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Tokyo 2020 Olympics: One Year Away
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were officially kicked off today, with the organizing committee's "1 Year to Go!" ceremony. While a year may seem like a long way's off from the event, many people who will attend (if they're lucky!) or otherwise take part in the general festivities have already started planning.
According to the committee, more than three million tickets have already been sold. Tens of millions of Japanese residents are holding their breath for a second lottery and many millions of others worldwide are looking to score a ticket or two on the resale market. It's expected that 600,000 tourists will visit Tokyo during the games in July and August and many experts are betting that this could be the most popular Olympics ever.
So, planning a year ahead - whether you're local to Tokyo or making the trip here - doesn't seem that crazy!
While we can't help you out with tickets (sorry), we can provide some tips and tricks to enjoying (and/or avoiding, if necessary) the 2020 Olympics next summer. Keep reading for some suggestions on making the most of the event for tourists and Tokyoites!
Family Friendly Accommodations
If you're traveling to Tokyo with kids in tow, you might have already discovered that finding suitable hotel accommodations may be a bit difficult. Many hotels in the city are geared toward business travelers and are therefore pretty bare-bones and...snug. Luckily, there are several options that fit a family's needs while traveling. From large rooms, to child discounts, to kid-specific amentiies, these hotels are perfect for your family's stay in Tokyo. Check out our list of suggestions here. We also put together a helpful guide for making the most out of any hotel stay in Japan here.
Where to Watch (Without Tickets)
As noted, tickets to the 2020 Olympic Games are at a premium, so if you aren't ultimately able to purchase any or miss out on the ones you really wanted - you won't be alone! Luckily, there are plenty of fun opportunities to take in an event or two from afar.
Several bars around the city are known destinations for viewing international sporting events year-round and are likely purveyors of some of the more popular events during the Olympics. They're not exactly kid-friendly, so you may want to arrange for a babysitter ahead of a visit.
This Roppongi bar has good deals and a Western food menu.
Located in Ebisu and Tokyo City Dome, this Major League Baseball-themed spot is ideal to take in yakyu game.
With massive projector screens and plenty of tequila, this bar in Shinjuku is sure to be lively.
This spot in Akihabara looks more like a cozy lounge than sports bar, but you can definitely bank on viewing events here.
Live Viewing Parties
The Tokyo 2020 committee will be organizing large "live sites" around the city, with big screens and other entertainment for the crowd to enjoy. There's nothing like joining hundreds of people in the streets to watch a soccer match! Visit the Tokyo 2020 page for updated details.
Where to Play
Fancy yourself an undiscovered Olympian? Tokyo has plenty of opportunities to test your athletic skills! And even if your abilities don't quite measure up, it's still a fun way to enjoy the spirit of the Olympic Games.
Learn kyudo while wearing a traditional Japanese uniform.
Replicate this fan-favorite event with your littlest tumblers at I Can gym.
Indoor bouldering feels much safer, if less than scenic, than mountain climbing.
Hang ten at this artificial wave pool in Shinagawa.
Where to Get Away
If you live in Tokyo, getting away from the Games may be a bit tough as some of the events are held in the areas surrounding the city, such as Enoshima (sailing), Saitama (football), Yokohama (baseball) and Chiba (surfing). But if you really do need a break from the city and the crowds, there are options.
This mountainous paradise in Saitama is nearly two hours by car from the Super Arena, so should be relatively quiet. Perfect for the outdoor enthusiast, this area has the added benefit of being a cool destination in the summer heat and humidity.
A bit of a compromise, this small city isn't nearly as hectic as Tokyo will be, but still has plenty of cafes, culture and shopping. At about four hours from Tokyo by train, it's far enough to confidently avoid crowds but close enough to enjoy a weekend away.
While it was once a big tourist destination, this resort town with saltwater onsen is fading in popularity a bit - making it an ideal destination during the Olympics. The lovely Izu peninsula beaches are about an hour away by shinkansen.
One of the best parts of the 2020 Olympics will be experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime event with your family. From seats inside the new National Stadium, to live watch parties and your very own Olympic endeavors, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy with your children.
However, there will be occasions when they can't join you, or you need adult time, or just another set of hands. So remember: there are hundreds of qualified babysitters in the CareFinder community available to help out. We do expect demand for childcare to be high throughout the event, so be sure to keep us in mind as you make your plans for the Tokyo Olympic Games!