Tokyo Ajinomoto Stadium
A major J-League football stadium, Tokyo Ajinomoto Stadium (de-branded as simply ‘Tokyo Stadium’ for the Olympics) has a capacity of 50000 and is home to FC Tokyo. It was one of the key stadiums in the 2019 Rugby World Cup (hosting the opening ceremony and 5 pool matches, 2 quarterfinals, and the 3rd-place match), and will see rugby action again in 2020 when it stages the Olympic rugby sevens. Several Olympic football matches and the modern pentathlon will also take place at Tokyo Stadium.
The stadium’s located in Chofu in the western Tokyo suburbs, easily accessed in 25 minutes using the Keio Line from Shinjuku Station. Get off at Tobitakyu and it’s just a 10-minute walk north.
Where to Stay for Olympic Events at Tokyo Stadium
For events at Tokyo Stadium it’s recommended to stay somewhere in central Tokyo. Agoda’s usually best for hotels in Japan – click on each area name to search it on Agoda: all things considered, Shinjuku is probably the best call (and also well-placed for events at other venues), though if you’re also planning day trips to places like Hakone or Nikko it might be better to stay near Tokyo Station, Shinagawa or Ueno for easy shinkansen access. You can also consider Shibuya, Roppongi, Ikebukuro, or pretty much anywhere around & within the Yamanote loop line. Asakusa is also good for more of an old town atmosphere.
Airbnb is also a great option in Japan, in fact in Japan it seems to work particularly well – most hosts arrange self-checkin & checkout systems, allowing you to arrive & leave flexibly without needing to meet someone for the keys (the key’s often left in a lockbox for you). The wifi is always super-fast, and I’ve never had an Airbnb nightmare in Japan (have had a few elsewhere). There was a crackdown in 2018 with the introduction of new regulations which led to a collapse in the number of listings available and accordingly a jump in prices, with a lot of travellers reporting that their reservations were suddenly cancelled as a result. It was all a bit of a mess at first, but you can be confident that any listings remaining on there at this point are legit. Prices went up unfortunately, but then so did standards, and Airbnb is still my usual go to for accommodation in Japan.
New users can get a $35 discount from their first Airbnb rental through 4corners7seas, simply click here and sign up.
Transportation in Greater Tokyo
If you have a JR Pass you can use it on the JR lines in the city, most significantly the Yamanote Line (the main loop line) and Chuo Line (which bisects the Yamanote east/west and more directly connects Tokyo Station to Shinjuku). However a high percentage of your travel in Tokyo is likely to involve non-JR trains, e.g. the Keio Line you’ll use to get to Ajinomoto Stadium. If you don’t have a JR Pass it’s easiest to get an IC card, and even if you do have a pass you’ll still want an IC card for the non-JR trains. For more on IC cards see here
The transport system for Tokyo is a mind-boggling mess, the Tokyo Metro map alone looks like a multi-coloured octopus tying itself in knots, but when you overlay both subway systems – Tokyo Metro (9 lines) and Toei Subway (4 lines) – plus all the JR lines and the plethora of private railway lines run by various other companies, you get this:
…so, good luck with that!
Any questions about 2020 Olympic events at Tokyo Stadium? Give me a shout below and I’ll get back to you.