Since opening in September 2019, the Japan Olympic Museum in Tokyo has put people at the center of the Japanese Olympic Movement through its immersive multimedia exhibits that invite visitors to catch the “Olympic Spirit” and to “Know, Feel, Learn, Try, and Think” like a champion.
- Engaging audio-visual exhibits highlighting the athletic prowess of Olympians, the diversity of Paralympians and the spectacle of the Opening Ceremony
- Discover Japan’s influence on the Olympic Games with a special focus on the contributions of the Japanese
- Experience the physical movements of Olympic sports and try to match the dynamism of Olympians
- Marvel at the legacy of the Olympic movement in the scenic Monument area
How to Get There
Japan Olympic Museum is across the street from the New National Stadium in the capital’s Gaien district. It is accessible by train and is a 5-minute walk from exit 3 at Gaienmae Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza line, 10 minutes from exit 2 at Kokuritsu Kyogijo station on the Toei Oedo line, or 12 minutes from Sendagaya or Shinanomachi stations on the JR Sobu line.
Welcome Area: Warming Up for the Main Event
Upon arrival, visitors can make their way inside to the Welcome Area where a large screen shows exciting moments from past Olympic Games. Dynamic footage of legendary champions in action is certain to get visitors pumped for the immersive and engaging exhibits that await.
The Welcome Salon is an attractive space used for events and exhibits that promote the Olympic Movement. In the JOC Corner, visitors can learn about the Japan Olympic Committee and its preparations for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad.
Visitors can get refreshments at the first floor Café and browse the Museum Gift Shop for souvenirs and mementos.
Exhibition Area: Run, Leap and Flip into Olympic History
In the second-floor exhibition space, visitors can learn the detailed history of the Olympic Games and Japan’s participation through an immersive sound and video experience. This state-of-the-art exhibit is divided into sections that invite visitors to Know, Feel, Learn, Try, and Think about everything from the Ancient Olympic Games to the Olympic Games of the modern era. Displays featuring relay torches, costumes and sports equipment bring past Olympiads to life.
Visitors will learn about how Japan first participated at the Olympic Games in 1912, won its first medals in 1920 and its first gold medals in 1928. Overall, the Japanese delegation has won 439 medals at the Olympic Games and 58 medals at the Olympic Winter Games. It should come as no surprise that Japan has won more gold medals in judo, its indigenous modern martial art, than any other country.
The exhibit shows how Japan hosted the Olympic Games for the first time in 1964 in Tokyo, followed by the Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo in 1972, and the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano in 1998. Promotional posters and tickets from those events are on display along with those for the Olympic Games Tokyo 1940 that were canceled due to the outbreak of World War II.
Unlike most history lessons, this one is interactive. Visitors can use simulators to compare their physical abilities with those of Olympians. They can use interactive screens to experience shooting, ski jumping and figure skating, then compare their results with the world’s elite athletes.
The exhibit captures the spectacle of the Opening Ceremony and the community atmosphere of the Olympic Village, while shedding light on the people who labor behind the scenes to make the Games a reality. It also provides invaluable insights from Olympic athletes about the challenges of Olympic training and competition. Visitors also can gain a deep appreciation for the Paralympic Games and the diverse group of extraordinary athletes who participate in them.
The World and the Olympic Games
Monument Area: It’s a Photo Finish!
Visitors can go for a “photo finish” outside at the Monument Area. It is a popular spot for impromptu selfie sessions in front of the iconic Olympic Symbol, scale models of Olympic cauldrons from past Olympic Games held in Japan, and bronze statues of Pierre de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympic Games, as well as Kano Jigoro, the founder of judo.
There, visitors can also check out the Olympic Values inscribed on a bench, a record of Japan’s first Olympic gold medal inscribed on a footpath, the Olympic Motto inscribed on steps, and the locations and years of past Olympic Games inscribed on a footpath. There is so much to discover at this compact museum.
Admission is 500 yen for adults and 400 yen for those 65 years or older; high school students and younger enter for free. Given the need for social distancing, visitors need to make a reservation. For the most updated information on reservation and admission fees, please check the official website.