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The Olympics and Japan


The Olympics and Japan

The Tokyo Olympics is taking place from 23rd July 2021. It will be the fourth Olympic and Paralympic games that Japan will host, and also the first 'postponed' games in all time history.

Waku Waku

Waku Waku

Published on 09 Jul 2021, 14:56

Have you heard that Japan hosted 3 Olympics and Paralympics in the past, and do you know when and where? By welcoming the historical one in summer 2021, let’s quickly learn about "The Olympics, Paralympics and Japan"!

How many times did Japan host the Olympics?

In the past, Japan held 3 games; 1 summer's and 2 winter's.

  • 1964 Summer Olympics/ Paralympics : Tokyo
  • 1972 Winter Olympics/ Paralympics : Sapporo, Hokkaido
  • 1998 Winter Olympics/ Paralympics: Nagano
Tokyo Summer Olympics 1964 - Source: Wikipedia
Tokyo Summer Olympics 1964 - Source: Wikipedia

The Tokyo Summer games in 1964 was the first Olympic games in Asia, following by the 1972 Sapporo was also Asia's first winter games.

The fourth time was originally scheduled to be held in summer of 2020. Although this was postponed a year to 2021 due to the pandemic concerns, the official name remains as Tokyo 2020. Japan will handle the first 'postponed' Olympic and Paralympic games in history. This would be passed down to generations.

"Olympics Legacy" from the last Tokyo games?

Asia's first Olympic games in 1964 left a precious legacies in Japan. Since some of them have already become quite common and part of people's life these days, they tend to be overlooked even for Japanese people. Do you know these great inventions?


This world-class Japanese high-speed train was invented for the Tokyo Olympics 1964.

It used to take more than 6 hours to travel between Tokyo and Osaka, however, the Shinkansen made it 3 hours and 10 min with the speed of 201km/h. And amazingly, all this amazing technology was developed within only 5 years.

The Olympics and Japan

Do you know the recent Shinkansen runs over 300km/h? Nowadays it is even possible to move from Tokyo to Osaka within 2.5 hours.

Development and improvement in safety has been continuously ongoing, even nowadays!

Do you want to know more about Japanese "Shinkansen"?


It's a graphic symbol that represents something or a fixed common area, such as 'restroom' or 'emergency exit' which is commonly used worldwide.

The Olympics and Japan

Before 1964, most of direction displays or public signs were written in Japanese language only. To prepare for the Olympics, in order to let any foreign visitors understand public signs easily, pictograms were developed. Especially, 'restroom' sign that we see daily is Made in Japan!

The Olympics and Japan

The pictograms which were developed for Tokyo 1964, have also been used at other Olympic and Paralympic games ever since. They are now worldwide known as a common visual language.

Speaking of Toilet, do you know Japanese Toilet system is very unique? Let's find out!


Do you know when you get a taxi in Japan, you don't need to open the door? Because it opens automatically, it is even better to stay away from the door.

The Olympics and Japan

The automatic door became extremely popular because of the Tokyo Olympics 1964 too. This service was introduced by almost all taxi companies for the preparation of the Olympics. Taxi companies intended to welcome the foreign guests with the highest level of hospitality.

Even if the car doesn't have an automatic door, the drivers get out of the car and come to your side to open the door for you. Isn't it an amazing Japanese hospitality service?

How was it? Were there interesting facts you have never heard before?

Tokyo Olympics 2020 is coming soon. In this historically remarkable event, we wonder what will become the legacy then…?


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