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blogs / 29 JUN 2022

2020 Tokyo Olympics: 23 Days to Go

Paul Franco

2020 summer olympics location

After a year of delays due to the pandemic, Tokyo is set to host the 2020 Olympic Games from July 23 to August 8, with the Paralympics following from August 24 to September 4.

Despite the sporadic local COVID-19 situation, the Olympic torch relay is well underway as it visits famous areas like Shizouka Prefecture—which is widely famous for Mt. Fuji and green tea—and completes its journey in Tokyo—visiting famous landmarks like Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports Ground Athletic Field, a legacy of the 1964 Olympic Games held in Tokyo.

With more than 7,800 athletics already registered to compete in the Olympic Games, the city is implementing strict measures on all arriving athletes and participants, with measures kicking in 14 days before their scheduled arrival and throughout their entire stay in Tokyo, thus restricting their daily commute and contact with the local community in order to lower the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Olympic Games Venues

The Tokyo Games will be conducted at 34 venues within two distinct zones, Central Tokyo and the Tokyo Bay area, including existing competition venues—namely those built for the last Summer Olympics that were hosted in 1964—such as the prestigious Nippon Budokkan for judo and the Baji Koen Park for equestrian events. The Games will also include a new National Olympic Stadium on the site of the original Olympic stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held. For a full list of venues click here.

As global events can present a number of relocation challenges for organisations and international assignees, relocation managers must consider these during the planning process.

Best Practices for Relocation During the Tokyo Olympics

With the current, unpredictable status of borders opening and closing, preparation and extra travel time go a long way to ensure relocation programmes remain on track in the lead up to this world event. In general, most relocation services are likely to take longer to deliver.

It is important to keep those assignees who may be impacted by the Olympics up to date with the latest information. This will help to set expectations with regards to possible delays.

2020 Tokyo Olympics PrimaryImage

As hundreds of thousands of spectators, athletes, officials, marketing partners, and media contingents plan to travel to Japan at this time, the demand for housing during the Olympics means that temporary accommodation will be harder to find and more expensive. If your company’s relocation provision normally includes serviced apartments, it may be cheaper to rent regular apartments on a six-month lease rather than block booking a serviced apartment for a four-month period between June and September. Companies may also consider having their employees stay in properties outside of Tokyo (where rents may be cheaper) and travel into the city.

As Japanese immigration will be busy processing visitor-related applications, visa and work permit applications may take longer to process. Travellers also need to adhere to the latest health and safety measures prior to their flights and are advised to get the latest information from their respective immigration partners.

Pace yourself. There will be significant travel disruption to public transportation and road congestion. Airports will be especially busy during the Games, too, with flights most likely to be more expensive than at other times. Assignees will need to plan for extra time during the Games and home/school finding trips may need to be extended, given the time it will take to travel around the city.

Consider offering a temporary, flexible working option during the Olympics, either allowing employees to arrive to work later or to work remotely.

Arm your assignees with the contact information for local agencies and help hotlines for the latest health advisories and assistance in times of need.

Get your assignees across the finish line. Having the opportunity to live and work in a country hosting the Olympic Games is a fantastic experience. However, it is important that your assignees are prepared for daily life during the Games. Set expectations before the move and outline potential challenges that they may encounter. Consider bringing assignments forward or delaying them until after the events have finished. If delaying assignments, be mindful that the Paralympics’ closing ceremony occurs several weeks after the conclusion of the Olympics’ closing ceremony.

More Information

Despite the possible challenges, Tokyo is a fantastic city in which to be during the Olympic Games.For more on the event, click here. Should you have any queries about relocation to Japan or any other aspect of your global mobility programme, please contact your Cartus representative or email

Headshot of Paul Franco

Paul Franco

Paul Franco, has over 17 years of Global Mobility/Relocation outsourcing industry experience. He currently provides strategic talent mobility solutions to multinational companies in Singapore, Hong Kong, India and other key markets along North and South East Asia.

Paul is originally from Manila, Philippines. His international work experience in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Thailand has developed his cultural sensitivity and global mind set.