Watch: the epic drone display at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony

The mind-blowing, futuristic display featured 1,824 drones and was even visible from the streets around the stadium

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

During a moving opening ceremony which officially kicked off the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, all eyes were on the Japan National Stadium. Although no spectators were in attendance aside from a handful of VIPs, many people tuned in online to catch the momentous ceremony, which included this jaw-dropping drone display.  

A blue orb made up of 1,824 drones formed above the stadium before morphing into the Tokyo 2020 logo and then transforming into the shape of the Earth. It was a light show worthy of the final showdown in a Marvel superhero movie. 

Drone displays are not new – there was a similar display during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which saw about 1,218 drones take the sky. However, Tokyo's arrangement took the technology to the next level, offering a bigger, more dynamic display and choreographing the drones to make a fully 3D 'sculpture'.

The drones could be seen from the streets around Meiji Jingu Gaien and even in the skyline from afar, meaning some lucky Tokyoites got to watch the display in person. If you missed out, here’s a look at the drones in all their glory.

This video clearly shows the scale of the massive drone display against the backdrop of Tokyo’s skyline.

Here’s a gorgeous close-up of the drone orb as it changes from the Tokyo 2020 logo into the Earth.

You can see the massive orb wowing lucky Tokyoites who spotted the display from a nearby building.

Ahead of the opening ceremony, some people happened to catch the rehearsal of the drone display.


During the rehearsal, lyrics for John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ also appeared with the drones. Although the lyrics weren’t shown during the ceremony, the song was performed with a montage of singers from around the globe. 

The drones were pretty busy in the lead up to the ceremony, even being used to display pictograms of the official Olympic sports earlier this week.

Lastly, here’s how the drone display looked from inside the stadium during the ceremony.

For more memorable moments from the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, see our photo feature here.

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