Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus infection, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were held for the first time in history without spectators. Don't you want to know about the "current status" of the Japan National Stadium, the main venue for the historic tournament?
One year after the games, a stadium tour was born to introduce areas that cannot normally be seen, such as player locker rooms and stadium tracks, along with memories of the tournament. The FUN! JAPAN editorial department got you covered - we participated in a stadium tour where you can experience the legacy of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, such as running on the tracks and standing on the podium to feel just like an athlete. How about experiencing the Olympics and Paralympics that will be a memory of your life when traveling to Japan is resumed?
About the Japan National Stadium
The Japan National Stadium is a sports complex established in 1958 and used as the revenue of Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games. The Old National Stadium (Kasumigaoka National Stadium) was demolished in 2016, and the new stadium which became the main venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games was built on the site. The design is by Kengo Kuma, an architect who has many works around the globe.
The slit-shaped part on the outer circumference of the stadium and on each floor is the part called the Nokibisasi (軒庇 - a canopy top or an eave), which has traditionally been used in Japanese architecture. These timbers are procured from 47 prefectures and placed in each direction facing toward the prefectures. Not only can they keep out sunlight and wind and rain, but the design itself is also a major feature.
The spectator seats of the National Stadium, which has 5 floors above ground, 2 floors below ground, and a total of about 68,000 seats, use five colors (white, yellow-green, gray, dark green, and dark brown) in the image of rays of sunlight shining through the forest. The areas near the field are mainly dark and the areas near the roof are randomly arranged with light colors, making it appear that the seats are filled even without any audience.
About the Japan National Stadium Tour
At the time of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, only a small number of athletes, tournament officials, and children who saw the games under the spectator program for schools were able to enter the Japan National Stadium. From 2022, the Japan National Stadium Tour is held in order to open the Japan National Stadium to wider range of people. It is prepared with a "standard tour" that introduces areas that cannot normally be seen, such as locker rooms and competition tracks, and a "VIP tour" that includes participants' special benefits of visiting the VIP area!
The Japan National Stadium Tour (Stanard Tour)
The standard tour will take you to 6 areas. After passing through the entrance gate at the start of the tour, there the inside of the stadium is! You can sit in the general spectator seat and feel like watching the game.
Track and Field
In the track and field area, you can run on the same tracks that the athletes competed in!
You can even sign an autograph on cameras! That is what the you can sometimes sees in sports broadcasts, where the athlete scrawling his/her signature directly on the camera lens. You can also shoot a video of the signing and save it on your device. It's a rare experience, isn't it? Here's how it actually looks like.
The Olympic and Paralympic logos are still left on the track. Take a commemorative photo here!
Flash Interview Zone
Next to the track and field area, we visited the flash interview zone used for interviews with players and managers.
You can enjoy the feeling of being a player who won a medal by standing on the podium that was actually used at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
You can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the match in the locker room, which only team members can enter. Observe the torch relay torch of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 at a short distance. Be sure to take a commemorative photo here too!
At the back of the flash interview zone, there is a signature wall with autographs left by the athletes participating in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Athletics. There are about 300 autographs of athletes around the world, and there maybe the autographs of athletes from your country too? Be sure to look for them!
The Japan National Stadium Tour (VIP Tour)
The VIP area tour is different from the standard "stadium tour" right from the entrance. The ceiling is based on an image of origami. The interior of the VIP area is all modern Japanese-style, assuming that it will welcome VIPs from overseas.
A VIP lounge is set up on the opposite side of the main stand from the field side, and you can also visit here in this tour.
You will have a chance to visit areas that are not normally seen by general public, such as the "guest room" used by important guests and the top of the competition group, and the sponsor room. You can even actually sit down to experience the extra-ordinary feel.
By the way, the chairs in the VIP area are designed to be more spacious than the usual spectator stand seats. The seating surface of the spectator stand seat is made of plastic. The guest seats are cushioned and thick, so you can sit comformly for a long time.
VIP tour participants will receive an original eco-bag as retreat. It's like an experience of being a state guest, isn't it?
Shared spots between standard tour & VIP tour: Observation Deck
The Observation Deck is a photo spot with a panoramic view of about 68,000 seats. It is on the 4th floor which is definitely a hightlight of the tour. If you look at the large roof lined with wood from up close, you will be able to realize the size of the Japan National Stadium once again.
Even outside of the Japan National Stadium is still full of photo spots!
The "Japan National Stadium Tour" only guides you around the inner part of the stadium, but there are many photo spots outside the Japan National Stadium too. First, take a commemorative photo with the monument labeled "National Stadium" and the Japan National Stadium in the background.
The Olympic Cauldron used at the former Japan National Stadium during the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games was relocated and is now on display outside the Japan National Stadium.
The Olympic Cauldron used at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 is also permanently installed here.
Japan National Stadium Stadium Tour
- Venue: the Japan National Stadium (国立競技場)
- Address: 10-1 Kasumigaokamachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo
- Time of availability: Summer 11:00-18:00 / Winter 11:00-16:30
* Please check the schedule on the website
- Price (tax included):
- Regular tour: Adults JPY 1,400 / High school students and younger JPY 800
- VIP area & observation deck tour: Adults JPY 3,000 / High school students and younger JPY 1,500
- Reservation: From the official website https://ticket.kokuritu-tours.jp/
- 5 minutes walk from "Sendagaya Station" and "Shinanomachi Station" on the JR Sobu Line
- 1 minute walk from Exit A2 of "Kokuritsu-kyogijo Station" on the Toei Oedo Line
- 9 minutes walk from Exit 3 of Tokyo Metro "Gaiemmae Station"