The XXXII Olympiad’s opening ceremony is the evening of Friday, July 23 in Tokyo.
But the Tokyo Olympics actually begin on the morning of Wednesday, July 21, in Fukushima. It’s the women who kick off the Games, when Japan takes on Australia in softball from 9 am (JST) at Azuma Baseball Stadium. In fact, there will be three opening round softball matches in Fukushima on July 21, as well as three more on July 22.
Women’s soccer will also debut on the two days prior to the Opening Ceremonies, with Great Britain taking on Chile in Sapporo, Hokkaido, China battling Brazil in Miyagi, Sweden against the US in Tokyo, and a second match in Hokkaido in the evening, pitting Team Japan against Team Canada.
As Tokyo and neighboring prefectures Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, as well as Osaka and Okinawa are under varying forms of a State of Emergency, spectators have been banned from Olympic events in those areas.
Fukushima and Hokkaido prefectures are not in a State of Emergency, but officials there chose to also ban spectators from the softball matches at Azuma Stadium, as well as soccer matches at Sapporo Dome.
As of this writing, however, a limited number of fans will be allowed to attend the football matches in Miyagi Stadium, which is in Rifu, Miyagi. The governor of Miyagi, Yoshihiro Murai, has held steadfast in his desire to have fans in the stands.
The governor cites the fact that on July 24, the women from China and Zambia compete in a soccer match at Miyagi Stadium, while on the same day there will be a warm up match for Team Japan’s men’s baseball team at Rakuten Seimei Park in nearby Sendai, Miyagi, which is scheduled to have about 13,000 fans. (Professional baseball in Japan has allowed limited number of spectators throughout the year.)
Spectators, as of this writing, appear also to be allowed for soccer matches in Ibaragi and cycling events at Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka.
So, if you want to attend a live Olympic event, try to get a ticket to soccer matches at Miyagi Stadium on July 21, 24, 27, 28, 30, or 31, or at Ibaragi Kashima Stadium on July 22, 25, 27, 30, 31, August 2, 3 or 5. Cycling at Izu Velodrome will be from August 2-8.