The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 run July 24-Aug. 9, 2020, and while they may be nearly 20 months away there’s a lot to learn on your quest to becoming the ultimate fan. Each Tuesday leading up to the Games, TeamUSA.org will present a nugget you should read about – from athletes to watch to storylines to follow to Japanese culture and landmarks – as part of “Tokyo 2020 Tuesday.” Follow along on social media with the hashtag #Tokyo2020Tuesday.
When spring arrives and the cherry blossom buds begin to bloom, Yoyogi Park is one of the most popular green spaces in Tokyo to connect with nature. Nestled in Shibuya, home to the two busiest railway stations in the world, the park is the perfect antidote to Shibuya’s hustle and bustle, with 134 acres of greenery and trails as well as weekend entertainment.
Yoyogi Park occupies the site of Japan’s first powered aircraft flight. During the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964, the area was home to the Olympic village and Yoyogi National Gymnasium, which still stands and will serve as the team handball venue for the Olympic Games and badminton and wheelchair rugby venue for the Paralympic Games next year under the name Yoyogi National Stadium; in 1964 it hosted swimming and diving. In the years following the 1964 Games, the site was redeveloped into a green space, and today, musicians, dancers and hobby groups showcase their talents within the park on Saturdays and Sundays.
The park is especially popular in the early spring during cherry blossom season. Yoyogi Park is less well known for its fall colors, although its ginkgo forests turn a brilliant gold in autumn. In addition to the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, the popular Meiji Shrine also sits within the park’s borders.
To reach Yoyogi Park from Japan National Stadium, which will host track and field competition plus the opening and closing ceremonies, catch the Oedo Line at Kokuritsu-Kyogijo Station and hop off at Yoyogi Station. From there, the northeastern entrance to the park is about a five-minute walk.
A photo of Yoyogi Park with cherry blossom trees taken on April 9, 2017.