Tokyo will get prepared for 2020 Olympics and Rugby World Cup

(CNN) — With Tokyo set to host two of the world’s largest sporting occasions — the Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Summer season Olympics — Japan’s capital is making last preparations for the worldwide highlight.
So what’s going to sports activities followers discover once they journey right here?

To begin with, they will not be alone.

Tourism in Tokyo is already booming. Annual overseas customer arrivals to Japan trebled within the years from 2013 to 2018 to over 31 million, with round 10 million stopping in Tokyo. That is imagined to prime 40 million in 2020.

Nevertheless, not like different locations in Japan which can be visibly struggling to deal with the inflow, Tokyo, due to its dimension and a collection of measures to arrange for the deluge, has to date been capable of take in them.

Rugby World Cup kicks off this week

The town’s Olympic readiness will get a check run when the Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 at Tokyo Stadium. Matches will likely be held in 12 Japanese cities and round 600,000 worldwide rugby followers are anticipated to descend on the nation, taking one third of tickets.
Some 13,000 volunteers have been hired to help rugby fans to navigate the city and enjoy the matches.

Some 13,000 volunteers have been employed to assist rugby followers to navigate town and benefit from the matches.


Most of these will likely be from rugby heartlands: the British Isles, France, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The organizers have promised that each one the fundamentals for an thrilling and welcoming expertise are in place, with 13,000 volunteers, many with English-language expertise, available on match days.

Tokyo Stadium itself is round 18 kilometers to the west of what could be thought of the central a part of town, although there are two official fan zones on the Tokyo Sports activities Sq. and Chofu Station Sq./Chofu Metropolis Inexperienced Corridor.

Until Japan is taking part in, native pubs, referred to as izakayas, usually tend to be watching the end result of the baseball season or selection reveals on TV than rugby.

Each are making efforts to focus on overseas guests and native sports activities followers with promotions and fan-theme areas of their bars and lodges to look at stay broadcasts of the matches.

“What I most count on is that we’ll have many foreigners who perceive pub tradition (as a result of it is initially their tradition) they usually take pleasure in chatting and watching sports activities,” says Tsuyoshi Ota, president of Hub.

This picture taken on March 19, 2019 shows the Tokyo Stadium, one of the venues for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, in Tokyo.

Tokyo Stadium is among the venues for the upcoming 2019 Rugby World Cup.


Whereas the game is rising within the nation and Japan’s nationwide staff, referred to as “The Courageous Blossoms” notched an enormous win within the match in opposition to South African 4 years in the past, it nonetheless stays area of interest.

“I feel locals will discover one thing huge is occurring in September seeing so many foreigners and they’re going to give foreigners a heat greeting. I do not suppose most native folks understand that so many individuals are coming to Japan for the Rugby World Cup,” says Ota.

Tokoyite and sports activities fan Kensuke Tezuka additionally thinks that when the occasion will get going the ambiance and native curiosity stage will change.

“Japanese folks are usually quiet in day by day life however we get cheerful and pleasant in omatsuri (pageant) events. I keep in mind the 2002 soccer World Cup. Shibuya Crossing was very full of life. The guests come to Tokyo for a once-in a-lifetime event, so they’re naturally excited. They may present an excellent vibe.”

The ‘Olympics impact’

Japan’s authorities expects the “Olympics impact” will convey roughly an additional 10 million guests to the nation in 2020.

It is a chance to showcase Tokyo to the world and the nation is not taking it frivolously. Earlier this yr, town’s governor, Yuriko Koike, advised media town was poised for “dramatic change.”

“This yr, 2019, will likely be key in making these Video games a hit and ushering in a brand new Tokyo,” mentioned Koike.

Main developments now underway embrace the Takanawa Gateway — the primary new station construct on Tokyo’s key JR Yamanote prepare line since 1971 — which is because of open subsequent yr.

That includes a steel-and-glass roof impressed by conventional Japanese origami, it is positioned between Tamachi and Shinagawa Stations and was designed by architect Kengo Kuma, who can also be behind the brand new Nationwide Stadium being constructed for the 2020 Tokyo Video games.

The realm round Shibuya Station can also be being revamped as a part of an enormous multi-year makeover to cement it as town’s leisure, transport and enterprise hub for many years to come back.

Tokyo's new Takanawa Gateway station will open in 2020 -- just in time for the Summer Olympics.

Tokyo’s new Takanawa Gateway station will open in 2020 — simply in time for the Summer season Olympics.

JR East

This consists of the brand new Shibuya Scramble Sq., a 230-meter excessive mixed-use skyscraper positioned straight above Shibuya Station, with indoor and out of doors commentary decks. It is on account of open for enterprise November 1.

One other hotly anticipated opening on this neighborhood is the Meiji Jingu Museum — additionally by Kengo Kuma. As a consequence of open in late October, it sits subsequent to Yoyogi Park and is designed to mix into its wooded environment whereas showcasing essential cultural artifacts.

Different modifications of notice embrace wider free wifi protection not simply in Tokyo however in the whole nation — together with 108 Shinkansen “bullet prepare” stations.

To help with language boundaries whereas eating, the Tokyo authorities has launched a particular location-based web site that highlights eating places with multilingual menus.

New Olympics sporting venues

By way of Olympic sporting motion, 30 occasions will likely be going down at 43 venues, with the soon-to-be-finished New Nationwide Stadium because the centerpiece.

Positioned on the location of the primary stadium for the 1964 Olympics, it is only a few kilometers from areas of town widespread with overseas guests corresponding to Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ginza and Roppongi.

On prime of that, 10 public places together with Yoyogi and Hibiya parks will broadcast occasions, whereas a cohort of 80,000 volunteers — a lot of them English-speaking — will information guests, which means town must be nicely ready.

Visiting sports activities followers with tickets can even discover themselves close to Tokyo Bay. It is not a standard vacationer space, however one developed for the Olympics and Paralympics.

It would host 17 sporting venues and the Olympic Village, the place humanoid robots will reportedly be accessible to supply instructions to close by lodging and points of interest.

Guide these lodge rooms now

The Okura Tokyo has just reopened following extensive renovations.

The Okura Tokyo has simply reopened following in depth renovations.

Courtesy Okura

In accordance with actual property providers firm CBRE, a further 30,000 lodge rooms are predicted to be accessible in Tokyo by 2020, in comparison with 2017, bringing the whole to round 120,000.

Among the many most anticipated is the Okura Tokyo, which has simply reopened following in depth renovations that kicked off in 2015.

The unique Lodge Okura Tokyo predominant constructing opened in 1962 and rapidly turned a worldwide favourite by providing a mixture of conventional Japanese tradition with world-class service. After 4 years of rebuilding work, it has reopened because the Okura Tokyo and affords 508 luxurious rooms in two buildings.

Nevertheless, many extra rooms are anticipated to be wanted to deal with the inflow of Olympic guests.

Stricter necessities on locals trying hire spare rooms of their properties, by way of websites corresponding to Airbnb, and few funds lodge choices within the metropolis signifies that planning and reserving as far upfront as doable is strongly suggested.

Businesses are encouraged to allow employees to work from home to ease pressure on public transportation during the Games.

Companies are inspired to permit staff to earn a living from home to ease stress on public transportation through the Video games.


Different stresses are predicted, each for guests and locals.

Whereas most signage in stations and on public transport within the capital is already in Japanese and English, the inflow will put extra stress on town’s infrastructure, significantly the full-to-bursting Metro and different prepare traces, which guests will likely be utilizing similar to town’s commuters.

However counter measures are being deliberate so Olympic spectators and ‘wage males’ and ‘workplace women’ do not make one another’s journey much more of a squeeze.

As an illustration, one initiative underway is encouraging companies to permit shift- and tele-working by its staff — an idea nonetheless laborious to digest in Japan’s inflexible work tradition the place staff works among the longest hours on the earth.

“No want to fret”

Whatever the potential disruptions, many, like taxi driver Masaru Okano, are trying ahead to Tokyo internet hosting these big occasions and the longer-term modifications to Tokyo which can be anticipated.

The 69-year-old has been studying English, and a few Korean, for the previous couple of years to supply a greater service to the rising variety of overseas guests he finds in his cab.

“Once I give them a trip, I at all times ask the place they got here from and I attempt to greet them of their language,” he says.

“Having extra overseas guests yearly, folks in Japan are getting friendlier to them. Individuals perceive primary English. Numerous indicators on the subways are in English, Chinese language and Korean. Plus there are smartphone apps. There is not any want to fret. The occasions may trigger site visitors points for the street and public transportation, however it must be high-quality.”

CNN’s Karla Cripps contributed to this characteristic.

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