TOKYO — Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Games are hoping to entertain visitors from the ground, air and sea before and during next year’s sports extravaganza.
The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Tokyo metropolitan government have mooted the idea of operating a ferry service to transport spectators from central Tokyo to venues on the coast so that passengers will be able to enjoy views of the capital while traveling to Games venues.
Meanwhile, the Air Self-Defense Force’s acrobatic squadron Blue Impulse will create the Olympic logo with the vapor trails of their jets at a ceremony in March to mark the arrival of the Olympic torch from Greece at the ASDF’s Matsushima Air Base in Miyagi Prefecture.
A ferry will take passengers from Hinode wharf near JR Hamamatsucho Station in Minato Ward to the Sea Forest Waterway, the location of the rowing and canoe events, and to the Sea Forest Cross-Country Course, where the equestrian events will take place.
Transportation is not the only purpose of the ferry service: It is also a way to promote some of the city’s attractions.
The organizing committee and the metropolitan government will include the idea of a ferry service in the Games’ overall transportation plan to be compiled soon. They are currently discussing the possibility of using passenger boats with a maximum capacity of 300 to 500 people with a private company.
Up to 16,000 spectators will visit each of the two venues during the Games. However, getting to the venues takes about 15 to 20 minutes by bus or taxi from the nearest train stations. The organizers hope to use the city’s waterways to solve some of the transportation challenges that may arise, such as congestion on nearby roads.
The Yumeno Ohashi bridge in the Daiba waterfront area will have a replica of the cauldron that will be lit throughout the Games at the National Stadium in Shinjuku Ward. Ferries are likely to pass near this site if the service is realized.
“From the boats, passengers will be able to see the cauldron as well as Tokyo Tower, making the service a part of the omotenashi hospitality [we hope to offer],” a source close to the organizers said.
The Olympic torch will be lit in Greece on March 12 and arrive in Japan on March 20, when the plane carrying it is scheduled to land at the ASDF’s Matsushima Base.
ASDF aircraft will form the Olympic logo in the sky with colored vapor trails during a ceremony to mark the arrival of the torch, re-creating a similar aerial display that was staged at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
Colored vapor trails have not been used in exhibition flights by the Blue Impulse since 1998, when the ASDF received complaints that vehicles parked near the venue of an aerial display were smeared with spots of ink from the vapor trails of planes flying at low altitudes.
The Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces are studying ways to use colored vapor that will have little impact on surrounding areas.