Three reasons why the Japanese capital deserves to host the 2020 Olympics.
2020 Summer Olympic Games
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently announced that the Summer Olympic Games in 2020 will be held in Tokyo, Japan. It was a touching success story of a country still reeling from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011. But besides the emotional aspect of Tokyo’s victory, there are a lot of reasons why Tokyo deserve to host the world in 2020. Spending an awesome summer in this great city last year, here is why Tokyo is the perfect choice for the Summer Games:
City of old and new
Tokyo is one of only a handful of cities in the world where the old blends perfectly with the past. From the centuries-old Imperial Palace, Meiji Shrine and the Senso-ji Temple, to the ultramodern Tokyo Skytree, Rainbow Bridge and the neon-lighted Shibuya Crossing, history lives in harmony with the future in Tokyo.
This unique aspect of the Japanese capital was heavily emphasized during Tokyo 2020’s bid presentation before the IOC vote in Buenos Aires. In Tokyo’s proposal, the venues for the 2020 Olympics will be grouped into two zones: the Heritage Zone near the Meiji Shrine and the Akasaka Palace will be comprised of the main Olympic stadium and the historic Yoyogi Indoor Stadium; and the Tokyo Bay Zone will be composed of modern arenas built on reclaimed islands in Tokyo Bay.
Unique culture and lifestyle
On top of the antiquity and modernity that co-exist here, Tokyo also offers a cultural experience unlike any other in the world. The city’s opera houses, the most prominent of which is the New National Theatre, showcase the centuries-old drama traditions of kabuki, noh, and bunraku (puppet theater).
Japanese cuisine is another treat that travelers always look for in Tokyo. Traditional stalls and houses that serve Japanese delights such as sushi, ramen and yakitori are best found in Shinjuku and Kichijoji, while French-style bakeries and coffee houses with a Japanese zing can be found in the streets of Shibuya.
Finally, Tokyo is known for the wide expanse of its shopping districts. The streets of Ginza are lined up with upscale department stores and high-end brands, while the alleys of Harajuku are popular for setting the trend for eccentric teen fashion in Japan.
Active sporting tradition
Capping off the reasons why Tokyo deserves the 2020 Olympics is its strong sporting culture. Soccer and baseball are the two most popular sports in Tokyo (as well as in Japan) today. Tokyo secured its place on the world football map when it hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Today, players from Tokyo’s soccer clubs comprise the Japanese squad competing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with Betfair’s football expert Matt Isherwood giving Japan the top Asian seed next summer. Meanwhile, baseball gained a wide fellowship thanks to the Yomiuri Giants – considered to be the “New York Yankees of Japan.”
While Western inventions dominate the sporting scene here, it’s interesting how Tokyo perseveres to preserve traditional Japanese sports – another sign how the old co-exists with the new in the city. Sumo wrestling and judo are still dominant forces in the city, with the Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena and the Nippon Budokan serving as main venues for regular wrestling and judo face-offs.