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Tokyo Summer Games
Tokyo, Japan .
Melissa Budd-Wilkowski

I highly recommend Bucket List Events! Thank you for showing our group a fantastic time! Every activity was well organized and so much fun!

Melissa Budd-Wilkowski
Melissa Budd-Wilkowski

I highly recommend Bucket List Events! Thank you for showing our group a fantastic time! Every activity was well organized and so much fun!

Melissa Budd-Wilkowski

Everything to Know – Tokyo Olympics FAQs

The Tokyo Olympics will be held during July and August of 2020. The events officially kick off during the opening ceremonies on Friday, July 24. The closing ceremonies on Sunday, August 9 will mark the end of the games. During these 17 days, there will be 324 different events that one could possibly attend, so we made these Tokyo Olympics FAQs. The Paralympic games will also be held in Tokyo, beginning on August 25 and running until September 6. This will be the fourth time that the Games are being held in Japan, and the second time they are hosting the Summer Games.


Where will the games be held – Tokyo Olympics FAQs?

A majority of the games will be held at venues within the city of Tokyo, but there are two other cities that will host some of the football games. These cities are Sendai, which is two hours to the north of Tokyo, and Sapporo, which is in the northern part of Japan. To read more about the venues and stadiums for the 2020 Summer Games, check out our blog.


What other countries bid to host – Tokyo Olympics FAQs?

Other countries that were interested in hosting the 2020 Summer Games included Turkey with Istanbul and Spain with Madrid. In the first round of voting, Tokyo was the clear favorite with 42 of the votes, and both Istanbul and Madrid earning 26 each. They had a tiebreaker for the Round One results with there being 49 cast for Istanbul and 45 for Madrid. In the second round, Tokyo handily won against Istanbul with 60 votes compared to the 36 that Istanbul received.


How do you get there – Tokyo Olympics FAQs?

As Japan is an island country, the only ways that a visitor will be able to arrive at the games is by flying or taking a boat. If you fly in, your plane will probably arrive at the Narita airport as this is a larger international airport. Another potential airport that you may land in is the Haneda airport which is conveniently located in the city. When you travel with Bucket List Events, you are guaranteed transportation to and from the airport. Furthermore, we will organize transportation for you to get to and from the venues.

For those who want to break off by themselves, you’ll find the best way to get around the city and any other areas of Japan you want to visit is by train and bus. The huge crowds and lack of parking in the city during other times of year are pretty daunting to deal with as a driver and are only expected to be worse for the Summer Games.


Do I need a visa to visit Japan?

Visitors from the U.S. do not need a visa to visit Japan. Canadian visitors do not either, as well as many European countries. Please visit the Embassy of Japan website for the most current visa information.

From the U.S. Passports & International Travel site:

  • You must have a valid passport and an onward/return ticket for tourist/business “visa free” stays of up to 90 days. Your passports must be valid for the entire time you are staying in Japan.
  • “Visa free” entry status may not be changed to another visa status without departing and then re-entering Japan with the appropriate visa, such as a spouse, work, or study visa.
  • Japanese immigration officers may deny you entry if you appear to have no visible means of support.


How many people will attend – Tokyo Olympics FAQs?

It is expected that about 207 countries will participate in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games with over 12,000 athletes alone. Tokyo Olympics Tickets do not typically go on sale until about 18 months before the Games begin, so it is hard to estimate exactly how many people beyond the athletes will be visiting. Many of the Tokyo Olympics tickets will be sold to the Japanese people, but more will be made available to the general public. If the Rio 2016 Games were any indication, Tokyo should be expecting an influx of more than 500,000 foreign travelers for the events.


Who gets to compete in the Games – Tokyo Olympics FAQs?

Athletes get invited to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games based on their performance during the qualifying rounds. These tryouts are usually reserved for the elite athletes of the competing nations that have spent the past years getting ready.


What merchandise will be available – Tokyo Olympics FAQs?

As with previous Summer Games, there will be plenty of logo merchandise available to purchase in Tokyo. This will include clothing products, sporting goods, memorabilia, and other similar items. The mascots for these Games has not yet been determined, but as with past games, it will probably feature prominently on the different merchandise that’s available for purchase.


What currency is acceptable? Can I pay with credit card?

The currency that will be used during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games is the Japanese yen. The exchange rate will more than likely change numerous times before the Games start in 2020, but as of December 2016, one United States dollar equals about 117 Japanese yen.

Cash dominates financial transactions in Japan, and far fewer places accept credit cards than do in the U.S. However, this is changing, particularly in Tokyo. Hotels, department stores, and taxis all accept payment by credit card. However you should be prepared to pay cash for metro tickets, at markets, for street food, and at smaller shops. Tokyo is also well outfitted with ATMs, all of which give you the option of service in English, where you can easily withdraw cash. For the typical visitor, we do not recommend exchanging money before your trip unless you are able to take advantage of an unprecedented exchange rate. Withdrawing cash and paying a onetime foreign transaction fee (usually around $5USD) and paying with a credit card will probably save you money in the long run.


What items are prohibited – Tokyo Olympics FAQs?

In Japan, it’s prohibited to have non-prescribed or illegal drugs in your possession, and the punishment can be rather severe. It’s also illegal to have a gun or any ammunition when in Japan. Also, a locking blade knife or one that folds that is longer than 5.5 centimeters, or a little larger than two inches is illegal to have in Japan. Lock-picking items are also illegal to have while in this country. The official list of the things that will be prohibited to have at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games is not yet available due to the amount of time until the games. Based on previous lists, most of the items are those that can be hazardous or dangerous to others. It can be a good idea to check the list before you attend the games to ensure that you’re not violating the rules as the security standards are sure to be high considering the current environment when it comes to international safety.


What venues will the Games be hosted in?

There will be over 33 different venues at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. 28 of these venues are located within about 5 miles to the Olympic Village. There are 11 new venues that are currently under construction for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. Seven venues are in the Heritage Zone which was used in the 1964 Summer Games. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be held at the National Olympic Stadium, which is in this zone. There is the Tokyo Bay Zone which has 13 different venues. The rest of the venues are located away from the Olympic Village at various areas perfect for the events that will be held there. Read more about the Tokyo Olympic venues on our blog. You can also browse the map below to get a feel for how the venues are spaced out.



What travel documents do I need for my stay in Japan?

To enter the country for the Tokyo Olympics, you’ll need a valid passport. Your passport will need to remain valid for your entire stay in the country, and you’ll need at least one page available for the entry stamp. For U.S. citizens who will stay in the country for no longer than 90 days, no tourist visa is necessary for entrance. There are also no vaccinations required to enter the country, but it’s always a good idea to speak with your physician before traveling to a foreign country to learn whether there are any health concerns that you should be aware of based on your personal medical history.

It is important to keep in mind that you should carry your passport on you at all times while in Japan in case you are stopped by the authorities.


What is the weather like in Tokyo during the summer?

When the Tokyo Olympics start, Japan will be starting their rainy season. This means that the weather is likely to be humid and warm with occasional rain storms. You’ll want to bring along items that work well for rainy weather such as rain slickers and boots along with clothing that can be layered. You’ll want to have clothing that will keep you warm during the chilliest parts of the day, but can be removed as the day warms up.


Will it be hard to find a hotel in Tokyo during the Olympics? What are the best areas to stay?

During the games, finding a hotel room in the host city can be a huge challenge – between the huge influx of tourists and the price hikes, it can be really difficult to tell if you’re getting a good deal. Lucky for Bucket List Events travelers, we take all the hassle out of that process. As part of your travel package, you can select your choice of a 3-, 4-, or 5-star hotel, all of which are conveniently located near many venues.


What is the history of the Summer and Winter Games in Japan?

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Games will be the fourth time an Olympic event will be held in Japan. The 1964 Summer Games were also hosted  in Tokyo, and many of the venues used at these Games will be used again in 2020. Japan also hosted the Winter Games in 1972 and 1998. In 1972, the Games were hosted in Sapporo, and in 1998 they were in Nagano. Japan is looking forward to inviting the world to visit their country in 2020 after their impressive rebuilding efforts following the tragic earthquake of 2011.


What is the population of Tokyo where the 2020 Summer Games are being held?

As the capital city of Japan, Tokyo is densely populated with 13.62 million people in Tokyo Proper. This means that there are about 6,000 people per square kilometer. If you include the surrounding prefectures of Tokyo, the population is estimated to be about 38 million people, which makes this one of the most populated areas of the world no matter how you define which areas constitute Tokyo. Adding in all the visitors for the Summer Games, you can believe that the area is going to be pretty crowded.


What sports will be at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games?

There are 33 different sports at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. You can expect to see aquatics, archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoeing, climbing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, judo, karate, pentathlon, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, skateboarding, surfing, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, and wrestling. There are a huge number events which means that there will be a little something for everyone to enjoy.


What will be the best events at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games?

Everyone will have differing opinions on the best events at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. But it may be particularly interesting to check out the events that the Japanese themselves typically perform very well at. In past Games, Japanese Olympians have done very well in Wrestling, Judo, and Swimming. If you want to experience the local excitement, we recommend getting Tokyo Olympics tickets for these games.


What kind of transportation will be available – Tokyo Olympics FAQs?

There are numerous ways to get around the city of Tokyo for the Tokyo Olympics. These trains are so busy that they actually employ people to push commuters onto the trains to help with congestion. These public transportation options are extremely busy, but they are also very affordable and tend to run on time. There are also taxi cabs that can be used if you’re looking to use something more direct. We don’t recommend renting a car during your stay due to how busy the city is and how hard it is to find parking.

Furthermore, all visitors traveling with Bucket List Events are guaranteed transportation assistance during their stay.


What are other cities to visit during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games?

There are a number of places that you’ll want to visit during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games if you plan on leaving Tokyo. Hakone is a famous resort area that offers some spectacular views of Mt. Fuji. Kamakura is another popular area to visit as it’s home to many temples, historical structures, and shrines. Enoshima is another great place to visit as this small island has a lot to see including an aquarium, temples, and the Enoshima Shrine that is dedicated to Benzaiten. Benzaiten is the goddess of wealth, poetry, music, and good fortune. Odawara has the Odawara Castle which is not to be missed by architecture buffs and castle lovers. Yokohama offers a lot of things to see and do, including the Ramen Museum, the Cup Noodle Museum, and the Kirin Beer Museum. This is just a small highlight of the other cities around Tokyo and things to see and do there.


What are historical landmarks near the Tokyo Olympics?

There are a whopping 1516 sights and landmarks in Tokyo that you can visit during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. Some of the more popular historical landmarks include the Edo Castle Ruin, the Tokyo Central Railway Station, the Tokyo National Museum, Nezu Shrine, Sengaku-ji Temple, Toshogu Shrine, Hie Shrine, and more. There are plenty of things that you’ll be able to see and do when visiting the area beyond just visiting the Summer Games.


Are their many English speakers in Tokyo?

While English is a commonly studied foreign language in Japan, it is nowhere near as commonly spoken as in Europe. But that said, Tokyo has more English speakers than elsewhere in Japan, and in preparation for the Summer Games, most high-traffic areas of the city will be outfitted with English-language signage and English-speaking guides.


How is Japanese etiquette different from the West – Tokyo Olympics FAQs?

There are a number of things that you need to keep in mind when visiting the Tokyo Olympics. The people of Japan are very formal, but incredibly friendly. There are many things that are considered very rude in Japan that may not occur to westerners. A few examples are blowing your nose in public, standing your chopsticks up in your rice, or eating while walking. The Japanese culture is very intricate and interesting, so it may pay to learn more about it before embarking to visit the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. Your Bucket List Events tour guides are all well versed in Japanese culture, and can help make sure that you’re up to speed on etiquette. Read more about some of the most interesting differences between Western and Japanese culture on our blog.


Have more questions? Download our brochure!

Our complimentary brochure is packed with helpful information about traveling with the Tokyo Olympics FAQs.

Tokyo 2020 Travel Brochure