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Welcome to TPG‘s hub for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Bookmark this page as it will be updated with information related to Tokyo 2020 as the games approach.

The Summer Olympic Games only come around once every four years, and that time is coming up soon — this time in Tokyo, Japan. On July 24, 2020, the Olympic flame will light up the night ushering in two weeks of traditional Olympic favorites such as gymnastics, swimming, diving, volleyball, and track and field, as well as newer competitions like surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing.

The Summer Olympics draws hundreds of thousands of spectators, competitors and support staff to one city, which means that everything from flights to hotels to tickets can be hard to find (and afford). While Rio was not an ideal Olympics host city for the last Summer Games in some ways, Tokyo should make for a much better spot to cheer on your country. Japan is even building a temporary terminal at Narita Airport to deal with the influx of visitors.

Booking a trip to the Olympics isn’t easy. Rooms are often blocked off well in advance, the demand for flights can be high and the process to buy tickets is … a process. But seeing the Olympics in person is a memorable and achievable goal. TPG is here to help get you there — hopefully by using (or earning) a few points along the way.

In This Post

(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Purchasing 2020 Olympic Tickets

If you want to attend the 2020 Olympics, the time to apply for event tickets is now. Each country manages ticket requests differently, but for the United States, the authorized ticket dealer is CoSport. To apply for individual tickets in the initial sales phase, you must submit a (non-binding) application by May 31, 2019.

Related: Best Credit Cards for Entertainment Spending

Select the events you would like to attend and cross your fingers. At the end of the request phase, no changes to ticket requests will be permitted. However, know that this is just a request. You’ll find out which of the tickets you requested are available for purchase by June 20, 2019. You’ll then have until June 26 to pay for your tickets. (Tickets prices are not yet available.)

After that initial sales phase, live ticket sales are available starting June 27, 2019.

Photo courtesy of the IOC
(Photo courtesy of the IOC)

Booking Hotel Rooms in Tokyo

Most points-friendly hotels open their booking schedule 11–13 months in advance. With an opening ceremony set for late July 2020, that means that we are only a month or so away from hotels theoretically beginning to accept bookings for that time frame. Tokyo has many points-friendly hotels to choose from, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to book them for the Olympics. Not only is demand high, but many hotels will be completely blocked out by the Olympic Committee for sale as part of ticket packages or for use by those directly involved with the games.

That said, you might get lucky if you try to book right when reservations open or have flexibility to keep checking back in the days and weeks leading up to the games. I planned a successful miles and points-fueled trip to the 2012 Olympics in London just a couple of weeks before the event by jumping on last-minute availability. On the flip side, I secured points accommodations over a year in advance to the 2014 Sochi Games and had those reservations canceled when the hotel had to turn over its rooms to the Olympic Committee.

  • Hyatt: Schedule opens 13 months in advance (late June 2019).
  • Hilton: Schedule opens around 12 months in advance (late July 2019).
  • Marriott: Schedule opens a little under 12 months in advance (late July 2019).
  • Radisson: Booking window varies. Cash rates for July 2020 available now at the Narita Radisson near Narita Airport.
  • IHG: Schedule opens a little under 12 months in advance (early August 2019).

Related: Best Hotel Credit Cards

While you don’t want to set your heart on a particular hotel since it may not be available, here are some good points-friendly hotel options in Tokyo and their per-night rates.

(Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt Tokyo)
(Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt Tokyo)

Booking Flights to Tokyo

Tokyo has two main airports: Tokyo-Narita (NRT) and Tokyo-Haneda (HND). While we don’t recommend being too picky about exactly where you land in Tokyo for the Olympics, Narita (NRT) is the larger airport, located farther from the city center. While Haneda is accepting more long-haul flights, it also accepts many shorter flights and is located in the middle of the city (making it a good choice to land in the middle of the action).

Narita Airport. Photo by Getty Images
Narita Airport. (Photo by Getty Images)

While flight availability may be tighter than normal on many dates around the games, here are the best ways to use miles to travel to Japan as well as the ways to fly to Asia in business class.

International airlines generally open their booking calendars about 11 months in advance, which means flights are available beginning in mid- to late-August 2019 for July 2020 travel. However, the exact date will vary by airline, so here are some specifics:

  • All Nippon Airways Mileage Club: 355 days
  • Air Canada Aeroplan: 355 days
  • American: 331 days
  • British Airways Executive Club: 354 days
  • Cathay Pacific: 360 days
  • Delta: 331 days
  • Japan Airlines: 360 days
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: 355 days
  • United: 337 days

Related: Best Airline Credit Cards

Note that airline awards are not all loaded the day the schedule opens and award availability is dynamic, so turn to a service such as ExpertFlyer to track award availability for you if you can’t find what you want on the first pass.

Japan Airlines Business Class (Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Explore Beyond Tokyo

If you are going all the way to Japan for the 2020 Olympics, you might as well explore some of the country beyond Tokyo and the games. Here are some ideas (and we’ll add more as the games get closer):

Featured image by Duane Walker/Getty Images

Know before you go.

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