What To Eat And Watch: Our Guide To Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Tokyo Tower covered in lights and surrounded by building and the view of Mt Fuji in  Minato City, Tokyo

2.83min read

Published 15 July 2021

Flight Centre Author


Rachel Surgeoner

Writer and content creator



Yes, the 2020 Olympics are finally here! We’ve put together a snapshot of the Aussie games you’re going to want to tune into, what Japanese dish you can prepare at home to accompany your viewing pleasure, and some interesting sporting and Olympiad facts! 

Top 6 Tokyo 2020 Olympic events to catch 

  • Opening Ceremony 

  • Swimming 

  • Tennis 

  • Athletics 

  • Gymnastics  

  • Closing Ceremony  


Fast Facts

  • The Opening Ceremony kicks off on Friday, 23 July 2021, 8pm (JST) local time in Tokyo / 9pm (AEST) in Australia, running for three hours, until around midnight in Oz, and concluding with the parade of the nations and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.  

  • The Closing Ceremony takes place on Sunday 8 August at the same time slot.  

  • Channel 7 is the exclusive broadcaster for the Tokyo Olympics, with live coverage also available on 7Mate and 7Two, and on-demand coverage available via 7plus. 

  • The second-largest Australian team in history will be competing at the upcoming Tokyo Games (10 short of the athletes who went to Athens in 2004). 

  • With 218 men and 254 women — the greatest number of Aussie female athletes ever. 

  • The highest number of Indigenous athletes (16) has also been selected, with Ash Barty being the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander athlete to compete in tennis, and Thomas Grice in shooting. 

  • The Aussie team will compete in 33 sports including skateboarding, surfing, fencing, and even equestrian! 

Top Games To Catch!  

Note: All times listed below are in Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) 


Swimming world champion and first time Olympian, Australia’s Ariarne Titmus, will be one to watch – keep an eye out for her in the 400m and 200m freestyle races. 


Assorted Men’s and Women’s FINALS 


Day 3 – Mon, Jul 26, 11.30am-1.30pm / Day 5 – Wed, 28 Jul, 11.30am-1.30pm / Day 9 - Sun, Aug 1, 11.30am-1.30pm  


Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Tokyo 

Make at home:

Tsukemen aka ‘dipping noodles’ was invented in Tokyo in the early ‘60s. The broth and ramen are served in separate bowls, and you dip and slurp away!

Fun fact:

While humans have likely been swimming ever since they dipped their toe in the water, it’s believed that swimming as a practice, dates back as early as 2500 BC.  


RELATED: 11 Weird Things You Have To See To Believe In Tokyo


Can’t get enough of tennis, even after Wimbledon?  


Assorted Men’s and Women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles GOLD MEDAL MATCHES 


Day 7 – Fri, Jul 30, 12-9pm / Day 8 – Sat, Jul 31, 12-9pm / Day 9 – Sun, Aug 1, 12-9pm 


Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo 

Make at home:

Monjayaki - play a game of tennis with your spatulas as you create Tokyo’s answer to okonomiyaki, the iconic dish of Hiroshima and Osaka. Monjayaki, often called ‘monja’, has a slightly gooier appearance much like melted cheese when cooked and the delicious dish tastes better than it looks.

Fun fact:

Current women's world No.1 and proud Brisbane local Ash Barty looks set to be the favourite when she makes her Olympic debut in Tokyo! (Woo! Barty party!) 


48 events from sprints and distance running to high jump and hurdles over the course of the games, here’s just a snapshot of the fastest feet to catch.  


Women’s 400m & 1500m FINALS / Men’s 1500m FINAL 


Day 14 – Fri, Aug 6, 8pm –11.55pm / Day 15 – Sat, Aug 7, 8pm-11.20pm  


Olympic Stadium, Tokyo 

Make at home:

Tokyo Buns – get those buns, hun! (Sorry, we couldn’t resist) Try making the Tokyo classic the ‘cream pan’ bun created in Shinjuku back in 1904. A delicious, sweet bread filled with custard!

Fun fact:

Retired Olympian and 11-time World Champion Usain Bolt holds the fastest human ever timed, and is the first man to hold both the 100 metre and 200 metre world records since fully automatic time became mandatory. 


Always a crowd favourite, the nail-biting drama of the artistic gymnastic routines on the balance beam and bars - not to the mention the ‘boing’ factor of the trampolining and the gracefulness of the hoop and ribbon - gymnastics is the hardcore sport that does it with flair.  


ARTISTIC Men’s team / Women’s team / Men’s individual all-around / Women’s individual all-around / Women’s Vault / Men’s Vault FINALS  


Day 3 – Mon, Jul 26, 8pm-11pm / Day 4 – Tues Jul 27, 8.45pm-11pm / Day 5 – Wed, Jul 28, 8.15pm-11pm / Day 6 – Thurs, Jul 29, 8.50pm - 11pm / Day 9 – Mon, Aug 2, 6pm-9pm / Day 10 – Mon, Aug 3, 6pm-8.15pm  


Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo  

Make at home:

Sushi – arguably this most ‘Japanese’ dish out when people outside of Japan are asked what comes to mind when they think of Japanese cuisine. Making your own at home is fun for the whole family!

Fun fact:

Most major gymnasts start their careers as early as two years old! 

Obviously there are hundreds of events, heats, rounds and races, and a plethora of sporting games to tune into over the 16 days of the games – so check out the full program at The Roar

And while we’ll all be tuning in from around the globe, you can still keep Tokyo on your travel list for the hopefully not-to-distant future!

Or maybe you’ll start planning to get along to the Paris 2024 games!


What Can I Help you with? banner

 tokyo olympics

Flight Centre

Flight Centre acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia.

© Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. ATAS Accreditation No. A10412.

*Travel restrictions & conditions apply. Review any specific conditions stated and our general terms at Terms and Conditions. Prices & taxes are correct as at the date of publication & are subject to availability and change without notice. Prices quoted are on sale until the dates specified unless otherwise stated or sold out prior. Prices are per person.