Next year, Tokyo will host the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, and if you want to visit, you’ll need help planning a trip. That entails quite a lot, but from where to stay to how to get around, here are a few things to know If you plan on attending the Olympics in person.
Where to Stay
The best place to stay for the Olympics will be the Tokyo Station area, a hub in the city with centralized shopping and dining, as well as entertainment. Oakwood Premier is a condo building where you can rent an apartment to stay, giving you all the comforts of home (though bear in mind this will be a very competitive option). You can also try excellent venues like the Palace Hotel, Hotel Metropolitan, or The Tokyo Station Hotel. If a boutique hotel experience is more your style, then try the Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Ginza or the Shibuya Granbell Hotel. Long story short, there are plenty of accommodation options – it’s a huge city, and one that’s been preparing for this for years. However, the best options are already being snatched up, so if you do plan to attend, be proactive!
How to Get Around
Like a lot of large cities, Tokyo has a vast public transportation system that isn’t too hard to figure out. Indeed, the system has been streamlined to make it easier than driving around, such that it can make life fairly easy on visitors (given that transportation options are typically crowded). Train and subway options abound, and while navigation in any new place is daunting at first, it’s manageable if you take the time to study your routes.
Visitors should also know that they can buy a prepaid transit pass, called a Suica card, in advance.
Visit the Japan Railway website for help, and you’ll be able to pick your card up at the airport when you arrive.
You can also always try a taxi, but fees can add up and there can be more of a language barrier issue, which is essentially a needless hassle.
Stadiums to Visit
As with any modern Olympic Games, next summer’s events will take place across a range of venues. But it still helps to know some of the highlights.
The New National Stadium will effectively be center stage in Tokyo, and is where the the opening and closing ceremonies will be held. You’ll also be able to catch a variety of different competitions there throughout the Games. It’s under construction now, but will be finished in time for the event next year, and in the spirit of primary Olympic venues should be a sight to behold.
You’ll want to visit other stadiums to catch the best Olympic events, too. The Equestrian Park, Tokyo Stadium, and Saitama Super Arena will all be busy throughout. But really, the full range of venues is worth studying up on in advance, so you can make sure you get a chance to see the sports and athletes who matter most to you.
There are always busy international betting markets surrounding the Olympics, and it’s no wonder why. Making a wager can enhance the excitement of any given event, and it can always be fun to bet on your favorites (or to win some money, provided you recognize it’s never a sure thing!).
If you’re curious about the betting scene in Tokyo, we should note that online sports betting is largely allowed in Japan, even if it’s not a major focal point. That is to say, it should be fine to place a bet if you’re so inclined, but it may be the UK-based bookmaking platforms and some other major providers around the world that end up supporting the most activity. You likely won’t find on-the-ground betting options at or around Olympic venues. And frankly the aforementioned online platforms are more secure anyway.
Part of attending the Olympics in person is the excitement of seeing a place you may not be familiar with, and immersing yourself in a country’s culture. So, if your trip schedule allows for further exploration of Japan, you should absolute look into some attractions outside of Tokyo as well.
There are some amazing places to visit that aren’t too far away. One must-see spot is Mt. Fuji, which you can pretty much experience in one day away from the city. You can also go to Yokohama, where tourists sometimes go to see the Sankeien Garden, as well as to explore all kinds of great dining options. And one more day-trip option is to visit the temples at Kamakura – only an hour away from Tokyo. It’s a great way to learn some of the area’s history (you can take a sort of educational bus tour), and you might just be back in Tokyo for dinner – or an evening sporting event.
In the end, everyone’s Olympic experience is different, and your priorities will likely revolve largely around the sports themselves. But we hope that this general guide will get you prepared to make the most out of the Tokyo Games!