Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay route to ignite enthusiasm across Japan
Around 98% of Japan’s population live within one hour by car or train of the proposed route of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, which will start in the host nation on 26 March 2020. The Relay will get underway at the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima Prefecture before passing through all 47 prefectures and some 857 local municipalities over the ensuing 121 days.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay route will take in World Heritage Sites such as Mount Fuji and Itsukushima shrine and other historic locations and popular places, including favourite local community spots, with the charm of each being showcased during the Relay. The Relay will also take in areas that are continuing to recover from natural disasters, such as the Tohoku region, which was struck by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The route has been designed to ensure people can line the roadsides in support, acceptance and encouragement with the Relay coinciding with the bloom of Japan’s famed cherry blossoms and the Torch itself resembling a traditional “Sakuramon” cherry blossom emblem.
Flames are generated from each of the five petals of the flower which then intersect at the centre of the Torch which contains material recycled from the aluminium waste from the temporary housing that was built in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Details of the route and celebration sites are available on Tokyo 2020’s official website.
The presenting partners of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay are Coca-Cola Japan, Toyota, Nippon Life and NTT Communications.
The Olympic torch for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 incorporates several elements of Japanese culture, and reinforces Tokyo 2020’s Olympic Torch Relay concept: “Hope lights our way”.
The concept is designed to bring the Japanese people together around messages of support, acceptance and encouragement of one another, while also reflecting the Olympic flame’s ability to promote peace and hope to the world.
Not only do Japan’s famed cherry blossoms happen to bloom in March, coinciding with the start of the Olympic Torch Relay, but the shape of the torch also resembles a Japanese traditional “Sakuramon” cherry blossom emblem.
The body of the torch features five cylinders that represent petals of the beloved flower. Flames are generated from each “petal”, which are united in the centre of the torch, lighting the way with greater brilliance. A number of technological innovations are deployed in the combustion section that lights the torch, including catalytic reaction.
Further building on this spirit of innovation, the torch’s unique shape is made possible by utilising the same modern aluminium extrusion technology used in the manufacturing of Japan’s renowned bullet trains.
The construction of the torch also incorporates sustainability by using aluminium waste from temporary housing that was built in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. While the materials were once used to help rebuild lives, they will now be used to spread a message of hope and recovery.
In keeping with its vision to celebrate unity in diversity, the torch was designed to ensure ease of use for everyone. It consists of a weight and shape that is simple to grip and features a position mark to help visually impaired torchbearers identify the front of the torch.