How to start planning a trip for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Every four years, the world’s most talented athletes and sportspeople come together to compete for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. If you’ve been inspired by the events at Rio 2016, the time is right to start thinking ahead to the 2010 Games. In four years time, the summer games will be held in Japan’s vibrant capital, Tokyo. So, if you’re after the experience of a lifetime in one of the world’s best cities, alongside visitors from all over the globe, here’s our guide to organizing the perfect vacation around the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games!

Know the Key Dates and Times


Firstly, before making any other preparations, it’s important you know the dates of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In 2020, the dates are as follows:

  • The Olympics will run from the July 34th to August 9th
  • There is then a two-week break until the Paralympics – which will be from the August 25th to the September 6th

When it comes to budgeting, it’s important to note that the Games take place in peak season – so some extra investment may be needed to make your trip the best it can be. Whether you want to visit the city and see events for just a few days or you’d love to stay for a six-week extravaganza to witness the electric atmosphere at both the Olympics and the Paralympics, here’s everything you need to consider when planning your trip:

Getting Your Tickets

The first step in planning your trip is ensuring that you get tickets for the Games. The Olympics are more popular than ever, so getting tickets is no mean feat. No hard and fast decisions have yet been made regarding ticket sales yet, as the Games are still a long way off – but once things have been finalized, details will be made available on the official website of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.

A good point of reference for the process are the previous two games. For both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games, ticket sales began around 18 months before the start of the Games, and they were conducted in various stages. So, if you are after tickets, make sure you have your finger on the pulse at the beginning of 2018 to be in with a chance!

Booking Your Flights

tokio-subwayFlights from the US to Japan take approximately 13 hours, so you need to plan accordingly. A top tip from experts for any overseas trip is to book your flights roughly seven weeks in advance, this way you can often get the best deals possible.

When it comes to picking an airline and flight, Japan has a number of airports up and down the country, but the best airport for anyone visiting Tokyo for the Games is definitely Narita National Airport. It’s located just 60 kilometers from central Tokyo, in Chiba prefecture, and there are a number of easy to use and affordable transport links to get visitors around the city.


There will be 33 sports and events in the Olympic Games, and 22 sports and events in the Paralympic Games – all will be held in a variety of venues around Tokyo.

The National Olympic Stadium in the center of Tokyo has undergone a one billion regeneration and redevelopment program since it was announced the Games would be held in the city, but this venue isn’t the only one that will be housing events in 2020. The chosen venues vary from central locations in the heart of the business district to ones that are slightly further afield. Tokyo is equipped with excellent transportation – from trains to traditional rickshaws – so getting around is not difficult.


Tokyo is a huge and varied city, with tons of accommodation options open to you. Take into consideration your budget, and whether you would like to go all-inclusive or explore the area more for yourself. The hotels in the city range from ultra-modern, to more traditional, so make sure you do your research to find the perfect one for you!

Extra-Curricular Activities

While you may be planning to visit Tokyo for the Olympics and/or Paralympics in 2020, you should definitely consider other activities available in Tokyo – either to sandwich in between events, or for before or after your visit to the Games. Tokyo is an incredibly lively and bustling city, with so much on offer.