Travel to 2020 Tokyo Olympics

exceladdict

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Mrs Excel and I have decided to research attending the 2020 Olympic Games and I'm interested as to whether there are others on here hoping to do the same! A few months still to go until the 355-day booking windows open, but I thought that a planning thread could be interesting to see how others are hoping to approach it - and whether anyone has past experiences from Rio, London, or Beijing that might help towards planning too.

Some useful points of discussion could be:
  • Ticket acquisition - methodology, timing, etc - agencies in Australia for buying tickets if they are not available online to the general public
  • Accommodation options in/around Tokyo
  • Getting around
  • Which events to attend or avoid
  • What else to do while in Japan in Summer, and
  • Every AFF'ers favourite part - getting there and back!
At this stage the goal will be to make it a part of a Qantas oneworld 280k redemption, so while I appreciate that seats will be even rarer than usual, I'm interested as to whether we expect award blackout dates to apply.

This Wikivoyage Page summarises the event calendar nicely, a very rough run down of highlights for me:
- July 24 (Fri): Opening Ceremony (some soccer games prior)
- Week 1: Swimming, Tennis, Gymnastics, many combat and team sports
- Week 2: Athletics, team sport gold medals (basketball,hockey, volleyball etc), pentathlon
- Aug 9 (Sun): Closing Ceremony

Mods, please feel free to move, combine or delete if this duplicates another thread! Very keen to hear about what other AFF'ers have in mind for next year.
 
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I went to 27 events at London 2012, some of the lesser known events are fantastic to watch. I would strongly recommend going to see:
- BMX racing
- Handball
- Canoe Slalom
- Beach Volleyball

Other events which I would recommend are:
- Track Cycling (finals)
- Any event where locals are expected to medal (the atmosphere is through the roof)

Overrated
- Diving (unless you get amazing seats)
- Fencing (hard to follow multiple matches from an angle)

Happy to try and answer any other questions you may have.
 

Himeno

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Ugh... I'd rather avoid Japan (and 5 timezones either side of it) during the Olympics.

Getting around... Almost every train station in Tokyo is undergoing renovations at the moment, improving signage and platforms. (Every time I have been to Shibuya station in the last 2 years, the way to get around has changed)
There is also talk of JR opening new lines to HND from Tokyo Station.
I'd say to use trains. There are likely to be road closures during the Olympics, rerouting bus routes and delaying taxis. However, the influx of visitors is likely to make the morning peak train madness last most of the day.
Be prepared to walk to another train station, rather then use the nearest to a venue. It could save a lot of time. This last Thursday and Friday night, I was at concerts at Nippon Bukodan (~15000 seat venue). Afterwards, around 9,000 people (after accounting for people using cars/other stations) tried to get into the closest train station. Instead of trying for that, I walked the 1km to Iidabashi to get the train there. Saved around 20 mins of trying to get into the station, and I would have had to connect at Iidabashi anyway.

There are a number of types of accommodation options available. Regular hotels are likely to sell out quickly and will be busy. If you are going to stay for a while, you could look into renting an apartment. Sakura House
 

Wello

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After being a volunteer at the Gold Coast Commonweath Games for the table tennis and enjoying it so much, I have applied to be a volunteer at Tokyo. I wont know if I am successful for some time but will try and book some rewards seats when available but have no idea if they will actually be released for this period. Having never been to Japan I am also looking for any tips on accommodation.

My understanding is that if you live in Australia, tickets will be available through the Australian Olympic Committee but I haven’t seen any dates of when they will go on sale. Japanese residents can currently register for tickets and more information for international sales will be available in Spring 2019.
 

Quickstatus

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Mrs Excel and I have decided to research attending the 2020 Olympic Games and I'm interested as to whether there are others on here hoping to do the same! A few months still to go until the 355-day booking windows open, but I thought that a planning thread could be interesting to see how others are hoping to approach it - and whether anyone has past experiences from Rio, London, or Beijing that might help towards planning too.

Some useful points of discussion could be:
  • Ticket acquisition - methodology, timing, etc - agencies in Australia for buying tickets if they are not available online to the general public
  • Accommodation options in/around Tokyo
  • Getting around
  • Which events to attend or avoid
  • What else to do while in Japan in Summer, and
  • Every AFF'ers favourite part - getting there and back!
At this stage the goal will be to make it a part of a Qantas oneworld 280k redemption, so while I appreciate that seats will be even rarer than usual, I'm interested as to whether we expect award blackout dates to apply.

This Wikivoyage Page summarises the event calendar nicely, a very rough run down of highlights for me:
- July 24 (Fri): Opening Ceremony (some soccer games prior)
- Week 1: Swimming, Tennis, Gymnastics, many combat and team sports
- Week 2: Athletics, team sport gold medals (basketball,hockey, volleyball etc), pentathlon
- Aug 9 (Sun): Closing Ceremony

Mods, please feel free to move, combine or delete if this duplicates another thread! Very keen to hear about what other AFF'ers have in mind for next year.

Olympic tickets are sold only through one agency in Australia. Tickets are released to each National Olympic committee and the AOC's agent for Olympic tickets has always been Cosport.com

You cannot buy from another nation's Olympic ticket batch unless you have a postal address in that country.

There is currently Priority access packages where people can buy hotel packages early.
Be prepared for some eye watering prices.

For example: Aug 5-10 6 days 5 nights $8323 per person twin share (incl breakfast) at Hotel Grand Palace NOT including tickets to events but the package puts you in a priority queue for up to 6 events.
= $1664 per person twin share per night at a 4 star hotel. And you have not yet included tickets, and other expenditure. This price is 12x the usual $130-140 per person twin share at this hotel.

Prices moderate closer to the Games.
Tickets are also available at the Games venues each day because many sports will not be fully subscribed.

Since a rather personal insight into the last Winter Olympics, I decided to never again attend/support an Olympics Games
 
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cove

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Handball was excellent. Lots of action.
Don’t bother with swimming.It is better on tv.
Water polo can be exciting.
Fencing is a real tester for your eyes.
We enjoyed field hockey.
Women weight lifting....amazing.
Men’s weightlifting can be awesome too.
 

get me outta here

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As a sort of non Olympics observation, when it was on in SYD I seem to remember some back haul seats at good prices, so maybe getting out of Tokyo could throw up some creative oppos for attendees / and non attendees.
 

Matt_01

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Almost every train station in Tokyo is undergoing renovations at the moment, improving signage and platforms.

This explains a few things and never thought of the Olympics. I travel to JP 2-3 times a year but not always with my family and not always to the same places. We were there a couple of weeks back and changing lines at Shinjuku MrsM made the comment "what needs to be fixed" it was fine before.
 

Himeno

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This explains a few things and never thought of the Olympics. I travel to JP 2-3 times a year but not always with my family and not always to the same places. We were there a couple of weeks back and changing lines at Shinjuku MrsM made the comment "what needs to be fixed" it was fine before.
Try Shibuya station. Every time I have been there for the past 3 years, the passage way layout has changed.
 

Quickstatus

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There are roaming station tourists assistants. I came across one at Shinjuku. Was looking at a map and suddenly one appeared to assist.

Many Trains also have English announcements.
 

Matt_01

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Try Shibuya station. Every time I have been there for the past 3 years, the passage way layout has changed.

I know exactly what you are talking about about. In 2016 Shibuya was under heavy construction, When we were there a couple of weeks back MrsM was keen to get off at Shibuya and go shopping but I was not having a bar of that hence why we end up transferring in Shinjuku.

I assume why the work in Shibuya is going on to accommodate the visitors in 2020.
 

Himeno

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There are roaming station tourists assistants. I came across one at Shinjuku. Was looking at a map and suddenly one appeared to assist.
Can't say I've ever seen one. I saw some signs up last week at some of the JR stations saying there are such people. If any have been around when I'm there, they must think I know what I doing (even at the times I've checked maps).
Other then the few times I've gone to station staff to ask for help, I've only been approached by someone to see if I needed help once. and that was a commuting businessmen at Tokyo station at 7am.

Many Trains also have English announcements.
All the trains on the major lines in Tokyo and Osaka (at least) have English prerecordings for stops and transfers. They generally don't have adhoc english announcements for events such as delays. The newer trainsets also have screens above the doors showing the line map and next station information in Japanese, English, and depending on the line, Chinese and/or Korean.
The JR lines and many of the private rail lines didn't have station numbers like the subway lines until around 2 years ago. They added them to help tourists after the 2020 announcement. JR East to Use New Station Numbering System | All About Japan
 

CaptJCool

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Ah the wonders of the olympics...

Strange things happen with ticketing.

Here’s some things I learnt from Barcelona
The early bird will pay through the nose. As the Games get closer several things appear to happen.

AOC will likely only broadscale ticket events in which AUssies excel. Eg swimming....other events they will ticket but like mums and dads crowd level

Sports events that hold no interest for Japanese folk or where Japan while having a team or participant will get a flogging will just not sell out. Likely this to be handball, field hockey. Big stadiums will never sell out because they are just big and who likes triple jump or .... you get the picture
Soccer is likely to sellout as will Opening Ceremony
USA Basketball games will sell out
Venues that are distance out of Tokyo are likely to have spare seats but, when there are two or three events in the same session, a country’s supporters will usually only attend their nations game and then leave. It’s often why venues are sold out yet nearly empty....

And stranger things with people staying home. On speculation with 3 days notice, my then wife and I flew to Sydney. Hardly any AUssies we’re flying while the games were on. Somehow sourced a homestay but i suppose AirBNB will be the rage.
 

Himeno

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but i suppose AirBNB will be the rage.
lol.
After the laws changed early last year to legally allow AirBNB, the requirements placed on being able to list meant that most listings in Japan disappeared. Most of the Japan listings now on AirBNB are budget hotels using the site as another booking channel.
 

Pushka

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Beach volleyball is simply fun. Very non traditional. Try get a track and field ticket. We saw the Basketball Gold and Bronze games in Sydney. Australia lost but seeing USA in action was fantastic. Enjoy.
 

cove

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Table tennis was exciting.
Indoor volleyball was special
Cycling in the velodrome was lots of fun
Track and field has lots to watch.
To apply for tickets don’t go bottom price nor top price....just go in between so you get something rather than zilch with multiple levels of chances.
I know my two sons are planning to go.They are good at ticketing.
We have done Los Angeles in 1984, Sydney in 2000 and London in 2012 and we had a great time at each Olympics.
 

exceladdict

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Thanks for the replies so far. I guess the main one we will have to pay top dollar for is the opening ceremony to avoid risk of sellout. Not precious about medal events, would be happy to see heats for most sports, but a lot will hinge on how many tickets Australia gets allocated to sell.

Did anyone have particular difficulty getting access to things they wanted to see in London or Beijing?
 

Quickstatus

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Opening ceremony will be difficult as there are limited tickets for general public especially if from another country.

Best chance for OC/CC tickets is to buy it with an extragantly expensive hotel package, or be an accredited team manager, or get on the gravy train that is the IOC (in which case you get free entry to all the events).
 

DaveinCanberra

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There are roaming station tourists assistants. I came across one at Shinjuku. Was looking at a map and suddenly one appeared to assist.

Many Trains also have English announcements.
We were there last June, needing the east exit (for Kabuki-cho) and one of these assistants came to us and led us there via a long walk including an elevator ride (!) - we were very grateful for the help.
 
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