Abe apologizes for costly Olympics stadium fiasco, design rethink | The Japan Times. Advertisements

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Tokyo’s chief Olympic organizer, Yoshiro Mori
Tokyo’s chief Olympic organizer, Yoshiro Mori

New stadium to open three months before Olympics.

In the Tokyo Summer Games of 1964, the stadium was ready in 1963 for a full-blown rehearsal. I’m sure the Japanese will get it done for 2020, but three months is very, very little room for error. 

tokyo2020emblem

The emblem for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics was simple and bold.

The emblem for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was presented last week. I’m no art or design expert, but the new one reminds me of the JAL re-branding of the 1990s.

Japan_Airlines_Logo_(1989_-_2002)_svg

The design concept, which you can see more clearly in the video, feels like some cubist blend of Miro and Picasso.

I’m sure it will grow on me.

national stadium design_Kyodo and Japan Times
Kyodo

The $2 billion price tag for the new National Stadium in Tokyo proved to be too high. The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, faced down the president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and former prime minister, Yoshiro Mori, and send the committee back to the drawing board. This decision effectively removed the possibility of the stadium debuting for the 2019Rugby World Cup, according to this Japan Times article.

street rugby

When the new National Stadium opens for business, the first event won’t be the Olympics. Instead, the 2019 Rugby World Cup will christen the new stadium.

And in 2016, at Rio, rugby will return to the Olympics after a 92-year absence. To promote rugby in Japan, the Nihonbashi Neighborhood Association and Chuo Rugby Football Union held its inaugural Nihonbashi Street Rugby event on Sunday, July 5, in the heart of Ginza. Also partnering were the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

It was cool and damp, but spirits were high in this very high-paced and energetic version of rugby. Take a look at this video!

From curbed.com
From curbed.com

The Hotel Okura was part of the wave of new hotels built in anticipation of the hordes of tourists that would descend on Tokyo with the 1964 Summer Games. Based on the design of a Kyoto temple, the Hotel Okura was considered one of the poshest places in Asia. If you’ve seen the 1966 Cary Grant movie, “Walk, Don’t Run”, then you saw the Hotel Okura preening in a glow of newness and modernity.

But at the age of 53, it’s apparently time for architectural euthanasia. I’ve stayed at the Hotel Okura, a couple of times, most recently two years ago. Despite the obvious care with which management maintains the hotel, it is looking its age. I suppose a face lift was considered, but the true aim is probably more rooms in a prime location. The Hotel Okura’s 2nd coming will

#9 of 11 Brazilian Airbnb's You Must Experience
#9 of 11 Brazilian Airbnb’s You Must Experience

Japan may need to learn to love Airbnb.

As the democratization of the hotel industry takes the inevitable step of your home becoming another hotel room, Rio knows it will need to consider all options to accommodate the spike in visitors during the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil.

According to ESPN, Airbnb is now the official “alternative accommodations” sponsor of the 2016 Games. That’s an amazing 20,000 spaces in peoples’ homes available to visitors.

During the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, the government came up with various ideas to increase the number of rooms. One of the ideas was asking owners of private homes to make rooms available to foreign guests. A total of 1,445 beds in 588 homes were available to guests, a 20th century version of Airbnb. But, different from Airbnb, the government made sure that Japanese in charge of restaurants, hotels and shops were provided training and information on food sanitation, medical and first aid services for foreign guests, even to the owners of the private homes.

Let’s see how it goes in Rio. In the meanwhile,