Yoyogi Park

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Yoyogi Park
Fountain Yoyogipark.JPG
Location Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Coordinates 35°40′19″N 139°41′52″E / 35.671975°N 139.69768536°E / 35.671975; 139.69768536
Area 54.1 ha (134 acres)
Created 1967
Public transit access Harajuku Station

Yoyogi Park (代々木公園 Yoyogi kōen?) is one of the largest parks in Tokyo, Japan, located adjacent to Harajuku Station and Meiji Shrine in Shibuya.


Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine as seen from above
Yoyogi's famous rockabillies dancing in the park on a Sunday in March 2014

Yoyogi Park stands on the site from where the first successful powered aircraft flight in Japan took place by Captain Yoshitoshi Tokugawa on 19 December 1910. [1] The area later became an army parade ground. From September 1945, the site housed the military barracks known as the "Washington Heights" for U.S. officers during the Allied occupation of Japan.[2]

In 1964, the area was used for the Tokyo Olympics housing the main athletes village and the Yoyogi National Gymnasium. The distinctive building, which was designed by Kenzo Tange, hosted the swimming and diving, with an annex for the basketball.[3][4]

In 1967 most of the area north of the gymnasium complex and south of Meiji Shrine was turned into Yoyogi Park.[5]

The park remains a popular Tokyo destination. On Sundays, it is especially busy when it is used as a gathering place for Japanese rock music fans.[5] In spring, thousands of people visit the park to enjoy the cherry blossom during hanami. The landscaped park has picnic areas, bike paths, cycle rentals and public sport courts.[6]

Tokyo's failed bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics included a proposal to redevelop Yoyogi Park. A new volleyball arena was to be built west of the Yoyogi National Gymnasium. It would have replaced an existing soccer field and athletic field. The arena would have remained after the Olympics as a multiple use venue.[7] In Tokyo's 2020 Summer Olympics bid, Yoyogi National Gymnasium is the proposed venue for handball events.[8]


  1. ^ Ikuhiko Hata; Yasuho Izawa; Christopher Shores (5 April 2012). Japanese Army Fighter Aces: 1931-45. Stackpole Books. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-8117-1076-3. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Toyoko Yamazaki; V. Dixon Morris (2008). Two Homelands. University of Hawaii Press. p. 551. ISBN 978-0-8248-2944-5. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Allison Lee Palmer (30 September 2009). The A to Z of Architecture. Scarecrow Press. p. 265. ISBN 978-0-8108-6895-3. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  4. ^ Morris Low (30 April 2006). Japan On Display: Photography and the Emperor. Taylor & Francis. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-415-37148-3. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Roman A. Cybriwsky (1 February 2011). Historical Dictionary of Tokyo. Scarecrow Press. p. 275. ISBN 978-0-8108-7238-7. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Profile of the basketball court at Yoyogi Park".  courtsoftheworld.com
  7. ^ "Tokyo 2016 Olympics". Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  8. ^ "Venue Plan". Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 

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