If you haven’t heard, Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics this morning, Japan time. I woke up and checked the news and quickly learned that Tokyo would be having the Olympics. I am both excited and a little worried at the same time. Tokyo was in a tight race with Madrid for the games and after reading that the first round saw Madrid become eliminated, I wasn’t surprised to read that Tokyo won. Choosing between a safe bet of Tokyo versus a somewhat unknown of Istanbul, I would guess the IOC members were considering Tokyo the safer of the two. When looking at the upcoming Olympics in Sochi and Rio, I can see why they felt it safe to choose Tokyo. Russia is currently having a little political spat with the “western bloc” and Rio is having trouble with their stadiums. Japan will be safe in terms of having their buildings completed on time and the trouble with its neighbours is relatively safer than Turkey and its neighbours.
So what does this mean for me, Sox, and Tokyo in general? For anyone wishing to visit Tokyo, this means pretty much nothing. Tokyo will still be humming and the construction will not really interfere with daily life. One thing that will be affected will be some of the “rundown” areas where developers will be eager to capitalize on the Olympic rush. Land prices are bound to shoot up in Tokyo, but be weary of purchasing a property in the lead up to 2020. The Olympics have had a nasty effect of creating a real estate bubble. Thankfully in Vancouver, that wasn’t really the case, but the Olympic Village in Vancouver did have a lot of trouble due to mismanagement and missed opportunities. I have heard that developers are circling Golden Gai in Shinjuku and trying to redevelop it into a sterile shopping and commercial complex. You can expect that in almost all of the major districts in Tokyo and you can expect Tsukiji to be redeveloped into a more sterile environment once the fish market moves to its new home near Toyosu. We definitely have to fight to keep Tokyo’s character, but I feel Shitamachi won’t change too much.
The Olympics itself will be a great party and you’d be silly to miss it. Yes Ru, I’m looking at you. If you have never attended an Olympic games, you really need to understand what it is all about. First, the city becomes very patriotic. You can see national flags everywhere and everyone has a smile on their face. This was the case of the only Olympics I had ever attended, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Of course the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be different, but I suspect people will have their faces painted with the Hinomaru flag, Japan’s national flag, and people will be on the streets watching the games on large monitors. The games themselves will require thousands of volunteers. They will be bright and happy people helping you get to wherever you need to go. Tokyo will not be the easiest city to navigate but it won’t be difficult once you get the hang of it. We then have the parties, and yes there will be parties. The Holland House is the most famous pavilion in the Olympics. Heineken has sponsored the Holland House for most of the recent Olympics and it is where you can see all of the Dutch athletes celebrate their wins every night. It is the best “club” in the Olympics and if you have a Dutch passport, you get in quickly. I never went but I heard it was a great place. If Canada does a Canada house, you can expect me to be there at least a couple times.
So what will I be doing in 2020, rather where will I be? I’ll be in Tokyo. Whether I’m still in Shitamachi will be a different question. Will I still be an English teacher? I hope not. I hope my business will be up and running, and maybe a second business will be running too. I have my book which is looking likely to be finished this month and hopefully that will be a decent seller leading to the Olympics. Then I have my business that isn’t “open” yet but running. Hopefully I’ll have a lot of business helping people around Tokyo during that time. I also have an ambition to start a brewery or a small brewpub. I don’t know if any of these will pan out before 2020, but you never know. I’ll definitely be in Tokyo by then, unless something terrible happens. You’ll see me with my huge flag of Japan and flag of Canada on my back. Hopefully I’ll see you at the games and you can be sure that I’ll be having a lot of posts here on this blog documenting any changes I can see leading up to the games.
Congratulations Tokyo! It wasn’t a big waste of money after all. 😉
If you want to read all about my experience to the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, you can read all about it here:
- Olympics 2020: Tokyo Wins Race to Host Games (BBC Article)
- 2020 Olympics Might Spell End for Shinjuku’s “Golden Gai” (Japan Today Article)
- Holland House (Official Site – Dutch Only)
- Vancouver 2020 Olympics YouTube Page
I’m so excited we are hosting the Olympics 2020! I hope I can participate in some way. ＼(^o^)／
They will need thousands of volunteers. If I’m not working, I hope to be one of them. 😀
My FB timeline is flooded with the news. 🙂
Mine too, but after the morning of Hoorahs, it is now, “We are doomed”.
I’m a bit lukewarm about Tokyo. It was the second best choice I guess. The only INTERESTING choice of the three was Istanbul. It’s understandable why it was not chosen, but I think a lot of people have a ‘been there done that’ feeling about Tokyo (I must admit I do). The world loved to see China’s (Beijing’s) Olympics, and I know people are excited about the first South American Olympics in Rio. It’s too bad that the joint Hiroshima-Nagasaki bid couldn’t have gone through to at least showcase a different (more interesting, less known) part of the country but on the other hand, those cities will likely be better off without the financial burden.
I hope I’m in Japan during that time, though. I haven’t attended an Olympics sporting event, but I was lucky enough to see the Torch Relay in China before the Beijing Olympics. The display of national pride there at that time is unmatchable I think. I feel very lucky to have been able to be there. It’d be great to be able to go to an event, even if it was one of the lamer ones. Volunteering might be a nice option. I know many people who did that in Beijing.
Tokyo had better start widening the sidewalks, building more McDonalds, and placing a lot more garbage cans around if they want to please all the foreigners who will visit.
Surprisingly, I was against bidding for the 2020 Olympics based on the costs alone and the fact that the 2018 Winter Olympics are to be held in Korea. I didn’t think Tokyo had a chance, but once they chose the final 3, I thought Tokyo did have an outside chance.
Istanbul would have been very interesting but I felt it was too dangerous and politically a hot potato. Madrid would have been lovely but financially riskier.
China was a great show but they didn’t use the legacy as it should have been used. Vancouver did a decent job of it even if people complain that many of the new buildings are hard to access without a car. Vancouver is a car-centric city. Rio is exciting but the amount of infrastructure needed is enormous and they are behind schedule due to shoddy work. Hiroshima-Nagasaki would have been interesting but the people didn’t want it.
I don’t think Tokyo needs to widen sidewalks and definitely shouldn’t build more McDonald’s. There is a lot of them already. Maybe more Starbucks… Garbage cans will not be placed as there is still a huge worry about terrorism and bombs. I think that is part of the fun of Japan in the fact that you do have to adapt to the country. Japan will welcome all of the foreigners who visit and then promptly kick them out. 😉
You can bet that I’ll be making the most of it. Why cry over something that can’t be changed. Make the most of it. Got sour milk? Make some cheese. Got bad wine? It isn’t wine, it’s good vinegar. And the old saying, got lemons, make lemonade. 😀
“Yes Ru, I’m looking at you.”
I could feel the glare via the interwebs, but … you know I’ve mellowed in the meantime thanks to stupid comments on international websites. Or maybe I should say the post-apocalyptic pre-Olympic radiation has melted the permafrost around my heart?
I’m still planning on going to Fukushima, though. 😉
Hehehe. Love to glare via the net. I’m glad the permafrost around your heart has melted a bit, but aren’t you worried it will be flooded like Atlantis? 😉
Have fun in Fukushima. Can’t wait to hear about it. You can keep up to date here as well. Not sure how I’ll handle all of it though.
This is why I have grave doubts:
“Tokyo will build 22 of the 37 Olympic venues from scratch, and spend $1 billion refurbishing the national Olympic stadium, the centerpiece of Japan’s 1964 Olympics. The government’s estimated price tag for all this construction is ¥409 billion yen ($4.1 billion), which it hopes will be offset by a ¥3 trillion Olympic windfall. That is almost certainly optimistic: every single Games since 1960 has failed to meet the cost target. The average overrun has been a whopping 179%.”
It comes from an excellent article here:
I’m really concerned about higher prices and especially higher taxes.
I really hoped that Istanbul would get it. If an Islamic country got it, maybe they (Islamic countries) would’ve promoted sport among women, and maybe there would’ve been more Saudi women participating than Sarah Attar and Wojdan Shaherkhani.
However, now that Tokyo has it … go for it, Tokyo. You’re the greatest city in the world, and I’m with you all the way (albeit long-distance from Fukushima).
I’m always worried about financing. It is a real problem with the Olympics. I’m a little suspicious about the 22/37 venues needing to be built from scratch. I’d like to see info on that as when I look at the Wikipedia (I know it isn’t a very reliable source) page for the bid, most of the venues are existing. Yes, they will have to be upgraded but I’m sure it wouldn’t cost THAT much. At least I hope not.
As for the National Stadium, I think “refurbish” is actually putting it too lightly. The stadium is getting torn down and a new one is being built. Not sure how you refurbish a stadium by destroying all of it. 🙂 Also, the stadium was going to be rebuilt anyways. They decided to do it last year and the new one looks great. I don’t completely consider it a “new for the Olympics” stadium, but the Olympic bid did help push it along. Maybe 50% due to the Olympics, and 50% due to age and the Rugby World Cup? 🙂
As for Istanbul, I think it would have been great, but still worried about the political instability (now) and the security threat of Turkey’s neighbours. I’m sure they’d put on a safe games though.
Haha, my last comment was just a fat joke poking fun at Western countries. I don’t seriously think they need more McDonalds, although they probably will/should make garbage cans more easily accessible in/around the venues at least. Some people adapt when they can’t find garbage cans and carry trash around, but many people get fed up and just toss it somewhere or put whatever garbage they have in whatever bin they find (usually pet bottle bins) even though it doesn’t belong there. If they really do refuse to make the bins accessible though, they would deserve a garbage mess if they got one.
But it is funny how one incident makes them think everthing is dangerous. Sarin gas placed in a garbage can? Garbage cans must be ‘dangerous’! Maniac drives into Akihabara and stabs people? No more of those streets shows! As if driving into crowds and stabbing people has become ‘a thing’. lol
Financially, the Olympics are most profitable a few years prior and then there is a huge drop in tourism afterwards. London is dealing with that now. Overall though, the Olympics are basically never profitable and always over budget.
That’s why the Londoners were so thrilled to beat Paris (the French) in the bid but immediately following they were all upset that it meant they actually had to host the event. haha
But for those who don’t have to worry about the financial state of host cities/nations, the IOC corruption, and all the other unfortunates of the events, the Olympics are too much fun! Well, even for those who do worry, it’s still fun while it’s going on at least! Definitely the best must be made of it!
I actually wouldn’t be surprised if McDonald’s decided to flood the market even more. 😀
I think the garbage can problem wasn’t sarin, but an actual bomb. I could be wrong though. I think they do overreact but after a little while, things get back to normal. I notice more garbage cans in parks these days, although sometimes they take them away too…
Yes, financially Tokyo and Japan are screwed. Looking at the venues, you inspired another post for the future for me, but I’ll keep it quiet till I get it started, the venues are going to be more expensive but at least we have more facilities to do things… maybe nothing?
I thought London did a good job with the games, but since I was in Japan at that time, I didn’t really see much of it. I hate the coverage in Japan. Just terrible. Hopefully it will be better in 2020. Can’t wait for the party though. 😀