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Olympic History in Tokyo

You don’t need to go to Beijing to get in the Olympics spirit. Japan recently gave it’s athletes a royal send off to Beijing and the country is feverishly promoting its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Tokyo. The city hosted the Olympic Games in 1964 and is home to a museum dedicated to the history of sport in Japan. The Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum, located in the National Stadium was one of the main venues of the 1964 Olympic Games and houses a large collection of Olympic memorabilia and displays that cover the history of the games starting with first Olympiad.

The National Stadium was built in 1958 for the 1964 Olympics and today serves as a venue for soccer and rugby matches. The Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum opened in 1959 and is dedicated to the memory of Prince Yashuhito Chichibu (1902-1953), commonly referred to as the “Sporting Prince” by the people of Japan, who was a lover of sport and an honorary head of many athletic organizations after WWII.

“The purpose of this museum is to exhibit the history of sport in Japan as well as the Olympic Games. If you visit here, you will get closer to sport and when you leave you will be inspired to do more sport.” said the museum’s librarian and exposition officer, Kei Ito.(source)

Exhibits at the museum include the winner’s podium from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, torches, athletic uniforms, tickets, scale models and posters that in combination provide an impressive overview of the history of the Olympic Games. There are also displays covering baseball, archery and soccer.

Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum is a 5 minute walk from Sendagaya Station or a 2 minute walk from Kokuritsu-Kyogijo Station (Exit A2) – access map. Admission is Y300 and the museum is open daily from 9:30 to 4:30 (closed on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month).

Visit the Japan Olympic Committee website to learn more about Tokyo’s 2016 Olympic bid.

Image Credit: Flickr, P1050455