New-look Nippon Budokan arena unveiled

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The indoor arena Nippon Budokan’s (in Japan) new look was unfolded recently in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, at a ceremony to mark completion of extension and renovation work on the venue that will play host to judo and karate at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which has been postponed until next year due to coronavirus which is laying siege the world over.

Nippon Budokan, often shortened to simply Budokan, is an indoor arena located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. Budokan was originally built for the judo competition in the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, which was also being held in Asia for the first time. The name Budokan translates in English as Martial Arts Hall. The venue sits in Kokyo Gaien National Garden and can hold 14,471 spectators. The Olympic capacities for the venue are 11,000 for both judo and karate.

To prepare for the upcoming Games, a new training hall for athletes has come up, and earthquake resistance and barrier-free facilities were added by replacing the old roof and making permanent space for wheelchairs.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lighting was set up in the building and LED lights were also added to the structure’s exterior to embellish the facility so that it glows at night.

The facility became operative during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the venue was employed for judo during that year. The Nippon Budokan is to judo what Wimbledon is to tennis. This venue is a major legacy of Tokyo 1964 and regularly hosts budo (Japanese martial arts) as well as concerts and other events. It is the ideal place to host judo as well as karate for the Tokyo 2020 Games. Uniquely Japanese in character and spirit, the Nippon Budokan promises to provide an outstanding experience for both competitors and spectators.

All the venues that were to be used for this year’s Games, which were delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, will be used in 2021. The announcement was made just over a year before the Games begin on July 23, 2021.

Earlier this week, it was reported that venues that had been scheduled to host this year’s Olympics have been opened up for public use following the postponement. So far, the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre has opened, while the Tatsumi Water Polo Centre – both in Tokyo – is set to follow suit in mid-August.

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