Tokyo illuminated by two-years-to-go celebration
As a part of the lively celebrations to mark two years to go until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, thousands of people gathered in the Japanese capital city to try Olympic sports and light up the night sky in the colours of the Olympic rings.
Throughout the day, attendees had the opportunity to participate in several different events, including trying the sports of table tennis, shooting, boxing and basketball.
Olympic athletes, including three-time judo gold medallist Tadahiro Nomura, swimmer Rikako Ikee, gymnast Ryohei Kato and athletics medallist Kenji Fujimitsu, as well as climber Miho Nonaka, all joined the ceremony, as did the newly named Olympic and Paralympic mascots, Miraitowa and Someity.
The event was fashioned after traditional Japanese summer festivals. An incredible 731 commemorative lanterns were presented to symbolise the 731 days to go until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Young children, their families and the athletes filled the lanterns with messages of hope and aspirations for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Towards the end of the event, mascots Miraitowa and Someity teleported to the stage to signal the lighting of the final two lanterns. As they began to glow, the colours of the Olympic rings were displayed on the Tokyo Skytree®, brightening the night sky.
Simultaneously, 14 other landmarks across Japan were illuminated to mirror the special lighting effects in Tokyo.
The event culminated with attendees gathering in a circle to perform the Tokyo Gorin Ondo 2020 dance, demonstrating the collective excitement for the Olympic Games.
Tokyo 2020 also transferred the fun online, asking fans and athletes to express their excitement for the milestone date by showing the number 2 with the V sign, which is also the most popular gesture Japanese people make when their photo is being taken.
The online campaign will continue up until 25 August with the hashtags #Tokyo2020 and #2yearstogo.