This year marks the beginning of a new decade, but maybe more important, a new Olympic season. Here are the neighborhoods in Tokyo, the capital of the host country Japan, as well as the surrounding prefectures that you will want to stay, eat, and hang out in during the 32nd Olympics Games, which kicks off on July 24.
What to do: Walk along Icho Namiki Avenue in Gaienmae to see the ginkgo trees. Their leaves completely turn yellow in late November; however, the tree-lined street offers a good Instagram moment at any time of year. You should also visit Aoyama Cemetery, which might sound bleak, but is actually a stunning park, reminiscent of touring Hollywood Forever Cemetery in LA or Père Lachaise in Paris. Another favorote place in Gaienmae is Omotesandō, a beautifully designed, upscale shopping district for the avid international shopper.
Olympic happenings: Gaienmae might be the prime neighborhood to stay in for the 2020 Olympics as it is home to the Olympic stadium, which will surely host the opening and closing ceremonies of the event and serve as the general Tokyo epicenter. Across the street from the stadium is the Japan Olympic Museum, which just opened in September last year and chronicles not only Japan’s Olympic history but also hosted the Winter Olympics in Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998, and certainly, a Summer Games in Tokyo in 1964. It also highlights Olympic contributions from all over the world. In addition, the museum has a VR experience wherein visitors can surf, swim, or stick their landing like Olympians.
What to eat: You can try La Coccola, a Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant on the second floor of a Gaien Nishi Dori (Street) building. Also worth popping into is Obanzai Hachiya, which closes for the night if they have run out of food on their meticulously curated 10-item menu.