The Olympic Stadium Opens! One Step Closer to the Start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

The Olympic Stadium officially opened on December 15, 2019, marking a major milestone in the countdown to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Tokyo. The venue will host the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics and some soccer matches. The venue, designed by Kengo Kuma retains two murals from the old National Stadium for the 1964 Olympics and Paralympics.

After three years of construction, the Olympic Stadium (New National Stadium) for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games is finally complete. The opening ceremony on December 15 with Prime Minister Abe marked a major milestone to the start of the 2020 Games.

Designed by Kengo Kuma, the design theme for the stadium is to blend with the forested park area of Meiji Jingu Shrine. The stadium features a combination of wood and steel construction and many plants along the outside of the building. The fifth floor walkway of the stadium, called Grove of the Sky, provides a view of the surrounding area.

A stadium sign featuring the public opening event called Hello, Our Stadium.

Even during construction, and with fences blocking most of the view, the stadium has proved to be a popular photo spot. Once the fence comes down and  so that people can take pictures without any obstruction and fully appreciate the completed structure, it is sure to become even more popular. The Aoyama Gate displays mosaic-tile murals from the 1964 stadium.

Mural at the Aoyama Gate of the National Stadium.

A ceremony for the public called “Hello, Our Stadium” was held on Saturday, December 21, 2019. The event featured Usain Bolt, and a relay event called One Race. Team members Japanese and international athletes from various Olympic and Paralympic disciplines. The taiko group Kodo and pop groups Arashi and Dreams Come True provided musical entertainment.

The first official athletic event for the stadium is the soccer finals for the Emperor’s Cup on January 1, 2020.  The stadium will be the location for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the venue for track and field events and some soccer matches.

As the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games draws nearer, it will be exciting to see more events that mark the countdown to the opening. The 2020 Olympics run from July 24 to August 9 and the Paralympics run from August 25 to September 6.