Photo: Mitsubishi Electric Iro Iro Stadium
    Photo: Mitsubishi Electric Iro Iro Stadium
    Photo: Who I Am House
  4. Mazekoze Island Tour
    Photo: Mazekoze Island Tour

6 Paralympic fringe events you should check out in Tokyo

Virtual and real-life events where you can immerse yourself in the Paralympic Games, learn about the athletes, and more

Written by
Time Out Tokyo Editors

Now that the Olympic Games have ended, the Olympic rings monument in Odaiba has been replaced with the three agitos of the Paralympics, which are set to open on August 24. This year’s Tokyo Paralympic Games will see Japan’s largest ever team of Paralympic athletes compete in the Games, which will span 12 days and cover 22 different sports. 

The Games will no doubt see another round of awe-inspiring moments and record-breaking victories, but the quadriennal event isn’t limited to the sporting competitions. To honour the Paralympic spirit and push for equal treatment for people with disabilities, a host of immersive events have been organised in the city to coincide with the Paralympic Games.. 

Here are the best offline and online events and exhibitions to check out.

RECOMMENDED: How to watch the Tokyo Paralympics online for free

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  • Ginza

This comprehensive exhibition organised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will make you into an expert on the Paralympic Games by the time you’ve seen everything here. The Paralympics are sometimes overshadowed by the preceding Olympic Games, but this collection of photographs, interview videos with Paralympians and other exhibits will get you up to speed in time to follow all of the live events. 

Visitors will receive their own Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Handbook, which contains information on the schedule and highlights of each Paralympic event, as well as explanations on the emblems for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Before you leave, be sure to snap a photo with the official Tokyo 2020 Paralympic mascot, Someity. 

For those who can’t physically make it to the venue, there will also be a 360-degree virtual exhibition to explore from the comfort of your own home.

Toyosu Market Online Virtual Tour

The athletes’ village, as well as many of the Olympic and Paralympic sporting venues, is just a stone’s throw away from the Toyosu Market, which became the world’s biggest fish market when it replaced its predecessor, Tsukiji Market. This famed attraction would be crowded with overseas visitors had they been able to come to Tokyo to witness the Games, but spectator bans and entry restrictions have prevented people from doing so. 

Not to worry though, because the Tokyo Junior Chamber of Commerce has a plan to bring the Toyosu Market to you instead. On August 28 and 3pm JST, a free ‘Olympic Tour’ will be streamed on YouTube for people to virtually tour the area around the Olympic and Paralympic venues as well as the Toyosu Market. The tour includes a stroll around the Ariake Tennis Forest and Ariake Arena, as well as a tour of the market with the cooperation of stores in the Toyosu Market, where you’ll be given an introduction on the traditional ways to prepare and eat fish.

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  • Events & Festivals

Tokyo 2020 Nippon World Festival ONE (Our New Episode) is a virtual showcase of theatre, art and music celebrating idiosyncratic artistic talents. As part of the official programme of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the festival highlights minority artists including those with multicultural backgrounds or physical disabilities as well as those who identify as LGBTQ+. 

The festival’s main event – named the Mazekoze Island Tour – is designed to resemble a virtual tour of an exotic island. Your flight attendant for the tour is one of Tokyo’s top drag queens, Durian Lollobrigida, who’s there to help explain what each of the nine ‘islands’ have to offer. Each island has a different theme and a corresponding set of events to stream each day. The Musa Island, for instance, is a virtual museum featuring works by the likes of fashion photographer Leslie Kee and children’s author Kanayo Sugiyama. Other exciting islands include the Rainbow Island, which will feature queer artists and performers who use their craft to promote equality for sexual and gender minorities.

The Mazekoze Island Tour will take off at 4pm JST on Sunday August 22. There will be English subtitles, and you can watch it on YouTube as well as on the Line app.

  • Things to do
  • Toyosu

Who I Am House in Toyosu is a pop-up gallery sponsored by Tokyo Gas, dedicated to promoting the Tokyo Paralympic Games. From now until September 5, the gallery is screening ‘Who I Am’ for free; this on-going docuseries has been running since the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. 

Organisers hope that by highlighting the achievements and tireless endeavors of the Paralympic athletes, the exhibition will help inspire the city to push for greater diversity and create more opportunities for people with disabilities.

In addition to the screening, the exhibition space also features photographs, manga art, athlete uniforms and exercise equipment – visitors can even interact with some of the installations.

More on the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games

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