5 Experiences within Walking Distance of the New National (Olympic) Stadium

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be here before we know it, and if you’re lucky enough to have tickets for this historic event, chances are you’ll be spending time in and around the New National Olympic Stadium.

The stadium is located on the southern edge of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward on the very site of its predecessor, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies as well as athletic events during the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. The original National Stadium was demolished in 2015 and the New National Stadium that now stands in its place was completed in 2019, just in time for Olympic history to repeat itself in 2020.

There are plenty of fascinating activities and attractions near the stadium, but during the height of the 2020 Olympic Games, public busses and trains are bound to be crowded and taxis hard to come by. So, why not check out museums, restaurants, and historical sites on foot instead? Here are five experiences you can enjoy that are well within a 30-minute walk from the New National Stadium.

Top Photo by Arne Müseler / arne-mueseler.com / CC-BY-SA-3.0

2020-03-19   Visit: Modern Japan, Tokyo,

1. Visit a museum (or three)

In the distance: the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery

Your trip to Tokyo may be all about the Olympics, but why not take some time to soak in a little history during your downtime? Whether you’re into art, local history, or firefighting (yes, firefighting), you won’t have to stray far from the New National Stadium to find something fascinating. See for yourself in the following articles:

Stretch goal: ambitious urban explorers should consider the long-but-doable trek to Kabukicho to visit the superb Samurai Museum.

2. Take a stroll through a sprawling imperial garden

The Greenhouse in Shinjuku Gyoen

If the crowds of the stadium get you down, fear not. You’re bound to find some open space to call your own within the sprawling green acres (144 to be exact) of Shinjuku Gyoen. A mere 10-minute walk from the New National Stadium, Shinjuku Gyoen is filled with beautiful vistas and amusing diversions such as tea houses and a strikingly designed greenhouse. Check out the following articles for details:

3. Enjoy a good burger

Japanese food is amazing, but there are times when you might want a familiar taste from home or a local twist on a favorite dish—something universal that you can order without worrying about kanji characters and translation. In other words, sometimes a good old fashioned burger hits the spot. If this sounds like you, then you’re in luck. There are at least three burger places worthy of your attention near the New National Stadium. Learn more about them below:

4. Explore a national treasure

When most people imagine Japan, traditional wooden temples and shrines come to mind. However, once you arrive here, you’ll quickly realize that Japan is home to all kinds of architecture, including some amazing western designs in the most unlikely of places.

Case in point: the Akasaka Palace, a French neoclassical architectural wonder modeled after Buckingham Palace. Tucked away among the sleek skyscrapers of Tokyo’s Akasaka district, all it takes is a 25-minute walk to reach the main entrance to the palace grounds where you can gaze upon this gorgeous national treasure. Learn more in this article:

The Akasaka Palace: Tokyo’s Hidden National Treasure 

5. Enjoy a night on the town

Just because the Olympic events for the day are over doesn’t mean the fun and excitement have to end. Arakicho—Shinjuku’s traditional, historic entertainment district just north of the New National Stadium—awaits. With over 300 bars and restaurants to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect place to celebrate your country’s Olympic victories or drown away the sorrow of a crushing defeat. Here’s two of my favorite places to get you started:

Shinjuku is just the beginning

Hopefully, this handy quick-reference guide to the area surrounding the New National Stadium will be more than enough to keep you occupied during the downtime between Olympic matches. However, if you’re looking for more to do farther afield, be sure to visit our homepage for more unique adventures all throughout Japan.

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Writer / Translator

Originally from Riverside, California, I've been living, working, and writing in Japan since 2009. Japan has become my second home, and I'm especially fond of Shinjuku, Tokyo. That being said, I also love getting out into the countryside and exploring the entire country. Through Tadaima Japan, I hope to share the wonders of Japan with a wider, international audience. Check out my articles if you enjoy exploring on foot, convenient cafes, and affordable dining.


Address 10-1 Kasumigaokamachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Hours Varies based on events
Price Varies based on events
Close Varies based on events
Access One-minute walk from Kokuritsu-kyogijo Station on the Toei Oedo Line or a five-minute walk from Sendagaya Station or Shinanomachi Station on the JR Sobu Line.
Phone NA
Language Japanese
Website https://tokyo2020.org/en/games/venue/olympic-stadium/