Bay zone was designed to serve as “a model for innovative urban development and symbolises the exciting future of the city.”

The Tokyo Bay zone is much larger than the heritage zone and is situated South-East of the central Olympic Village. 

The Tokyo Bay zone is home to 13 stadiums, most of which are brand new and specifically designed with the Olympic games in mind. 

Tokyo Bay zone spans across the Ariake District as well as Odaiba, with some fixtures even being held on surrounding artificial islands.


The New National Stadium

 The opening and closing ceremonies of the 2020 summer Olympics will be held in the New National Stadium. 

The new Olympic stadium has been rebuilt in the same spot that the original 1964 Olympic stadium was located in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Demolition of the old stadium was completed by May the 15th 2015 and the new stadium has only just been completed in time for the upcoming sports fixtures in early January. 

The original Olympic stadium was used for the same purposes as the new build, including the ceremonies as well as the track and field events. The national stadium was also used for the Japanese national football team’s home games and major football fixtures.

Originally, the stadium had an official capacity of 57,363 but only had 48,000 seats. The new stadium is much larger and can comfortably seat 68,000 with the capability to seat 80,000 using temporary seating for soccer events.

There were several setbacks during the construction of the new stadium. A retractable roof posed great architectural issues, whilst the original plans were out of budget for the committee of the Olympics in Tokyo. 

The rebuild of the stadium is estimated to have cost over 300 billion yen, a little over £2 billion.



The cost of this stadium is 3x greater than that of the Olympic stadium in London and a staggering 5x greater than that of the Olympic stadium in Beijing.

How Many Countries Are in the 2020 Olympics?

It has been predicted that there will be more than eleven thousand highly skilled athletes participating in the 2020 Olympic games. These athletes are representing 206 different nationalities.

There will be a total of 339 gold medals up for grabs during the 2022 Olympics.

Russia in Tokyo 2020

Russia is currently banned from entering all major sports events for 4 years, after being banned from athletic events since 2015. 

WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) imposed a ban on Russia. This means that neither the Russian flag or national anthem can be used in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics or the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

To compete at the Olympics, Russia would need to have the WADA ban lifted by the International Olympics Committee (IOC).


Vladimir Putin states that he will be appealing this decision, whilst Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev claims that the ban is an act of "chronic anti-Russian hysteria".

Russian athletes who were proven not to be involved with the doping scandal will be permitted to participate in the event under a neutral flag.

Following the success of the Rio 2016 Olympics, the IOC is discussing the possibility of a refugee Olympic team. Athletes in the refugee team were nationals from countries such as Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

New Olympic Sports 2020

The total number of sports taking place in Tokyo 2020 is 33, 5 more than in the Rio 2016 Olympics. 

There has been an addition of 4 completely new sports to the Olympic games. These sports were introduced in an attempt to better appeal to the younger generations. 

These sports have been dramatically increasing in popularity across the globe. A 2009 study identified that there were over 11 million skateboarders across the planet and this number has since skyrocketed.


The new sports include surfing, skateboarding. Karate, and sport climbing. Baseball and softball are set to return to the games. Baseball and softball were last seen in the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

How Much Does it Cost To Go To the Olympics

To organise a trip to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics could prove to be very expensive and logistically difficult.

 There will likely be cheaper tickets for sale from the Japanese market, however, it is recommended that all tickets are purchased from Authorised Ticket Resellers (ATR). 

This is to guarantee that your tickets are genuine. 

The Team GB website is the UK ATR and offers a wide range of package deals. Each package deal includes return flights, accommodation, transfers, travel cards, and tickets to the events that you have selected. 

Packages range from just shy of £5,000 to £17,000 for longer stays.


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