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How to Watch The 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan in 2021

There won't be many spectators this year, but you can still catch the Olympics online or on TV.

By 2 min read

After many delays due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are finally happening. Albeit mostly without spectators due to many of Japan’s prefectures entering the fourth state of emergency.

While many foreigners in Japan are choosing to boycott the Olympics altogether, others were looking forward to seeing the games in person. Unfortunately, vaccinations are still slowly rolling out, and either at home on their television or computer will be their likely viewing experience.

For those looking to catch the games, we’ve gathered the most convenient (and official) ways you can watch the Olympics from home in Japan.

Watch on Japanese TV

You might finally use your TV in Japan.

In Japan, the Olympic games are being broadcast on several TV stations from July 21 through August 9. Different games will be shown at different times throughout the day with opening ceremonies happening on Friday, July 23. However, don’t expect much English commentary.

You can find a complete schedule on the Japanese TV Guide website. However, if you can’t read Japanese, you’ll need to run it through Google Translate.

You can watch the Olympics on the following channels in Japan:

General Broadcast (English) Japanese BS Channel
NHK General TV NHK総合 NHKBS1
NHK Educational TV NHK Eテレ
Nippon TV 日本テレビ  (日テレ) BSNittere (BS日テレ)
TV Asahi テレビ朝日 BSAsahi (BS朝日)
TBS TV TBSテレビ BS-TBS
TV Tokyo テレビ東京 (テレ東) BSTereto (BSテレ東)
Fuji TV フジテレビ BSFuji (BSフジ)

Different games will be shown at different times throughout the day with opening ceremonies happening on Friday, July 23. You can find a complete schedule on the Japanese TV Guide website. However, if you can’t read Japanese, you’ll need to run it through Google Translate.

Watch online

Stream games from gorin.jp.

Beyond a VPN or unofficial streaming sites, there are only a couple ways to stream the Olympics online.

The first is Gorin.jp, the official online broadcaster for the Tokyo Olympics. The Games have already begun streaming since July 21 on Gorin, starting with women’s football and softball. Games are shown live with Japanese commentary, and highlights from games already aired can also be viewed.

Unfortunately, Gorin.jp is only available in Japanese. So you will either need to know Japanese or use Google Translate to navigate the website.

Your other option is NHK, which announced it would be streaming 33 competitions and more than 3,000 hours of live footage. You can also view live games and previous games on NHK Plus without registering for the service. But, again, you’ll need to be able to navigate the NHK websites in Japanese.

We will continue to update this page as the story in Japan develops.

What do you think? Are you watching Tokyo 2020 Olympics? Let us know in the comments.

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