Presumably you have your tickets in hand and your hotel and transportation all confirmed. If you are, by chance, a last-minute starter, there are still hotel rooms and airline space available through American travel agents who booked blocks of both well in advance (SI, Dec. 23, 1963), but tickets to the Games will be a problem. All foreign allotments, including those that American Express did not sell in the U.S., were returned to Tokyo on July 1. They will quickly find takers—when tickets went on sale last October there were 15 applicants for every seat earmarked for Japanese buyers.
GETTING TO THE GAMES
There are more than 30 venues for the Olympic programs and, while most are located in Tokyo, many are outside—yacht racing at Enoshima is 37 miles to the south, and the three-day equestrian events are 90 miles to the north in Karuizawa. Some 300 buses will shuttle from the principal Tokyo hotels to all the Olympic events, and another 115 will take passengers from the ships that will anchor in Yokohama, serving as floating hotels for their passengers during the Games: the Oriana, the Empress of England
Brazil Maru. For visitors staying in the fine resort hotels and inns of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, an hour from Tokyo, blocks of seats will be reserved on express trains into town.
In Tokyo the whizzing little taxis are generally the preferred transportation for foreigners—they are cheap and, under most circumstances, plentiful. Drivers can pick up and discharge passengers anywhere except on the Ginza, where stands are allotted to them. The driver almost assuredly will neither speak nor read English. The way to handle that situation is to obtain from your hotel desk cards with all of your day's destinations written in Japanese—including the card of the hotel, to get you back home.
Street names have been introduced in Tokyo only within the last year and at the moment only 150 of the thousands of streets have been named. The average Japanese, even the one who lives or keeps shop on a particular street, has probably not heard that it has been honored with a name, so any foray into Tokyo has an air of adventure. And the street names will probably fade into oblivion after the Olympics. A Tokyo address is a very strange affair. Houses are numbered by age, not by consecutive number, for example. Then comes the number of the block, then the district or ward, then the city.
When the traffic gets tough, as it undoubtedly will during the Olympics, the fastest way of getting around is by elevated railway or by subway. There are two railway lines of particular convenience to Olympic visitors. The Yamate line, as the map on the previous pages indicates—you can spot the train by its yellow coaches—loops around the entire city, stopping at all the main stations along the way. The stations are not only in the heart of the districts of Tokyo but bear the same names: Shinjuku, Shibuya, Yurakucho and the like. The Chuo line, with orange coaches, runs from Tokyo Station, across from the Imperial Palace, to the western suburbs. All transportation moves, in fact, either in concentric circles or radially, out from the palace area. Both railway lines operate from 4:30 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. or so, and the subways from 6 a.m. until midnight. When you buy your ticket, ask for a subway map—chizu kudasai.
The Meiji Olympic Park, the main Olympic site—containing the National Stadium (track & field, opening ceremonies), Metropolitan Indoor Pool (water polo), the Metropolitan Gymnasium (gymnastics), the press center and Olympic headquarters—is on the Chuo line, 15 minutes from Tokyo Station.
Yoyogi Park is the site of the Olympic Village, Kenzo Tange's superb new National Gymnasium (swimming and diving) and Annex (basketball), and the Shibuya Public Hall (weight lifting). It is best reached by the Yamate loop railway; get off at Harajuku Station.
The third major complex, in Komazawa Sports Park, is the site of the soccer stadium and wrestling gym (see color photographs on preceding pages), the hockey field and the volleyball courts. Take the Yamate line to Shibuya Station and change to special buses that will shuttle between it and Komazawa, about half an hour's journey in all from Tokyo Station.
For all of the events that take place outside Tokyo special reserved-seat buses will depart from the main hotels. The general locations and distances of these venues from the Olympic Village are given on the map. There are subway or railway connections to all of them as well; see your hotel desk. The easiest way to watch the yacht races in Enoshima Harbor is from one of the five spectator boats—they take 100 passengers each but are already sold out.