Japan Olympic Museum

A peaceful and better world through sports

By Sherilyn Siy    - 2 min read

What happened to the Olympic torch that was lit last March 12, 2020 at a sacred site in ancient Olympia in Greece? I serendipitously stumbled upon both the question and answer on a recent visit to the Japan Olympic Museum.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is the biggest sporting event affected by the pandemic. Its postponement is a major but only one of many consequences of these troubled times. The small flame kept alive in a lamp in the Japan Olympic Museum is like a literal light at the end of the tunnel to sustain us through these challenging times. The spirit of the Olympics, as embodied in the flame, is one that unites the world in solidarity and respect. Thus this small light takes on a greater significance, serving as a beacon of hope to the world.

At the museum, I learned about the vision of Pierre de Coubertine, founder of the modern Olympic games, and his hope and dream of a sporting event that brought the world together in friendship and peace.

The museum's mini theater was an immersive sound and video experience of the magnificence of the Olympic ceremonies as well as the dynamism of world class athletes.

Kids will find the interactive exhibits the most engaging. You can try out various moves required in some Olympic sports and compare how you fare with the best athletes.

My favorite exhibit though are the stories of exemplary sportsmanship, courage, friendship, and kindness of Japanese athletes, particularly that of equestrian Takeichi Nishi and Shunzo Kido. Their stories left me with a lump in my throat.

For a dose of inspiration in these trying times, I highly recommend a visit to the Japan Olympic Museum.

Admission is ¥500 for adults, ¥400 for senior citizens and groups of 20, and free for high school students and below.

Getting there

The Japan Olympic Museum is a 5 minute walk from Exit 3 of Gaienmae Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, a 10 minute walk from Exit A2 of Kokuritsu-kyogijo Station on the Toei Oedo Line, and a 12 minute walk from Sendagaya or Shinanomachi Stations on the JR Chuo-Sobu Line (express trains do not stop here). There are no parking spots available so coming by public transportation is strongly recommended.

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Sherilyn Siy

Sherilyn Siy @sherilyn.siy

For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan. 

Join the discussion

Kim B a month ago
I love all the Olympic posters - it makes for a really eye-catching display!
Sherilyn Siy Author a month ago
It was a really well-thought out and well-planned museum.
Sander van Werkhoven a month ago
I have visited the Olympic museums in Nagano and Sapporo, but didn't even know this one in Tokyo existed! That's definitely on the list for my next visit tot Tokyo...
Sherilyn Siy Author a month ago
I highly recommend it. This museum used to be so crowded pre-Covid19. Now's a good time to visit although some of the interactive stations have been suspended.
Bonson Lam a month ago
It is great to be inspired by these athletes and their stories of courage and achievement, definitely something we need in this time.
Sherilyn Siy Author a month ago
Yes, I had to swallow the lump in my throat a couple of times. I was so inspired by how they embodied the Olympic ideals.