2020 Tokyo Olympics: One Year to Go
Posted by: Nicola Urquhart, Corporate Writer
There’s nearly one year to go until Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympic Games. Having previously lived in Tokyo for 15 months, I can’t wait to see the city host this global event. It’s a fascinating country that combines the futuristic with history and tradition, cultural attributes which I’m sure we will see throughout next year’s spectacle. The Games will take place between 24 July and 9 August, with the Paralympics following on 25 August to 6 September. Global events can present a number of relocation challenges for organisations and international assignees and as such, there are planning considerations for relocation managers.
The Tokyo Games will use as many existing competition venues as possible, namely those built for the last Summer Olympics that they hosted in 1964, such as the prestigious Nippon Budokkan for judo and the Baji Koen Park for equestrian events. The Games will also include a new National Olympic Stadium on the site of the original Olympic Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held. For a full list of venues visit, tokyo2020.org/en/games/venue/olympic/.
Best Practices for Relocation During the Tokyo Olympics
- Be the first out of the blocks. Preparation will go a long way to ensure relocation programmes remain on track in the lead up to this world event. In general, most relocation services are likely to take longer to deliver and although it’s too early to plan for some moves, graduate programmes, long term assignments and repatriations can be reviewed now.
- Keep those assignees who may be impacted by the Olympics, up to date with the latest information. This will help to set expectations with regards to possible delays.
- As hundreds of thousands of spectators, athletes, officials, marketing partners and media contingents plan to travel to Japan next year, the demand for housing during the Olympics means that temporary accommodation will be harder to find and more expensive. If your company’s relocation provision normally includes serviced apartments, it could be cheaper to rent regular apartments on a six month let in 2020 rather than block booking a serviced apartment for a four month period between June and September. Companies may also consider having their employees stay in properties outside of Tokyo (where rents may be cheaper) and travel into the city.
- As Japan immigration will be busy processing visitor-related applications, visa and work permit applications may take longer to process.
- Pace yourself. There will be significant travel disruption to public transportation and road congestion. Airports will be especially busy during the Games too, with flights most likely more expensive. Assignees will need to plan for extra time during the Games and home/school finding trips may need to be extended, given the time it will take to travel around the city.
- Consider offering a temporary flexible working option during the Olympics, either allowing employees to arrive to work later or work remotely.
In addition to the Olympic Games, there are lots of other amazing things to do across the country. Here, I’ve listed a few of my favourites:
- Make time to bathe in a natural hot spring, known as onsen, to rejuvenate your mind and body.
- For those keen to explore the countryside, a climb up Mount Fuji to watch the sunrise from its peak, is an unforgettable experience.
- Immerse yourself in Japanese culture by taking a course on how to wear a traditional kimono – it’s more difficult than you would think!
- A stay in Japan would not be complete without a visit to the ancient capital city of Kyoto to partake in a traditional tea ceremony, seated in the grounds of one of the city’s many beautiful temples.
- During the winter months, head to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture. Renowned for its stunning mountain scenery and some of the world’s best powder snow conditions, you can hit the slopes in one of its many ski resorts that cater for all abilities.
- When staying in Hokkaido’s capital, be sure to go on a tour of the famous Sapporo brewery to sample Japan’s longest-established and most popular beer brand. In early February, don’t miss the display of hundreds of spectacular snow statues and ice sculptures at the annual Sapporo Snow Festival.
Despite the possible challenges, Tokyo will be a fantastic city to be in during the Olympic Games. For more on the event visit, olympic.org/tokyo-2020. Should you have any queries about Japan relocation or any other aspect of your global mobility programme, please contact your Cartus representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org.