National

'World class' Tokyo Aquatics Centre and Ariake Arena unveiled ahead of 2020 Olympics

by Ryusei Takahashi

Staff Writer

Organizers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games unveiled the inside of two major venues to the media Thursday as they near completion, touting them as world-class facilities.

Four out of six permanent venues for the games have been completed.

The Tokyo Aquatics Centre, located in Tatsumi Seaside Park in Koto Ward, will host swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and several Paralympic events. Construction was 90 percent complete as of October and should be done by February, organizers said.

Ariake Arena, also in Koto, will host volleyball and wheelchair basketball events.

The ¥56.7 billion Tokyo Aquatics Centre, with approximately 65,500 square meters of space, has roughly 15,000 seats, 60 percent of which have been installed. More than 1 percent of seating areas will be reserved for people in wheelchairs in accordance with disability guidelines. Once completed, it will be one of the biggest swimming facilities in the world and one of the biggest venues for the 2020 Games.

“The Tokyo Aquatics Centre will become a world-class facility for swimming and diving events,” said Daishu Tone, director for venues. “Even after the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we hope to maintain that reputation.”

The pool is the standard size for Olympic competitions at 50 meters long, 25 meters wide and 3 meters deep. But the depth and length can be altered via an adjustable bottom and divider. The 10-meter diving tower is also complete.

The aquatics center will be available for competitive and public use following the 2020 Games. Organizers expect over 1 million annual visitors to the facility.

Ariake Arena, which will host volleyball and wheelchair basketball events during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, is shown to the media Thursday. | RYUSEI TAKAHASHI
Ariake Arena, which will host volleyball and wheelchair basketball events during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, is shown to the media Thursday. | RYUSEI TAKAHASHI

Ariake Arena was 98 percent complete as of October, according to organizers. Once finished, the five-story, ¥37 billion building will have a capacity of roughly 15,000. More than 800 cubic meters of mostly cedar wood from 14 prefectures across Japan were used to build the arena, the most out of any of the six permanent venues being constructed in Tokyo for the 2020 Games.

After the Olympic and Paralympic Games, organizers hope to welcome upwards of 1.4 million annual visitors to the venue by hosting 10 competitions every year as well as concerts and musical performances.

The Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, Sea Forest Waterway and Oi Hockey Stadium were all completed in the first half of this year. As of October, the Canoe Slalom Course located next to Kasai Rinkai Park in Edogawa Ward is 97 percent complete.

Ariake Tennis Park and the athletes village are both 98 percent complete.