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Tokyo 2020 Olympics Guide – Japanese Language and Culture

Posted by on December 11, 2018 – Life in Japan
Tokyo Olympics 2020

The time of the Olympics is here again! In the blink of an eye, 4 years have passed since the Rio 2016 Olympics, and today, we will be providing you with a handy guide that covers basic information about the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics


Table of Contents

Event Details
Cultural differences to note
Ordering Meals
Sport Event Details

Aquatics:

Archery
Athletics:

Badminton
Baseball
Softball
Basketball:

Boxing
Canoe:

Cycling:

Equestrian:

Fencing
Football
Golf
Gymnastics:

Handball
Hockey
Judo
Karate
Modern Pentathlon
Rowing
Rugby
Sailing
Shooting:

Skateboarding:

Sport Climbing
Surfing
Table Tennis
Taekwondo
Tennis
Triathlon
Volleyball:

Weightlifting
Wrestling

Event Details: 

Olympics:

  • Date: Friday, 24 July 2020 – Sunday, 9 August 2020
  • Torch Relay: 12 March 2020 – 26 March 2020
  • 33 Sports
  • Opening Ceremony: 24 July 2020 @The Olympic Stadium
  • Closing Ceremony: 9 August 2020 @The Olympic Stadium

Tokyo 2020 Mascots


 

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Cultural differences to note:

If you are planning to visit Japan to watch the Olympics, here are some tips that you should take note of. This would help you avoid a culture shock due to the differences in circumstances and greetings that you might be used to.

 

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Ordering Meals

 

Coming to Japan, there is definitely a language barrier. Furthermore, eating out can be a little intimidating if you can’t read the menu or if the menu is only available in Japanese. However, since the Olympics is such a large event, most food stalls and restaurants should have an English menu. Despite that, here are some phrases that you might encounter and can use when ordering in Japanese. For more, you can check this page out.

 

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Sport Event Details:

1. Aquatics

Events:

  • Swimming (Tokyo Aquatics Centre)
  • Diving (Tokyo Aquatics Centre)
  • Water Polo (Tatsumi Water Polo Centre)
  • Artistic Swimming (Tokyo Aquatics Centre)
  • Marathon Swimming (Odaiba Marine Park)

 

 

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Swimming

Venue: Tokyo Aquatics Centre
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 2 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: Which stroke is the origin of the butterfly?

 

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Diving

Venue: Tokyo Aquatics Centre
Dates: 26 July 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: What material were springboards made of when diving first became an Olympic sport?

 

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Water Polo

Venue: Tatsumi Water Polo Centre
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 9 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: How do players grip a wet, slippery ball?

 

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Artistic Swimming

Venue: Tokyo Aquatics Centre
Dates: 3 August 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: How do artistic swimmers keep their hair in place during vigorous routines?

 

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Marathon Swimming

Venue: Odaiba Marine Park
Dates: 5 August 2020 – 6 August 2020

 

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2. Archery

Venue: Yumenoshima Park Archery Field
Dates: 24 July 2020 – 1 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: Most archers shoot right-handed if they are naturally right-handed, and left-handed if they’re naturally left-handed. However, some right-handed archers shoot left-handed. Why?

 

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3. Athletics

Sports Events: 

  • Track & Field (Olympic Stadium)
  • Marathon (Olympic Stadium)
  • Race Walk (Imperial Palace Garden)

 

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Track & Field

Venue: Olympic Stadium
Dates: 31 July 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: In track events, an athlete is deemed to have finished when which part of their body has reached the finish line?

 

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Marathon

Venue: Olympic Stadium 
Dates: 2 & 9 August 2020
Events: Marathon (Men/Women)

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: In an Olympic Marathon, how far apart are the water stations?

 

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Race Walk

Venue: Imperial Palace Garden
Dates: 2 & 9 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: Which item do competitors in Decathlon and Heptathlon need in greater variety than any other athlete?

 

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4. Badminton

Venue: Musashino Forest Sport Plaza
Date: 25 July 2020 – 3 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: What happens when a line judge can’t see whether the shuttlecock has landed inside or outside the court boundaries?

 

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5. Baseball

Venue: Fukushima Azuma & Yokohama Baseball Stadium
Dates: 29 July 2020 – 8 August 2020
Events: Baseball (Men)

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: Which Meiji-era (1868-1912) poet translated baseball vocabulary such as ‘pitcher’ and ‘batter’ into Japanese?

 

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6. Softball

Venue: Fukushima Azuma & Yokohama Baseball Stadium
Dates: 22 July 2020 – 28 July 2020
Events: Softball (Women)

 

Fun Fact:

Q: Why is first base in Softball twice the size of the other bases and divided into white and orange halves?

 

 

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 7. Basketball

Venue: Saitama Super Arena, Aomi Urban Sports Park
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 9 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: How many points are scored if a player shoots from ‘downtown’?

 

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3×3 Basketball

Venue: Aomi Urban Sports Park
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 29 July 2020

 

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Team Basketball

Venue: Saitama Super Arena
Dates: 26 July 2020 – 9 August 2020

 

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8. Boxing

Venue: Kokugikan Arena
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 9 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: Unlike a world title match in boxing, in Olympic boxing sometimes the referee calls a knockdown even if the fighter is not knocked to the floor. Can you give a specific example of that?

 

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9. Canoe

Venue: Sea Forest Waterway, Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre
Dates: 26 July 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: How do athletes keep water out of their boats during Canoe Slalom races?

 

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Canoe Slalom

Venue: Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre
Dates: 26 July 2020 – 31 July 2020

 

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Sprint

Venue: Sea Forest Waterway
Dates: 3 August 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

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10. Cycling


Dates: 25 July 2020 – 9 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: Why do the bicycles used in Track events not have brakes?

 

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BMX Freestyle

Venue: Ariake Urban Sports Park
Dates: 1 August 2020 – 2 August 2020
Events: Park (Men/Women)

 

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BMX Racing

Venue: Ariake Urban Sports Park
Dates: 30 July 2020 – 31 July 2020
Events: Race (Men/Women)

 

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Mountain Bike

Venue: Izu MTB Course
Dates: 27 July 2020 – 28 July 2020
Events: Cross-Country (Men/Women)

 

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Road

Venue: Musashinonomori Park, Fuji International Speedway 
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 29 July 2020

 

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Track

Venue: Izu Velodrome
Dates: 3 August 2020 – 9 August 2020

 

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11. Equestrian

 


Dates: 25 July 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

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Dressage

Venue: Equestrian Park
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 29 July 2020

 

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Eventing

Venue: Equestrian Park, Sea Forest Cross-Country Course
Dates: 31 July 2020 – 3 August 2020

 

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Jumping

Venue: Equestrian Park
Dates: 4 August 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

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12. Fencing

Venue: Makuhari Messe Hall B
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 2 August 2020

 

Fun Fact:

Q: If a match ends in a tie, how is it decided?

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13. Football

Venue:

  • Tokyo Stadium – TS
  • Sapporo Dome – SD
  • Miyagi Stadium – MS
  • Ibaraki Kashima Stadium – IKS
  • International Stadium Yokohama – ISY
  • Olympic Stadium – OS
  • Saitama Stadium – SS

Dates: 22 July 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: What is the minimum number of players a team must have on the pitch?

 

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14. Golf

Venue: Kasumigaseki Country Club
Dates: 30 July 2020 – 8 August 2020
Events: Individual Stroke Play (Men/Women)

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: What happens if a player mistakenly hits another player’s ball?

 

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15. Gymnastics

Venue: Ariake Gymnastics Centre
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 9 August 2020

 

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Artistic

Venue: Ariake Gynastics Centre
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 4 August 2020

 

Fun Fact:

Q: At the Munich 1972 Games, Mitsuo Tsukahara was the first athlete to perform a full-twisting double backwards somersault in dismounting from the horizontal bar. Why is this move often called the ‘moon somersault’?

 

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Rhythmic

Venue: Ariake Gynastics Centre
Dates: 7 August 2020 – 9 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: What distinguishes the shoes worn by rhythmic gymnasts from those worn in other sports?

 

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Trampoline

Venue: Ariake Gynastics Centre
Dates: 31 July 2020 – 1 August 2020
Events: Individual competition (Men/Women)

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: How is the height of jumps on the trampoline measured?

 

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16. Handball

Venue: Yoyogi National Stadium
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 9 August 2020
Events: 12-team tournament (Men/Women)

 

Fun Fact:

Q: The men’s ball measures 58-60cm in circumference, while the women’s measures 54-56cm. How do Olympic Handball players grip the ball with one hand?

 

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17. Hockey

Venue: Oi Hockey Stadium
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 7 August 2020
Events: 12-team tournament (Men/Women)

 

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18. Judo

Venue: Nippon Budokan
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 1 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: How are the weight differences between classes decided?

 

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19. Karate

Venue: Nippon Budokan
Dates: 6 August 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

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20. Modern Pentathlon

Venue: Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Tokyo Stadium
Dates: 6 August 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: No matter their level of preparation and skill, one factor is beyond the control of any modern pentathlete. What is it?

 

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21. Rowing

Venue: Sea Forest Waterway
Dates: 24 July 2020 – 31 July 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: One of the rowers from the Dutch rowing team won the coxed pair in the Paris 1900 Games and is thought to be the youngest Olympic Champion. However, his name is unknown. Why?

 

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22. Rugby

Venue: Tokyo Stadium
Dates: 27 July 2020 – 1 August 2020
Events: 12-team tournament (Men/Women)

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: Scrums consist of eight players per team in 15-a-side Rugby. What about in Sevens?

 

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23. Sailing

Venue: Enoshima Yacht Harbour
Dates: 26 July 2020 – 5 August 2020

 

Fun Fact:

Q: Sailing races are usually held with 10 boats but the final medal race features two more. Why?

 

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24. Shooting

Venue: Asaka Shooting Range
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 3 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: Why do some shooters wear a patch over one eye?

 

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Rifle & Pistol

Dates: 25 July 2020 – 3 August 2020

 

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Shotgun

Dates: 26 July 2020 – 1 August 2020

 

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25. Skateboarding

Venue: Ariake Urban Sports Park
Dates: 26 & 27 July 2020, 5 & 6 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: Skateboarding began when metal wheels were attached to a wooden board. What are the decks of skateboards made of today?

 

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26. Sport Climbing

Venue: Aomi Urban Sports Park
Dates: 4 August 2020 – 7 August 2020
Events: Bouldering, Lead & Speed Combined (Men/Women)

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: The shoes used in Sport Climbing are very different from those worn for other sports. In which ways?

 

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27. Surfing

Venue: Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach
Dates: 26 July 2020 – 29 July 2020
Events: Shortboard (Men/Women)

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: For surfers, what piece of equipment is essential besides a surfboard and a wetsuit?

 

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28. Table Tennis

Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 7 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: What are the smallest and largest racket sizes allowed in Table Tennis?

 

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29. Taekwondo

Venue: Makuhari Messe Hall A
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 28 July 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: If protection comes loose during a match and an athlete pauses to correct it, a one-point penalty is incurred. How might the athlete avoid this penalty?

 

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29. Tennis

Venue: Ariake Tennis Park
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 2 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: Tennis rackets can be strung with either synthetic or natural strings. What are natural strings made of?

 

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30. Triathlon

Venue: Odaiba Marine Park
Dates: 27 July 2020 – 1 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: Why do the handlebars of bicycles used in Triathlon point out towards the front of the machine?

 

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31. Volleyball

Venue: Ariake Arena, Shiokaze Park
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 9 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: The balls used in Beach Volleyball move through the air more slowly. How?

 

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Beach Volleyball

Venue: Shiokaze Park
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

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Volleyball

Venue: Ariake Arena
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 9 August 2020

 

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32. Weightlifting

Venue: Tokyo International Forum
Dates: 25 July 2020 – 5 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: At the Athens 1896 Games, a gold medal was awarded for a Weightlifting event that was then discontinued. What was that event?

 

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33. Wrestling

Venue: Makuhari Messe Hall A
Dates: 2 August 2020 – 8 August 2020

 

Fun Fact: 

Q: What must wrestlers keep on their person during a bout?

 

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