Today (2014 October 10th) is the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Summer Olympics that were hosted by Tokyo.
This was the first time the Olympics was hosted by an Asian country.
The Tokyo government had new stadiums built (which are still in use today) and the world’s first 新幹線 (bullet train) was built by Japan Railways (called “Japan National Railways” back then). The bullet train connected Tokyo to Osaka, and it’s service commenced on October 1st, 1964…so, nine days ago was the 50th birthday of the world’s first bullet train.
Since Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics fifty years ago, Japan has hosted the Olympics two more times: the 1972 Winter Olympics were hosted by Sapporo, Japan and the 1998 Winter Olympics were hosted by Nagano, Japan.
A new bullet-train service was also started in 1998 to connect Tokyo to Nagano for the ’98 Games. My wife and I took that bullet train to see the Nagano Olympics atmosphere.
Tokyo put a bid in to host the 2016 Olympics, but lost. (I wrote a post about Tokyo’s 2016 bid and also my trip to Nagano in ’98…here).
Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics was successful though. In July 2020, Tokyo will not only be the first Asian city to host an Olympics Games…but also the first Asian city to host the Games twice!
(I wrote a post about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics here).
The 1964 Tokyo Olympics commenced on 1964 October 10th. October isn’t summer…it’s autumn. The reason that the Games were in October is because summer is extremely hot and humid in Tokyo. The weather in October (now) is much more comfortable.
After the 1964 Olympics, October 10th became a holiday in Japan: 体育の日 (“Fitness Day”). The date of the holiday was changed in the year 2000 to ‘the second Monday in October’. So, 体育の日 (Fitness Day) isn’t today…next Monday (October 13th, 2014) is the holiday.
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) changed the rules and now the Summer Olympics must be played in July. So, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be in July. It’s gonna be hot!