After a year of postponing due to the current situation, Japan is waiting to hold the Olympic games in summer 2021. The mega city of Tokyo welcomes visitors around the world with seamless technology and world-class facilities and more. Officially newly renovated and opened in December 2019, the main venue of the olympic games will be held at Olympic Stadium, a.k.a. Japan National Stadium. And there are plenty of places in the neighboring areas where visitors can experience like no other. Here are guides that might help to plan ahead for the coming summer in Tokyo.
Neighboring Area Overview
Sandwiched between Sendagaya and Gaienmae with major tourist spots like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku and Roppongi in the neighboring areas, there are plenty to go around the Olympic Stadium. Ahead of the grand opening of the stadium back in winter 2019, across the street from the Olympics Stadium, Japan Olympics Museum was opened offering interactive displays and exhibits that will make the visitors gain a deeper understanding of the word "Olympism" (AKA Olympic philosophy). Even if there is no interest in the games or have a ticket to enter the stadium, stopping by at the museum will surely get a feel of the Olympics to witness the history.
Shinjuku is a dazzling collection of diverse areas. Gourmet restaurants, every type of shopping, and a staggering list of activities all come together in one dense district in the center of Tokyo. Even one of the nation’s most famous figures, Godzilla was recognized as a proud Japanese resident sitting on top of Shinjuku Toho Building. Surprisingly, in such a packed area with high rise buildings, there is an oasis of green like SHUKNOVA and Shinjuku Gyoen Park for those needing a break from the bustling crowds. From the stadium, if getting on the train from Sendagaya station, Shinjuku is only a few minutes away via JR Chuo-Sobu Line.
Godzilla Road in Shinjuku
Shibuya has been one of the top shopping and entertainment districts in Japan and it’s no surprise that it has thousands of establishments offering traditional and modern Japanese goods and services. Whether traveling on a budget or looking to indulge, Shibuya has something to offer. From the iconic Shibuya Scramble Crossing and the Hachiko Dog statue, the area is still undergoing its massive redevelopment with more high rise buildings popping up here and there. Until the project is expected to be over by 2027, every visit, Shibuya will have something new to offer.
Whole view of Shibuya from Shibuya Sky
In addition to the famous fashion and shopping culture, Harajuku in particular is also known simply as a hang-out area for Tokyo’s youth which is about 20 to 30minutes walk from the Olympic Stadium. From Yoyogi Park to cafes and just the streets themselves, the area is made for socialising, and with the nearby presence of the solemn Meiji Shrine there’s enough counterbalance to even out the masses of people in the backstreets.
Tokyo Plaza Omotesando Harajuku
Roppongi has the reputation as the city’s international quarter. Because of this deep-seated international mix, the area has always been foreigner-friendly and for the most part, English-friendly. The area has two faces:one in the daytime, and another at night. During the day, it’s all about art, food, and fashion with visitors going back and forth between the two main shopping complexes, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown and world class art museums each within walking distances to one another. At night, the area comes alive as an all night party town, particularly the intersection of Roppongi-dōri and Gaien-higashi-dōri, popularly known as Roppongi Crossing. Along these streets there are different forms of nightlife ranging from bars, night clubs, hostess bars, karaoke parlors, and more.
While not necessarily a shopping district, the commercial and residential districts of Akasaka and Nagatacho where the National Diet Buildings are located have notable places like the State Guest House which visitors might want to consider taking a look. The State Guest House, otherwise known as Akasaka Palace has been designated as a national treasure and is open to the public. It has a Western-style Neo-Baroque building that blends the beauty of Japan and the West and functions as a place to host state dignitaries from all over the world.