Tag Archives: Summer Olympics

Fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics

10 Oct

Today (2014 October 10th) is the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Summer Olympics that were hosted by Tokyo.

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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).

Both the 1964 Tokyo Olympics logo and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo.

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!

 

Tokyo Olympics

8 Sep

Tokyo has been chosen to host the 2020 Summer Olympics!

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The last time Tokyo hosted the Olympics was in 1964.tokyo64

That Olympics was considered a big success. And a lot of changes were made to the city prior to the Games then.

I look forward to seeing what changes are made to Tokyo again now that we will be hosting the Olympics again in seven years.

Have you ever lived in a city that hosted the Olmpics?

What were the pros? And the cons?
Would you consider hosting the Olympics are benefit to the city?

Are you gonna come to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics?

Congratulations Brazil

3 Oct

Last night at about 2:00AM (Japan Standard Time (JST)), it was announced that the 2016 Summer Olympics will be hosted by Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

The four cities that were candidates to host the games in 2016 were Rio De Janeiro (Brazil), Chicago (USA), Madrid (Spain), and Tokyo (Japan).

Chicago was the first city to get eliminated in the IOC (International Olympic Committee)’s voting process yesterday, then Tokyo was eliminated…which left Madrid and Rio in the running.
At that point, they said that they would announce the winning city in 90 minutes. Was the intermission meant to add to the anticipation?

Anyways, if you click here, you can read the comments that wrote on a post I wrote last month about the four candidate cities. I wrote the comments while I was watching the IOC’s vote.

In 2016, when Brazil hosts the Olympics, it will be the first time that the Olympic Games were held in South America.
So, it’s actually good that Rio won their bid to host the games (even though I would have liked to have the Olympics here in Tokyo!).

Similarly, in 1964, when Tokyo hosted the Olympics, it was the first time that the Olympic Games were held in Asia.

The logo of the 1964 Olympic Games hosted by Tokyo, Japan.

(The logo of the 1964 Olympic Games hosted by Tokyo, Japan.)

IOC decision in one month

2 Sep

In one month from today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce which of the four candidate cities has been chosen to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

The 2016 Olympics will be in either Tokyo (Japan), Chicago (USA), Madrid (Spain), or Rio De Janeiro (Brazil).

2016 Olympic Candidate Cities logos

2016 Olympic Candidate Cities logos

I don’t know the meaning of the other three logos, but the symbol on the Tokyo logo is a musubi knot…which is a symbol of happiness and blessings (or condolances, depending on the colors and arrangement).

Here is a Japanese envelope with a musubi to give a monetary gift to newlyweds at a wedding ceremony:

shugi-bukuro

As it stands right now, the IOC announced that 72% of Japanese people support the 2016 Olympics being hosted in Tokyo…the lowest local support rate of the four cities (93% of Spanish people support Madrid’s bid).
Although having local support is an important factor in the IOC’s decision…it’s not the only factor.

(Tokyo can) offer the safest, securest, most risk-free and most dependable bid. This is especially critical considering today’s uncertain environment.

–Ichiro Kono, Tokyo Olympic bid leader.

Which of the four cities do you think should host the 2016 Summer Olympics? (Please vote in this poll, and also add additional comments, such as your reasons and which city you live in, in this post’s Comments section):

2016 Olympics in Tokyo

17 Apr

This October (2009), the International Olympic Committee will announce which city is chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

The four finalist cities are Tokyo, Japan; Chicago, USA; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Madrid, Spain.

I believe Tokyo should be chosen to host the games…Tokyo is safe and clean, the public transportation is extremely punctual and affordable, their is plenty of interesting places to see in the city, the food is excellent, and it’s a beautiful city.

Here is one of the official promotional videos for Tokyo’s campaign to win the 2016 Olympics host-city bid. Watch it and see why I love living here:

Friday The 13th

13 Feb

今日は十三日の金曜日 (Today is Friday the 13th).

Are you superstitious?

I wonder why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky.

In Japan, the unlucky numbers are four and nine.
American hospitals and hotels don’t have a thirteenth floors (the floor above the twelfth floor is the fourteenth)…in Japanese hospitals and hotels there are no fourth floors.

And old Japanese telephones didn’t have a numeral written on the “four” number slot (old phones were rotary, not push-button). You could dial a “4”…but it wasn’t written.
They don’t make telephone like that anymore, though.

Also, nothing in Japan comes in sets of four (dishes, cups, Chicken McNuggets, etc) are sold in sets of five, usually.
If you give a present to Japanese people…don’t give a set of four.

Unlike “13” in the West, I can tell you exactly why “4” (and to a lesser extent, “9”) are unlucky in Japan.
In the Japanese language, one of the possible pronunciations for “four” (「」) is “shi“…and “death” (「」) is also pronounced “shi“.
“Nine” (「」) can be pronounced “ku“…and “pain” or “bitterness” 「」 can be pronounced as “ku“, also.

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明日は「バレンタイン・デー」 (Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day ).

When I came home from work yesterday, my wife and daughters were all in the kitchen making homemade Valentines chocolates.

It smelled wonderful!

I wonder how much is for me. I’ll find out tomorrow.

Click here to read my “Valentines Day” FAQ. And click here to read another post in which I wrote about “Valentines Day” in Japan.

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On October 2nd of this year, the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games will be chosen.

Tokyo is one of the four finalist cities. The other three are Chicago, Rio, and Madrid.

Here are the the four 2016 Olympic Applicant City logos:

2016 Olympics Applicant Cities

2016 Olympics Applicant Cities

If Tokyo is chosen to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, I might volunteer my help. It would be fun.

2008 Olympics

8 Aug

Today is August 8. The opening ceremony for the 2008 Summer Olympics in 北京 (Beijing, China) will commence today at 8:08PM (China Standard Time).

Maybe you’ve heard why it’s set to begin at such an unusual time. It’s because the number eight is lucky in China (and Japan, too). So the Chinese decided to start the ceremony at ’08年8月8日午後8時8分 (’08/8/8 8:08PM).

(By the way, in China the numbers four and seven are unlucky because they have the same pronunciation as the word for “death” in Chinese. In Japan, the numbers four and nine are unlucky because they sound like “death” and “pain” in Japanese, respectively.)

The Official Website of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing is here.

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The Food & Wine website just voted Tokyo as the number one restaurant city in the world.

Paris, New York, and London were numbers 2, 3, and 4 respectively.

Click here to see their entire top-ten list.

This is after the Michelin Guide gave more stars to restaurants in Tokyo than any other city in their 2008 edition.

Click here to read the Yahoo news report about it. (from Nov 2007)

Tokyo is a shining star in the world of cuisine…

Michelin Guides Director Jean-Luc Naret

Tokyo Olympics

7 Jun

Tokyo, as well as 26 or so other cities, had put a bid in to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
From those 27 cities, the list of candidate cities has just been reduced to four…Tokyo, Madrid, Chicago and Rio de Janeiro.

As of right now, Tokyo looks like it may be the most likely choice for host city because Tokyo’s “score” is 8.4 (the highest of the four cities).

The final decision of which city will host the 2016 Olympics will be decided on October 2, 2009 (over a year from now).

If Tokyo hosts the 2016 Olympics, I think I might volunteer as a guide or something. 2016 is still eight years away, so I’m not giving it too much thought right now, though.

The last time (and only time, so far) that Tokyo hosted the Olympics was the 1964 Olympics. It was the first time a “non-Western” country hosted the Olympics!
The “National Olympic Stadium” that was built in Yoyogi, Tokyo for the ’64 Olympics will be re-used as one of the venues in 2016, if Tokyo is chosen as the host.

Have you ever been in a city when it hosted the Olympics?

In 1998, Nagano, Japan hosted the Winter Olympics.
We didn’t have tickets for any of the events, but we wanted to see an “Olympic city”…so we took a 新幹線 (Bullet Train) from Tokyo to Nagano (it was the “Asama” Shinkansen Line that was just built at the time especially for the ’98 Olympics).

Even without event tickets, it was fun.

While we were in Nagano during the ’98 Olympics, we saw Andy Hug before he died.

If you live outside of Japan or you weren’t in Japan in the 1990’s, you probably don’t recognize that name. But he was a very popular K-1 fighter in Japan from Switzerland.

He was in Nagano helping to support the Swiss Olympic team.

He was very polite and was often on TV in Japan in the late ’90s. So it was quite a shock to Japan when he died suddenly at a young age just two years after the 1998 Olympics.

Compared to the other three candidate cities for the 2016 Olympics, a relatively low number of people in Tokyo support the Olympics coming to this city. Many are afraid it will get even more crowded than it already is here and the morning train commute to work will have many tourists filling the trains.

I think, though, that if Tokyo is chosen, it will force the government to build more train lines in the city to accommodate them…and that will benefit those of us that live here in the long term after the Olympics are over.

So I support Tokyo’s bid for the 2016 Olympics.