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Eagerly awaited Olympic torch relay starts in Fukushima on March 25

The Olympic flame will make its way from Fukushima to Tokyo over the course of 121 days, travelling through all 47 prefectures of Japan, before lighting the cauldron at the Olympic Stadium to mark the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

The Olympic flame will finally start its journey across Japan in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay.

After the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the Olympic flame will finally start its journey from Fukushima to Tokyo on March 25, 2021. The official torchbearers, including 118-year old Kane Tanaka, will carry the flame across Japan’s 47 prefectures and reach Tokyo on July 9 for the last leg of the course through the capital. The 121-day course remains almost identical with the original plan, but with appropriate changes to the event implemented according to the strict COVID-19 countermeasure guidelines set by the Tokyo Olympic committee. You can livestream the whole event safe from your home on the official Tokyo 2020 website .

“Hope lights our way” is the motto of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, which aims to showcase the recovery of regions affected by the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake. Fukushima was one of the areas greatly affected by the earthquake and is the first prefecture of the torch relay course. The relay officially starts on March 25 at J-Village―a vast training facility and a symbol of Fukushima’s revival. The torch will then share its light of hope throughout Fukushima for 3 days, before making its way to the next prefecture of the course, Tochigi.

2020_Olympic_torch_head

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch is made partially out of recycled aluminum from temporary houses for victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The design features the cherry blossom, a motif strongly associated with Japan and a fitting reflection of the cherry blossom season which coincides with the torch relay.

From Okinawa in the south to Hokkaido in the north, around 10,000 torchbearers from various backgrounds will keep passing on the torch as it crosses Japan’s 47 prefectures. While connecting people across the country, the torch relay also highlights a wide range of tourist spots around Japan. Follow the relay to learn more about each prefecture, and what unique experiences await in each area.

With the large number of people involved in the event, all prefectures are working hard to ensure safety for everyone. People who plan to show their support for the torchbearers throughout the relay are also asked to take appropriate measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, such as applauding instead of cheering out loud.

Finally, the torch will arrive at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo for the opening ceremony on July 23, 2021. There it will mark the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by igniting the flame cauldron, which will burn until the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games on August 8. During the Games, a second cauldron with the Olympic flame will be located near the Dream Bridge in Odaiba.

Scenery of Tokyo with a view of the National Stadium

The torch relay’s motto, “Hope lights our way,” will have further meaning this year as it symbolizes a hope for the end of the current global pandemic. A ray of hope to unify people all around the world.

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