Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics had to be postponed by a year and were held in 2021 instead of 2020. During the course of the year, there were emergencies declared in various cities to curb infections. Despite the many obstacles, the Olympics were successfully held with athletes participating from all over the world. In this feature, we showcase some of the scenes around the city and surrounding areas during the Olympics.
In front of Tokyo Station, Marunouchi side, and Mori Tower near Roppongi Station, there was a countdown clock for the Olympics since 2019.
On the streets of Tokyo, there were banners and posters welcoming the 2020 Olympics almost everywhere. In fact, most of these were set up at the beginning of 2020 to welcome tourists that were planned to arrive during the Olympics.
Across Odaiba’s seaside spot, you could see the Statue of Liberty with the Olympic rings in the background.
From another spot, you could get a different photograph of the Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, and the Olympic rings. The Tokyo Tower and Rainbow Bridge were also illuminated in a special color during the games.
The Olympic flame platform (cauldron) was also located in Odaiba at the Dream Bridge in Ariake.
The view of the torches during the day and night were quite different.
You could see the Olympic rings at Nihonbashi (bridge), one of the iconic spots in Tokyo.
In the neighboring city of Yokohoma too you could feel the excitement of the Olympics. The famous Ferris wheel also had an animated display featuring the games.
You could also snap a photo of the Olympic rings by the port.
Many popular architectural gems were also lit up in Olympic colors. Here, you can see the Rainbow Bridge in blue and pink alluding to the official characters of the Tokyo Olympics.
The blue stands for Miraitowa, which has the same indigo blue as the TOKYO 2020 logo. The character’s name comes from the words “Mirai” (future) and “Towa” (eternity). The pink stands for Someiti, which is inspired by cherry blossoms. The name is a neologism of Someiyoshino, one of the most abundantly found cherry blossom varieties in Japan, and the English words “so mighty.” Even though these mascots were being seen since 2019, they weren’t very visible during the games.
Public transport like buses and even trains featured the Olympic mascots.
Even though the games did not allow for any spectators, these bright mascots helped create some cheer and enthusiasm for those watching from home.
Tokyo Skytree, the tallest structure in the city, was also lit up every night in the Olympic ring colour. Closer to the top, you could also see the Olympic rings in white.
The Olympic Museum is the most popular spot to take photos with the Olympic rings. It is located at Gaienmae Station, which has the headquarters of the Olympics, and has the main Olympic venue for the 2020 games.
Of course, no one wanted to miss their chance for a once-in-a-lifetime photo.
Before the opening ceremony, the Blue Impulse, Japan Self-Defense Force’s fighter jets, displayed the Olympic colors over the city.
At the opening ceremony, there were many spectacular performances but the ones that excited fans the world over were the many Japanese game theme songs including those from Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario Bros and more for the parade of participating countries.
Another impressive part of the event was 1,824 drones revolving and forming a globe above the Olympic Stadium-an astounding display of artistry and technology.
Despite being an opening ceremony with few spectators, it did not fail to impress audiences globally.
Another exciting part of the opening was the pictogram sequence when 50 logos of 33 sports disciplines were brought to life by performers. You can watch the replay on the Official NHK Youtube channel.
Camera angles played a very important role for this pictogram sequence.
The opening ceremony did not fail to create excitement and impress viewers, ranging from sports to pop culture fans.
Naomi Osaka, one of the best tennis players in the world, climbed up a set of stairs with the Olympic torch in her hand to light the cauldron inside a blooming flower.
Although the opening ceremony was successful, many Japanese were against the Olympics being held during a pandemic.
These Olympics also saw integrating pop culture, from music to manga and video games, successfully with a sporting event. Here, you can see a participant dressed as a character from Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer).
On August 8, 2021, the closing ceremony of the Olympics was held. A bittersweet moment for many in Japan as it was not the Olympics they had envisioned.
Tokyo bid farewell to the games by saying “Arigato” meaning “Thank You”, rather than Sayonara.
At the closing ceremony, Paris, the next host for the 2024 Olympics, was shown in a live broadcast.
From August 24 to September 5, remember to watch the Paralympics and cheer the athletes.
Although the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was successfully held despite the endless problems due to the pandemic, it has cost the nation a lot of money to organize this massive event. Nonetheless, spectators around the world were in awe and impressed by the spectacle and will hopefully be able to visit Japan soon.
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