Nothing beats watching Olympic Games On TV to awaken a great desire to travel.
Although the stadiums were mostly empty (with spectators banned in almost every stadium), athletes from all over the world still amaze us, against the backdrop of the beautiful landscapes of Japan.
The good news is that many of the special structures built for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will remain in place long after the event ends. Then, when the borders open, it will be possible to personally visit the places where your favorite athletes competed for gold.
Most Olympic and Paralympic events are held in and around the capital.
Part of Tokyo’s argument in favor of the IOC was that most of the new structures built specifically for the Games would then remain in use for the benefit of the Japanese people.
Japan National Stadium
Located in the popular Shinjuku district of Tokyo, the stadium has hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, as well as most sporting events. It replaced the former National Stadium, which was demolished in 2016.
Renowned architect Kengo Kuma, who is also a professor of architecture at the University of Tokyo, designed the new icon that will be the focus of the games.
The stadium has a capacity of 68,000 people and is made of wood from 46 of Japan’s 47 prefectures (regions).
There was no shortage of historic moments on the field, including the thrilling high jump final in which Italy’s Gianmarco Tempere and Qatar’s Mutaz Issa Barshim chose to share the Olympic gold medal.
For a great view of the stadium, visit the Shibuya Sky Observation Deck in the Shibuya Scramble Square building.
Located in southwest Tokyo, this elegant building has hosted all volleyball matches during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Team USA made history on the final day of the games, beating the Brazilian women’s volleyball team for the gold medal.
Once the games are over, the arena will serve as a local community center and event venue with a capacity of over 12,000 people.
Musashino Forest Sport Plaza
Qufu Square, located in the western suburbs of Tokyo, was the first venue where the Tokyo Olympics were completed for this purpose.
Musashino Forest Sport Plaza covers an area of 30,000 square meters and features a white and silver pitched roof. It has hosted badminton and modern pentathlon events during the games.
China dominated the badminton court here, winning six medals, two of them gold.
After the games, Tokyo officials said it will serve as a multi-purpose venue for major sports competitions and entertainment events.
Bonus: the gym is a short walk from the Studio Ghibli Museum.
Tokyo Aquatics Center
Built specifically for the 2020 games, Tokyo Aquatics Center is located within Tatsumi-no-mori Seaside Park, a popular green space where residents can play mini golf or just enjoy the changing autumn leaves.
As the name implies, many water sports, such as diving and swimming, took place here, during the games, with many historical moments.
The US team made its mark at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, winning a gold medal and breaking the world record in the men’s 4×100 medley relay final.
In addition, American swimmer Katie Ledecky has reaffirmed her position as a competitive athlete in the short and long distance events. Ledecky won gold medals in the 1500 and 800m freestyle in Tokyo and silver medals in the 400m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle.
He has already won ten medals in three Olympics.
After the Olympics, the Tokyo Aquatics Center will continue to host events and will also serve as a swimming pool for Tokyo residents.
Marine forest stream
Home to kayaking and kayaking events, this purpose-built space sits on the canals between two man-made islands in Tokyo Bay. Here, Brazilian Izequias Queiroz won the gold medal in the 1000m rowing.
After the games, it will continue to host international rowing and boating competitions and will be open to the public as a recreation area.
Visitors will know they’re approaching when they see the imposing Tokyo Gate Bridge at the end of the road, a constant sight on screens during this year’s Games.
Oi Hockey Stadium
The impressive corner field of field hockey – electric blue artificial turf looks as good in real life as it does on TV – inside the sports forest at Oi Central Seaside Park, along the Sumida River.
The locals love this park for its sunset. Officials say the venue, designed specifically for the Olympics, will be used for hockey, futsal and other sports after the 2020 games.
The Judo Headquarters in Chiyoda District was built specifically for the Tokyo Olympics, but not just for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Known as Budokan (meaning martial arts hall), it was built in 1964, the first time Tokyo hosted the Games.
Since then, it has also become a popular place for musicians to perform when they come to Japan.
At this year’s Games, the space has the honor of being the first venue for the Karate Olympics.
On August 6, Japan’s Ryo Kyuna made Olympic history here, becoming the first gold medalist in the men’s kata event.
Olympic and Paralympic Athletes Village
Built on 13 hectares in the Harumi district of Tokyo, the Athletes Village will start a new life once the sporting events are over.
The much discussed cardboard beds will be removed and the entire complex will be converted into apartments, which is always a necessity in a densely populated city like Tokyo.
According to the Olympics spokesperson, there will be 5,650 housing units for sale.
Praia de surfe di Tsurigasaki
Surfing made its debut at the Tokyo Olympics, with Tsurigasaki in nearby Chiba Prefecture selected as a guest due to the natural waves and proximity to Tokyo.
This is where Brazilian Otalo Ferreira made history as the first Olympic men’s surfing champion. And the American Carissa Moore did the same, becoming the first champion.
Tsurigasaki is already very popular with surfers in Japan and around the world and has many hotels, restaurants, and surf shops for those looking to plan their wave vacation when Japan reopens its borders to tourism.
Taekwondo, wrestling, and fencing were among the events held at the Makuhari Messe during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The convention center in Chiba Prefecture regularly hosts world events, whether it’s a Lady Gaga show or a giant Pokemon card swap match.
Team USA fighter Gable Stevenson is sure to remember his time at Makuhari Macy’s – he defeated Georgian Gino Petriyashville and won the gold in the men’s 125kg wrestling final here on August 6.
Built for the sailing events of the 1964 Tokyo Games, the Enoshima Yachting Port in Kanagawa Prefecture was also awarded this year.
It is also the place where the Olympic pyre was laid before the opening ceremonies. Brazilians Martin Grill and Kahina Konzi won the gold medal here in the FX 49er class.
After the games, it will continue to serve as a destination for water sports enthusiasts.
Super Arena Saitama
With a convertible dome, the impressive Saitama Super Arena is one of the largest multi-purpose venues in Japan, hosting concerts, lectures, and many other events besides sports.
North of Tokyo, in nearby Saitama Prefecture, is where the US team beat the French men’s basketball team, taking the gold on Saturday (7).
Team USA women won the gold medal here on the final day of the games, beating Japan in the final.
The victory saw WNBA stars Sue Bird of Seattle Storm and Diana Taurasi of Phoenix Mercury become the first female athlete to win five gold medals in any team sport in Olympic history.
Being the largest football stadium in Japan, Saitama Stadium has been the logical place to host Olympic football matches since it hosted the 2002 World Cup.
Canadians may want to come here to relive the moment their country won the gold medal in women’s soccer in a dramatic final against Sweden. After two extra times full of drama and a penalty shootout, Canadian Julia Grosso finished the match against Sweden by winning her first gold medal in women’s soccer. In the men’s field, the Brazilian national team beat Spain in extra time, in one of the last finals of the Games.
After the matches, Saitama will continue to host major football matches.
Yokohama baseball stadium
Baseball is big business in Japan, and the 2020 Olympics marked the return of softball and baseball as official events.
Yokohama Stadium, completed in 1978, hosted the games that concluded on Saturday night (7), when the United States faced Japan for the gold medal in baseball. In the end, the home team beat the United States 2-0.
For the rest of the year, this huge stadium south of Tokyo is where the Yokohama Deena Baystars plays for tens of thousands of fans.
National Training Center in Ji Village (Fukushima)
The theme of the Tokyo Olympics was the “Games of Recovery”.
To honor this, the Olympic torch relay began at the National Training Center in Ji Village in eastern Fukushima, which was the base of operations for the first responders who came here after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
Located in the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan, it has been converted into a community center and sports training venue.
Parki Sapporo Odori
On Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, Sapporo Odori Park is a popular destination thanks to its annual winter festival.
In 2021 it hosted parades and marathons. On the final day of the Games, legendary Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge won the men’s marathon gold medal, crossed the finish line at Sapporo Odori Park in 2 hours 38 minutes and claimed his fourth Olympic medal.
Fun fact: Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics and hopes to repeat the dose in 2030.
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