From almost the moment of its announcement, news that Tokyo would be hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics was met with excitement and trepidation. Critics wondered if Tokyo was up to the task. Some were concerned that the leadership couldn’t handle it, that the budget was out of control, that the whole idea of building a futuristic stadium in the heart of one of the world’s busiest and most congested cities was madness!
And then, 2016, the Rio closing Ceremony, and Japan basked in the opportunity to show its diverse offerings to the world. Spectators were lavished with a display of the technological and futuristic, with injections of humour and tradition, and a more spectacular display than, arguably, the rest of the closing ceremony combined. If this is but a taste of what is to come, then we’re going to be in for a treat!
Japan is a diverse land where future and past come together neatly, and travellers can enjoy the opportunity to sample some delectable cuisine, visit breathtaking temples and gardens, and check out bustling cities with awe-inspiring landmarks.
So, if you’re thinking of making the trip in 2020, here’s a few things you need to see and do.
With Japan’s notorious 67-year ban on dancing now a thing of the past, revellers can visit Tokyo’s renowned Shinjuku district to dance the night away. Partially motivated by the coming 2020 games, and the government’s plan to help visitors enjoy their stay in Japan, the old ban on dancing came about in the 1940s in an effort to curb immoral behaviour.
These days, Japan is the perfect destination for a great night out. With diversely themed restaurants and nightclubs (think Cat Café, Maid Café and Robot Restaurant), there’s something for everyone!
Home to the best electronic and anime shopping in Japan, you can pick up the latest gadget for a fraction of the price of comparable markets around the world. Make sure that, before you buy tax free, you are aware of what your home country’s threshold is though!
Tall, glowing buildings covered in lights, anime and manga characters, stretch as far as the eye can see! Even those without a particular love of technology will be wowed by this sight.
Anime is almost synonymous with Tokyo. So much so, in fact, that Goku (Dragon Ball series) is tipped to be the Olympic Games’ ambassador!
Shop the latest, and most creative, fashion!
Ginza, home to Tokyo’s poshest and glitziest high fashion district, is a must see. Pick up the latest Seiko watch, or check out Y’s to peruse the wares of Yohji Yamamoto. If you’re looking for something a little more classic and every day, check out Uniqlo. With increasing popularity across Australia, and using top quality fabrics and wool, Uniqlo’s flagship store in Ginza is a must.
But if what you’re looking for is a little left of centre, then you need to see Harajuku. Everywhere you look, there’s creativity, artwork transformed into fashion, and the funkiest little shops you’ll ever see on Takeshita Street. Even if your fashion choices are a little more conservative, it really is worth a look!
Embrace your inner child!
With so many amusement parks to visit, including the incredible Tokyo Disney Land, why not embrace your inner child… or take the kids for a day out!
Whether you enjoy a tea ceremony, see a traditional Maiko performance or a Sumo tournament, visit one of Japan’s many beautiful shrines or gardens, you cannot leave the country without connecting to its traditional roots.
There are just so many beautiful places to visit – like the spectacular Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, or the Great Buddha and his gorgeous dear in Nara, or the awe-inspiring Castle in Osaka, or the sweeping gardens of the Shogun’s palace in Kyoto, or perhaps the inconic Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto.
So, whether you visits Japan as a sport’s fan in 2020, or sooner, there is so much that this incredibly diverse country has to offer.