Travel to Japan before/after Olympics? (not interested in attending)
January 3, 2020 12:39 AM   Subscribe

Myself and my wife have been saving towards a trip to Japan in 2020. Our schedules might line up around the middle of the year, and this happens to be the time of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. We have no interest in attending the games but I'm curious to know if we can take advantage of the country's and city's investment in tourism to get a good deal either before or after the games. More details below.

Maybe you have a helpful opinion because you travel a lot, are involved in tourism in Japan, or maybe you live in a city that has hosted an Olympic games?

My basic line of thinking is that when a city is hosting the Games they will typically build a lot of new infrastructure and related services for tourists.
How might things might shape up in terms of travel deals before vs after the games?

Post-games thinking: if there are a lot of hotel rooms and flights brought online then after the games there might be a glut of rooms after the games and therefore corresponding bargains available?

Pre-games thinking: maybe travel numbers to Tokyo drop preceding the games (because many people who would visit Tokyo postpone their trip to be able to attend the games) and therefore bargains can be found?

General/snowflakes: 2 weeks in country. We would plan fly in/out of Tokyo and spend a couple of days there on either end. In between we would probably travel to Kyoto and Osaka, possibly as far as Hiroshima, and even possibly to Hokkaido if time allows and stars align. Are any of these places better/worse in early July vs late August? I read in another MF post that August is peak tourist season, but not clear how long that lasts for or if it will somehow be impacted by Olympic Games?
posted by McNulty to Travel & Transportation around Kyoto, Japan (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Before the Games everybody will be getting in "before the Games". During the Games everybody will be there for the Games. After the Games everybody will be there because it's "after the Games". Throughout there'll just be the usual tsunami of tens of millions of tourists who were going to Japan anyway, Olympics or not.

Japan has already seen a massive boom in tourism, from just 7 million international visitors at the start of the decade to over 30 million in 2018, with 40 million expected in 2020. Things are already very tight without the Olympics, and the basic laws of supply and demand suggest there will be no gluts of anything.

July is hot, August unbearably so. It will rain. A lot. Go in October after typhoon season when it's cooler, drier and less crowded (whatever that will mean in 2020). Go a bit later still if you want autumn colour.
posted by some little punk in a rocket at 1:35 AM on January 3, 2020 [6 favorites]

Go before. The infrastructure will be ready and the tourism industry will be optimistic and excited about the upcoming big event. Everything will be polished and shining. If you go afterwards, broken things won’t be repaired. There will be a general disappointment that the big event is over and that it wasn’t as good as everyone wanted/expected.
posted by jazh at 2:54 AM on January 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

There are no special before / after bargains to be found. If you have been saving for this, then wait until 2021 and do something nice for a weekend somewhere else in between. Really. Olympics is messing up my work. Mrs Gotanda works in inbound travel. Don't do it this year.
posted by Gotanda at 3:39 AM on January 3, 2020 [6 favorites]

Nthing Gotanda. I grew up near Calgary and remember '88 well & lived in Vancouver through 2010. The Winter Games are smaller and both communities were super excited but there's no deals to be had.

Also - 3 weeks after the Olympics are the Paralympics. Everything will be t capacity for a couple of months. Either go well before The Games for the excitement, or (if you already have accommodations) go during The games because it's The Games, or go next year.
posted by mce at 4:00 AM on January 3, 2020

You might find this contest for free flights to Japan interesting.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:16 AM on January 3, 2020

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