5 Things you can do to get into the Olympic Spirit


After a year’s delay and a lot of ‘will they, won’t they’ there are only a few weeks until the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It will be an entirely different affair this time round, with no overseas spectators allowed and likely restrictions in place for domestic fans. Still there is lots you can do to get in the spirit of the games from your own home.

  1. Watch the handoff of the Olympics to Japan during the Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony.

    If you watched any of the Rio coverage in 2-16 its highly likely you saw former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dressed up as Mario during the closing ceremony. This was as part of the handing over ceremony, where the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro handed over the Olympic standard to the Governor of Tokyo. There was a performance from the Aomori University Men’s Rhythmic Gymnastics Team as well as an amazing light show – giving us all an idea of what was in store for Tokyo 2020. You can watch it here!


  1. Plan a viewing party of the opening ceremony with Japanese food and drinks.

    The opening ceremony on Friday 23rd July is due to start at 8pm Japan time, which is 12pm BST. Why not make some bento lunches and watch it with friends?


  1. Visit a Japanese Garden.

    If you want to feel like you’re in Japan, then visiting a Japanese garden is a great way to do it. There are Japanese gardens all over the UK, with a variety of maple trees, pagodas and tori gates. Anna from My Travel Scrapbook has made a fantastic list of them!

Japanese Garden in Kew

The Japanese Garden in Kew, London


  1. Watch a Japanese Movie.

    Watching a Japanese movie is sure to get you in the mood for the Tokyo Games. Whether it’s a Studio Ghibli animated film, or one of Akira Kurosawa’s works there’s bound to be a Japanese Film that’s right for you. There are also plenty of American films set in Japan, like Isle of Dogs or Lost in Translation, that also give you that feeling of being in Japan.


  1. Learn about the new sports added for 2020.

    The IOC approved the addition of 5 new sports for the Tokyo Olympics – surfing, sport climbing, karate, skateboarding and baseball/softball. This means there will be 18 new events, and 18 more chances to become Olympic champion. Why not pick a sport and learn more about it and the competitors, so you can cheer them on when they compete. This is an article explaining all the new sports and the events they’ve added.


I absolutely love the Olympics, and I think after London 2012 everyone in the UK has become so much more invested in and supportive of Team GB. It’s such a great way to discover new sports and support fresh talents. I hope you’ll all be watching and enjoying Tokyo from afar!

The Olympic Rings in Tokyo

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