Spending Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 and wondering how to enjoy the competitions if you don’t have a ticket? Don’t worry. There will be a myriad of ways to watch the Games around Tokyo even outside the venues! From the official Live Sites to local bars, here is where to gather with other Olympic and Paralympic enthusiasts to share the excitement of the live competitions.
BY Karolina Höglind
Few things beat the thrill of being at a live sports event, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd, cheering on your favorite athletes with all your might. Although, as the limited tickets number of Tokyo 2020 Games were in high demand, it is very likely that even if you are going to be in Tokyo at the time of the Games, you don’t have tickets to see it all. If you didn’t get a ticket, you are not alone. But you are still in luck. During the Tokyo 2020 Games there will be endless opportunities for you to follow the competitions, even for the times when you don’t have a ticket. This is how you can experience Tokyo 2020 live, outside the sports venues!
During the Olympics and Paralympics, there will be three different types of official sites where you can watch the games live. These ‘Live Sites’ can be found all over Tokyo and selected locations across Japan. As the main organizer, Tokyo 2020’s goal is to provide a place for people to join in on the celebration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. By creating a place to watch live coverage of the competitions on giant screens anyone in Tokyo will be able to feel like they are taking part in the Games. The official names of three different types of sites are: Tokyo 2020 Live Site, Community Live Site, and Public Viewing. This is what you can expect from each place.
Apart from the official venues, this is where you can get the next best Tokyo 2020 experience. The Tokyo 2020 Live Sites are located in the areas where Tokyo 2020 Games competitions are held and offer big screens livestreaming the competitions, stage performances and, of course, a crowd of people full of anticipation and excitement.
The events, which will be fully decorated in Olympic and Paralympic colors, are hosted by Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and/or the local municipality. Together with a variety of food stalls to keep you energized throughout the day, the events will feature exhibitions and booths from official marketing partners, hosting organizations, and official merchandise. If you feel inspired by the competitions, you will also find activities where participants can try out different sports.
Head to the Tokyo 2020 Live Sites for the most authentic Tokyo 2020 experience and enjoy the ecstatic atmosphere of people across Japan and around the world coming together to cheer on the world’s biggest sports event.
Tokyo 2020 Live Sites in Tokyo include: Yoyogi Park, Inokashira Park, Takanawa Gateway station (the latest addition to the JR Yamanote Line opening on March 14, 2020) & Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. While Odawara Castle Park, Ibaraki Prefecture hall, Sonic city in Saitama, and Makuhari Seaside Park in Chiba are a few of the sites in Tokyo’s outskirts, other important locations for the Games, such as Fukushima prefecture and Sapporo, will also have a Tokyo 2020 Live Site.
Gather with the local citizens at the Community Live Sites hosted by regional municipalities and Tokyo’s special wards. Community Live Sites will create a place for the local citizens of all ages to enjoy the Games together. Although these events are smaller in scale compared to the Tokyo 2020 Live Sites, they are just as welcoming to anyone who wants to gather to cheer on the competing athletes. Just like the Tokyo 2020 Live Sites, these Community Live Sites will be decorated in Tokyo 2020 colors, show the Games live on a big screen, and offer exciting activities. Buy food and drinks at the site’s stalls and learn more about the local areas through the exhibits by the host organization.
Exact locations for the Community Live Sites will be announced soon on the Tokyo 2020 official website.
The Public Viewing sites will simply be official places airing the competitions live for people to gather and watch the Games on a big screen. They will be hosted by both regional municipalities around Japan and Tokyo, as well as educational institutions, community associations, and more. These public viewing sites will be a lot more scaled down compared to the other two, anyone who is looking for a place to watch the competitions with others will have a great time.
For anyone who wants to take the opportunity to explore Tokyo and Japan during your visit, combine your travel with places where public live viewings are held. This way you can make sure to enjoy Japan, without missing out on the competitions.
Tokyo 2020 will start accepting applications from organizations to host a Public Viewing site from April 1st, and the accepted locations will likely be announced some time as we approach summer. Keep an eye out on their website for more information.
Other ways to enjoy watching the Games while in Tokyo
If there are no official live sites near you, don’t worry. The locals are just as excited to see the games as you are and many did not get tickets either. Thanks to this, you can expect endless opportunities to catch the competitions on TV at local bars, izakayas, and maybe even some restaurants. For days when you want to have a break from the heat and crowds, make use of the conveniences Tokyo has to offer. Pick up a bento from a local restaurant or the intriguing-looking snacks you see at the convenience store, bring it back to your accommodation and enjoy a day recharging your batteries in front of the TV.
Just by being in Tokyo during this year’s summer Olympics and Paralympics, you will most likely have a harder time avoiding the Games than finding a place to watch it. Find what works best for your needs with the variety of ways to enjoy the sports and everything that comes with it. Watching the Games with people you’ve never met before is a great experience. As the Tokyo 2020 slogan “United By Emotion” says, sharing the heated moments of the Games, cheering together, brings people together as one. Use this unique chance to get to know the locals and people from all around the world.
Sweden born and bred Tokyoite. She started her journey to Japan as many others, through watching Sailor Moon on TV from a young age. Now her interest stretches out to culture, food and social issues. While studying at a Japanese university, she worked as an editor for a Tokyo-based culture magazine and as a radio host. She now spends her time as an office worker by day and Tokyo explorer by night.