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Is there anything interesting about Tokyo's bid?


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Many Gamesbidders now seem to feel that Tokyo is the odds on favorite to win the right to host the 2020 Games. But is there a good reason for this? In my opinion the three candidates are all fairly evenly matched.

Instead of just anointing Tokyo by default, I'd like to hear what aspects of Tokyo's bid are especially compelling and exciting to you.

Will this be a lengthy thread full of praise for Tokyo? Or will it be a relatively anemic one full of unrelated tangents? My personal suspicion is that it will tend the latter direction.

Tokyo may seem relatively safe, but it is also uninspired. I do not see anything unique or engaging about the bid, personally. I started out as a Tokyo supporter, but have been very disappointed by the hollow jargon that has driven their campaign.

What are your thoughts?

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While we speak of it being the first Summer Olympics for Japan "in a generation"- I can't help but feel apathy for the demographics of Japan- one of the oldest , least youthful populations in the world. Chances are a great deal of the population recall the glory of 1964 vividly.

Compare that to Turkey, one of the youngest and most youthful country and Europe- and you still have a compelling case to put forward next weekend.

EDIT

Compare that to Turkey, one of the most youthful countries in Europe- and you still have a compelling case to put forward next weekend.

(Apologies for the poor grammar, on my mobile)

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For some, it's probably just a matter of whether you feel like sushi, tapas or kebab next Saturday. I like them all and if I had to call the caterer at this very moment, I'd probably pick tapas. But if they're out of tapas, I have no problem enjoying some sushi next week.

In fact, I may not have a choice. I hear the tapas industry is nearly out of business, and kebabs these days give you an upset stomach. I just hope Paul doesn't serve my sushi.

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And the rest aren't hollow jargon?

Lets just say that i find Tokyo, maybe not as exotic as Istanbul, but far more exciting than Madrid.

But this is exactly the point. What merits does Tokyo's bid have? What SPECIFICALLY makes it "far more exciting than Madrid" in your opinion?

I keep hearing that Tokyo is the default choice. But instead of talking about anything Tokyo has to offer, most posters simply say "are the others any better"?

So far nobody has posted a single reason to get excited about Tokyo (unless you consider the cuisine comment, of course).

I do see reasons to get excited about Istanbul: first Muslim Games. Exotic locale. Travel hot spot. Ceremony stadium on the Bosphorus (ok, who knows if it will actually happen, but it is a super cool idea).

I even see reasons to get excited about Madrid: for starters, the Spaniards are excited and have been for three cycles now. There would be an electric atmosphere around those Games. Also, there's huge appeal to finding a way to reduce the increasingly astronomical cost of staging the Games. I don't think Madrid's budget is realistic, but I do think they can host very high-quality Games for a fraction of what others spend. That's appealing to me.

I honestly have trouble coming up with any reason why Tokyo is exciting. It just isn't.

So why is Tokyo the default choice? Apparently we are comparing negatives rather than positives. Istanbul has a conservative government that handled recent protests badly. Madrid's economy is the weakest it's been in recent memory. And Tokyo? Well, there's nothing exactly WRONG with Tokyo, but is there anything RIGHT with them either?

This is why I've done a 180. I started out a fan of Tokyo and now I hope anyone other than Tokyo wins. Despite their potential weaknesses, I believe either Istanbul or Madrid would generate far more electricity and excitement for the Olympic Movement than Tokyo would.

The invitation is still out there. If you can list ANYTHING that makes Tokyo's bid exciting, I'd like to hear.

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But this is exactly the point. What merits does Tokyo's bid have? What SPECIFICALLY makes it "far more exciting than Madrid" in your opinion?

I keep hearing that Tokyo is the default choice. But instead of talking about anything Tokyo has to offer, most posters simply say "are the others any better"?

I've actually given more detailed reasons in other threads, this morning and in the past months. Here's what I posted in the Tokyo public support thread just within the last half hour:

As to Tokyo versus Madrid. Well, it all comes down to personal tastes doesn't it (like certain OCs)? From personal experience, to me Tokyo is a vibrant, electric metropolis, confident and buzzing in its culture and quirks, blending strong cultural traditions with an ultra-modern futuristic vibe. Madrid, on the other hand, in my is nice enough, but more of a generic European capital with no real 'wow” factor to set it apart. Barcelona to me had and has the “X” factor. Madrid, to me, is no more or less appealing than, say, a Lyon compared to Paris.

Basically, Tokyo's a city I never get tired of visiting or bored in and which i expect and look forward to visit again in the future. I find it really exciting. I'm in no rush to head back to Madrid (though I'd head back to Barcelona anytimke).

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I've actually given more detailed reasons in other threads, this morning and in the past months. Here's what I posted in the Tokyo public support thread just within the last half hour:

Basically, Tokyo's a city I never get tired of visiting or bored in and which i expect and look forward to visit again in the future. I find it really exciting. I'm in no rush to head back to Madrid (though I'd head back to Barcelona anytimke).

Ok. That's a fair response. Sorry, didn't see the other thread. It sounds like you prefer the vibe of Tokyo to the vibe of Madrid. I guess that is a matter of taste.

Perhaps the technological angle is a differentiator for Tokyo. But I suspect there's going to be a bit of an anti-technology backlash in the years ahead. Of course we'll never give up the internet or smart phones or computers, I just think many people will try hard to contain the role technology plays in their lives. That's already happening to some extent, but I digress.....

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It's an interesting question, and I can understand why the question is being put forward.
Outwardly I don't think the concept of Tokyo is overly *exciting* in the conventional sense, but to me the *idea* of Tokyo is something which is very attractive an it its own way is indeed exciting.

I just see Tokyo as a colliding of cultures, it sounds cliche, but it's just so entertaining. The most absurd vending machines, cartoon mascots for everything and anything, led screens everywhere - all mixed with a beautiful people who are so warm and welcoming.

I remember getting on the Yamanote line heading off somewhere, an older woman walked on to the rain in Kimono and I got up and gave her my seat. She gave me a smile and a nod when I got up and off we travelled. A few stops later she got up to get off and in the middle of the rush of the sea of people she turned around yet again and gave me a bow and another smile. Little things in Tokyo, just really do make you smile. Even post Fukushima, the amount of love shown towards the brave white faces who had dared to travel there, even the sign thanking all their friends who had travelled to Tokyo positioned at Narita depatures.

I think if Tokyo does get the Games, they will need to make an active decision to exploit some of the weirder parts of the city the metropolis, as opposed to taking the safe traditional path.

i've seen hints of this in some of the promo material.

Just walking through Kabuki-cho in Shinjuku is the most pulsating vibrant experience, the place would be going off over an Olympics.

Maybe it's something that needs to be experienced, because it's not something I thought I would experience before I visited there.

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Madrid: Spanish culture and the electric vibe it would have...that's it

Istanbul:The Turkish culture, history, putting a modern face on Islam, Kicks Qatar out for the next few rounds, the cities youth, and electric vibe.

Tokyo: Food, culture, international appeal, Disney Sea (I'm a Disney geek), it's integration with pop culture, technology, anime, vibrant colors, nice image, and it's nice vibe.

Overall I would welcome any city and despite really loving Madrid (I still do) none of the cities really WOW me like London, NYC, Paris, Chicago, Rio, and Beijing did. I wish that Tokyo took a more cultural approach rather than the safe way they are playing it- It just does not scream JAPAN to me.

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Madrid: Spanish culture and the electric vibe it would have...that's it

Istanbul:The Turkish culture, history, putting a modern face on Islam, Kicks Qatar out for the next few rounds, the cities youth, and electric vibe.

Tokyo: Food, culture, international appeal, Disney Sea (I'm a Disney geek), it's integration with pop culture, technology, anime, vibrant colors, nice image, and it's nice vibe.

Overall I would welcome any city and despite really loving Madrid (I still do) none of the cities really WOW me like London, NYC, Paris, Chicago, Rio, and Beijing did. I wish that Tokyo took a more cultural approach rather than the safe way they are playing it- It just does not scream JAPAN to me.

really? been to many places but still i can say Rio, Istanbul and NYC the only WOW ones for me.

altough please add food, nightlife and cheap holiday after olympics to Istanbul ;)

lol

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I would personally ask the same question of Madrid. I think their venue plan looks good, but that's about it.

Right now, neither the Spanish nor the Japanese offer the shiny newness and intrigue of Istanbul - a bid I'd be right behind were it not for the recent authoritarianism of the country's leader who I don't want see shaking Rogge's hand. But at least the Japanese aren't banking on the IOC swallowing a Games philosophy which - as FYI said in another thread - was crafted out of necessity and comes across as disingenuous (if Madrid COULD spend Istanbul sums on impressing the IOC and getting one over on Barcelona do you think they'd still be haughtily preaching austerity as if their way is the only way?)

As to the question in the thread title - I think whilst Tokyo is struggling to define its core message, the sum of its parts will be what will make it great. Even afterwards we might not be able to define why Tokyo 2020 was such a success but I don't doubt that it would be. Full stadiums, amazing venues (I know Hadid is like Marmite but I think that stadium is the dog's bollocks), a global city in the truest sense. Hopefully a mega-Asian Games with lots of Japanese quirk, technological wow factor, large crowds, without the oppressive feel Beijing gave. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. I can't quite say why, but I do.

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Maybe Tokyo's problem is that they have not developed any story or reason as to why they want the games (same goes for Madrid actually...), it's as if:

-Why do you want to organize the Games? Eeeerm... I really don't know why, but we want the games, but hey, look at all these shiny new venues and at all the gadgets my country develops!

Maybe if Tokyo had a more... competent? marketing team they could have developed a very, very nice compelling narrative and reasoning for their bidding, maybe talking about the fusion of technology, modernity and tradition that is Japan, talking about returning hopes and illusion to a hard-it society (quite like what Madrid is saying), and so on and so forth.

Perhaps they'll pull something spectacular up their sleeve in the final presentation as to why they want the games.

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From my selfish perspective as an "Olympic tourist" I find Toyko much more exciting than the other two. Madrid seems like a very nice place, but not all that different from other European capitals. Istanbul may be different, but it also has a pretty high hassle factor.

Toyko, on the other hand, is someplace I really want to visit. One of the few places I *really* want to visit that I've never had the chance to go. It has all the non-Western historical culture of Istanbul, plus all the high-tech gee-wizardry. I want to walk through Shinjuku at night, cross the streets in Shibuya, tour the Askusa temple, etc.

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Interesting mix of responses. Glad to hear your opinions.

I'm picking up some common themes:

technology

quirky contrasts

different vision from Beijing.

personal experience.

There's no doubt that parts of Japan are very hip. However that bid video titled "Is Tokyo Cool?" made it abundantly clear that the bid committee has no idea which parts are cool and which aren't. That's a bit worrisome.

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I'm only pulling for Madrid because the thought of dealing with consecutive Asian Olympic Games might screw up my body clock for life.

Olympics in Asia will mean lots of live coverage in primetime, though, provided that NBC is able to manipulate the schedule like they did in 2008. I have to admit, the prospect of live primetime coverage is one of the only reasons I'm excited about the prospect of a Tokyo win.

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well, anyone who's ever seen lost in translation has surely said, 'oh, i want to go there,' so they really need to just play that up. and if you haven't seen it, go see it and pm me so we can talk about the last scene.

anyway, the fact that a thread like this can exist is a pretty compelling reason for why they could use an image makeover. the japanese seem very reserved to the rest of the world and an olympics may help tokyo-ites (or whatever) come out of their shell a little. i didn't see what was so damn exciting about rainy old london at first--not compared to paris at least--but everyone had a lot of fun there.

Olympics in Asia will mean lots of live coverage in primetime, though, provided that NBC is able to manipulate the schedule like they did in 2008. I have to admit, the prospect of live primetime coverage is one of the only reasons I'm excited about the prospect of a Tokyo win.

you raise a very interesting and previously unconsidered point for me. i'm not sure how i feel about tokyo now that you've pulled at my heart strings. i still want madrid or istanbul to win because i love a good underdog, but maybe tokyo wouldn't be tragic. doha would have been tragic. sochi now seems tragic. tokyo is harmless at worst, and 35 year old me will want to internet stream live swimming at a not ungodly hour.

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