The 2020 Olympic Games: Nippon Budokan

The venue for judo and karate

By Elena Lisina    - 3 min read

The Nippon Budokan is quite the massive building located in Kitanomaru Park in the center of Tokyo. The Budokan is well known as the home of Japanese martial arts, particularly judo. The Nippon Budokan was built for the 1964 Olympic Games where judo made its debut as an Olympic sport.

Though the Nippon Budokan is used mainly for martial arts competitions and pro wrestling, it has also hosted other sporting events as well as many musical concerts. Among the more famous musicians to have performed at the Budokan are The Beatles, ABBA, and Tina Turner.

The history of judo is not too ancient. It was created by Kano Jigoro in 1882 as a special mental, physical and moral pedagogy in Japan. Later, judo spread all over the world, influencing other arts like sambo. Judo competitions are held by both men and women and in different weight categories. Among the Olympic Champions are wrestlers from Japan, Russia, France, Korea, Georgia and many other countries.

At the 2020 Olympic Games, the Nippon Budokan will host judo and karate, while the Paralympic Games will see judo. For both competitions the stadium spectator capacity will be 11, 000.

The Nippon Budokan, being in the center of Tokyo, is surrounded by lots of places worth visiting. The closest is the Imperial Residence and the Imperial Palace East Gardens. The Gardens have different gates and entry is free of change. It’s a wonderful place to rest and enjoying beautiful greenery and flowers. Especially beautiful is its Japanese traditional garden.

The Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace East Gardens
The Imperial Palace East Gardens

Walking distance from the Nippon Budokan lies another famous Japanese garden, and one of Tokyo's oldest – Koishikawa Karakuen,a stunning example of Japanese garden art. Not far from Koishikawa Karakuen is the lively Tokyo Dome City with numerous shops, restaurants and attractions. While west of the Budokan you'll find the Ishigaya district, Yasukuni Shrine and the Tokyo Anime Center in DNP Plaza.

Traditional Japanese garden Koishikawa Karakuen
Traditional Japanese garden Koishikawa Karakuen
Tokyo Dome City
Tokyo Dome City

So while the Olympic and the Nippon Budokan' judo and karate events hold your attention, don’t forget to take advantage of some fantastic places of interest nearby.

Getting there

Nippon Budokan is a 5-minute walk from Kudanshita Sta. (Exit 2) on the Tokyo Metro Tozai and Hanzomon Lines and the Toei Shinjuku Line.

Was this article helpful?

Suggest an edit

Elena Lisina

Elena Lisina @shiroi.tenshi

I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo! My photos from Japan I also place here: Matane!

Join the discussion

Sherilyn Siy a month ago
The Budokan incidentally is one of the best places to view the sakura.
Sherilyn Siy a month ago
Oh no! It gets so crowded you can't move unfortunately!
Kim B a month ago
I like that many venues are close to great sightseeing!
Sleiman Azizi a month ago
Geez, there is soooo much to see.
Elena Lisina Author a month ago
I like that area, but the Imperial Palace and Gardens are too popular with tourists! ;)