A new tour gives visitors unprecedented access to Japan’s new National Stadium in Shinjuku, which hosted the world’s top athletes for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
View of an athlete at the main Olympic and Paralympic venue
Visitors wishing to relive the thrill of Tokyo 2020 can book a place on a tour of Japan’s new National Stadium, the main venue for the Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The tour takes participants to the observation deck on the fourth level of the stadium, which offers a view of the entire venue, and also offers a taste of what it’s like to be an athlete with access to the pitch, track and even locker rooms and interview areas – normally off-limits to members of the public. Other stops on the tour include a display of torches used to carry the Olympic flame, medal podiums, and a wall with autographs of Olympians.
A member of the stadium’s publicity team pointed out that with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held without spectators, only a limited number of people have been able to see inside the stadium so far. “We want people to take this opportunity to see the stands and inside the stadium, and imagine the thrill of being an athlete at the games.”
Tours take place several times a day, with the exception of days when sports competitions or other events are scheduled, and reservations can be booked online. Up to 100 people can participate in each 30-minute session, with the total daily capacity set at around 1,000 people. Visits will take place until the end of March 2024.
Currently, bookings are only open to individuals, but there are plans to expand visits to larger groups, including schools. The tours are expected to be popular with overseas visitors once COVID-19 restrictions on inbound tourism are eased. A public relations officer said that “many people around the world were disappointed that they could not attend the games. We hope foreign visitors will take the opportunity to visit and enjoy the Japanese feel of the stadium with its extensive use of wood.
Visits to the new national stadium
- Official website (Japanese only): https://kokuritu-tours.jp/
- Address: 10-1 Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku, Tokyo
- Access: Five-minute walk from Sendagaya and Shinanomachi stations on the JR Sōbu line, one minute from Kokuritsu-Kyōgijō station on the Toei Ōedo line, or nine minutes from Gaienmae on the Tokyo Metro Ginza line
- Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (start and end times may vary)
- Admission: ¥1,400 for adults, ¥800 for high school students and younger
(Originally published in Japanese. Report, text and photos by Nippon.com. Banner photo: A medal podium used at the Paralympic Games.)