It’s been almost eight months since the Tokyo Olympics, which were held without any spectators, passed the baton over to Paris, the host of the 2024 Games. And now finally, visitors are allowed to enter the Japan National Stadium.
With this new tour, you can see the insides of the Olympic stadium at Meiji Jingu Gaien, designed by leading Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. You’ll be able to step foot into the colossal 200,000sqm sporting arena and see where the athletes spent their time during, before and after their events, and witness some of Tokyo Olympics’ legacies up close.
What we love about this tour is that you get to roam around freely at your own pace and leisure. The signages are in Japanese and English, and of course, attendants are around should you have any enquiries.
The stadium tour is not just show and tell – there are activities for you to experience the space hands-on and feel what it’s like to be an athlete in the stadium. After entering the facility from the bleachers, you’ll take a stroll along the tracks before striking a pose with the Paralympic podium and film yourself jumping over a hurdle.
You can even record yourself signing the lens of a video camera, just as an Olympian would do when they achieve victory.
Located on the ground floor next to the field is the Flash Interview Zone. As its name suggests, this space was used for media interviews with athletes before and after their events. Here you’ll find the phrases ‘Tokyo, Japan' and ‘National Stadium’ written in calligraphy by Japanese artist Bisen Aoyagi.
There are numerous photo spots at the Flash Interview Zone, decorated with Tokyo 2020 signages and posters. You can also take a closer look at the Olympic torch that traveled through all of Japan’s 47 prefectures.
From the interview space you’ll hop into the locker rooms, which were only accessible to people working directly with the athletes during the Olympics.
At the parking lot, there’s an entire wall filled with the signatures of around 300 Olympic athletes.
Once you’ve toured the ground floor, you’ll head up to the top deck for a breathtaking view of the Olympic stadium. Here you really get to feel the scale and immensity of the stadium as you cast your eyes over the field and the bleachers from above.
Need a break? Feel free to park yourself on the players’ benches used during football, rugby and track-and-field matches.
The features outside the stadium building are worth checking out, too, especially the iconic cauldron from the Tokyo 2020 opening and closing ceremonies. Designed by Canadian-Japanese designer Oki Sato, the beautiful installation is meant to represent a blooming cherry blossom, one of the most beloved icons of Japan. The 1964 Tokyo Olympic cauldron, which was temporarily relocated when the stadium was being rebuilt, is now back on-site, reclaiming its rightful place around its newer counterpart from the 2020 Games.
The free-and-easy Japan National Stadium tour is offered from 11am to 6pm daily until March 2024. Entry costs ¥1,400 per person (¥800 for high school students and younger). Tickets for the month are available from the middle of the month before, and you can make an online reservation in advance.
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