Overview of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay

The Olympic flame is seen as a symbol of peace and hope. For the host nation, the Olympic flame, lit by the rays of the sun in ancient Olympia, Greece, is one of the most powerful symbols of the Olympic Movement, and will be carried around the nation by a relay of torchbearers (TBs).
The concept for the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay is “Hope Lights Our Way.” As it unites the people around a message of supporting, accepting and encouraging one another, the Olympic flame will symbolize the sunrise of a new era, spreading the hope that will light our way.

  • Concept : Hope Lights Our Way
  • Schedule : March 26 (Thu.) - July 24 (Fri.) 2020 (121 days, including travelling days)
  • Locations : 47 prefectures (excluding the flame lighting ceremony in Greece)
  • Hosted by : The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee
  • Co-hosted by : The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Prefecture Task Forces
  • Partners : Partner companies of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay
The Olympic Torch Relay

The Torch Relay will begin with the flame lighting ceremony in Greece. The Olympic flame will then be transported to Japan, where prior to the Relay itself, it will be specially displayed in three prefectures in the Tohoku region, symbolizing a Flame of Recovery for areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. After that, the Torch Relay will begin, as the Olympic flame is carried across Japan.

  • March 12 (Thu.) 2020
    Flame Lighting Ceremony in Olympia, Greece❶
  • March 12 (Thu.) - March 19 (Thu.) 2020
    Greek leg of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay (8 days)
  • March 19 (Thu.) 2020
    Flame Hand-over Ceremony in Athens, Greece❷
  • March 20 (Fri./holiday) 2020
    The flame arrives at Matsushima Airbase in Miyagi Prefecture
  • March 20 (Fri.) - March 21 (Sat.) 2020
    Special display of the "Flame of Recovery" in Miyagi Prefecture
  • March 22 (Sun.) - March 23 (Mon.) 2020
    Special display of the "Flame of Recovery" in Iwate Prefecture
  • March 24 (Tue.) - March 25 (Wed.) 2020
    Special display of the "Flame of Recovery" in Fukushima Prefecture
  • March 26 (Thu.) 2020
    Japanese leg of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay starts from Fukushima Prefecture

❶Flame Lighting Ceremony in Olympia, Greece
The traditional ceremony to kindle the Olympic flame is conducted at the Temple of Hera, in Olympia, Greece, site of the ancient Olympics, Eleven women, representing the Vestal Virgins, dressed in ancient robes perform a celebration whereby the Olympic flame is kindled by the light of the Sun, its rays concentrated by a parabolic mirror. The flame is handed to the first torchbearer, and after a relay around Greece, a ceremony is held to transfer the flame to the host city of the next Games.

❷Flame Hand-over Ceremony in Athens, Greece
The Flame Hand-over Ceremony is held in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, and entails a member of the Hellenic Olympic Committee passing over the flame to a representative of the next host city. A number of events celebrating the cultures of both Greece and the next host city are then held, which are open to the public.

About the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay

The Olympic Torch Relay begins with the kindling of the Olympic flame by the rays of the sun in Olympia, Greece, and is followed by a relay around Greece. The Olympic flame is then transported to the host country where a Torch Relay is conducted until the Opening Ceremony of the Games.
The Olympic flame is a globally-recognised symbol of the Olympics, and the parading of the flame represents the Olympic ideals of peace, unity and friendship. Through the Torch Relay the Olympic values are disseminated across the entire host country, and the relay serves to raise interest in and expectations for the Games.
Actually, there was no Olympic flame at the modern Olympics until the Amsterdam 1928 Games, when a cauldron was erected outside the main stadium. A proposal was made to continue this practice, which has continued until the present day.
The lighting of the Olympic flame is held several months before the beginning of the Olympics at the sacred site of ancient Olympia, near the temple of Hera. Hundreds of people then take their turn to carry the torch a short distance until it reaches the main site of the Games on the day of the Opening Ceremony. The final runners carry the torch into the stadium and the Olympic cauldron is then lit. The cauldron stays alight until the conclusion of the Games.

About the Tokyo 2020
Olympic TBs

Tokyo 2020 Olympic TBs will be selected either through public offering or recommendations by the Prefecture Task Forces (PTFs), Olympic Torch Relay partners and others, in accordance with the concept of the Torch Relay, “Hope Lights Our Way,” and will play a role in spreading this message to a wide audience. Approximately, a total of 10,000 TBs are expected to participate.

Image provision:Tokyo 2020
Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch

The torch to be used for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay has been designed with a cherry blossom motif – a flower close to the hearts of all Japanese people. To coincide with the cherry blossom season in Japan, in March 2020 the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay will begin. The concept of the relay is 'Hope Lights Our Way' and the torch will tour the entire length and breadth of Japan.

Image provision:Tokyo 2020
Olympic Torch Relay route in Fukuoka Prefecture
fukuoka route
fukuoka schedule
Movie provision:Tokyo 2020
Recommendation by a third party (individual or organization) is required to apply for torchbearer.