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Ticket lottery to open for Tokyo Olympics

  • May 8, 2019
  • , The Japan News , 6:39 p.m.
  • English Press

The online ticket lottery for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be open to residents of Japan from 10 a.m. Thursday, offering tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies and all the events in 33 sports with the exception of boxing, preparations for which have been suspended.


Applications will be accepted through May 28 at, and the results will be announced on June 20.


The highest price for general tickets is ¥300,000 for the opening ceremony. Among sporting events, the top price is ¥130,000 for the men’s 100-meter finals and other track and field events, while the lowest ticket price is ¥2,500.


Some of the tickets are expensive, but the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is also keeping the price for more than half the available tickets at ¥8,000 or lower.


The committee has also prepared tickets for wheelchair users, as well as special tickets costing ¥2,020 apiece for groups including children, elderly people, or people with disabilities, for the opening and closing ceremonies and mainly the preliminary rounds of all the events.


Upping the chances


Many people will be vying for tickets for the opening ceremony and popular sports events, but the committee is making efforts to increase the chances for applicants to be chosen in the lottery. It is also taking steps against the illicit resale of tickets.


People wishing to buy tickets need to register on the designated website “TOKYO 2020 ID,” inputting their email address, mailing address, name and other information.


When they apply for tickets, they must specify the “session,” or time of the event they want to see, the ticket category — general tickets, tickets for wheelchair users or ¥2,020 special tickets — the seat category from A to E, and how many tickets they want to buy. They can cancel or change their applications up until the deadline on May 28.


They cannot choose the location of their seats. When they apply for more than one, adjacent seats will be awarded as much as possible. But some people may receive seats that are separated by an aisle, or near each other in different rows.


If a ticket holder has a baby under 2 years old as of the date of the event, up to one baby that age may enter free of charge, but there will be no seat specifically for the infant.


Each person can apply for up to 30 general tickets for their first choices, and another 30 for their second choices. However, each person will receive a maximum of 30 tickets total.


Even if a person does not secure tickets in the lottery, the committee has prepared “Cascade Services” in which initially unsuccessful applicants can participate in other lotteries for lower categories of seats in the same session of a sporting event.


The ¥2,020 special tickets cannot be sought together with general tickets or tickets for wheelchair users. People who want to purchase general tickets and tickets for wheelchair users can do so within the overall 30-seat limit.


The upper limit for general tickets, including tickets for wheelchair users, in each session is two for the opening and closing ceremonies, four for finals and six for preliminary rounds. The upper limits for the ¥2,020 special tickets are four for the opening and closing ceremonies, six for finals and eight for preliminary rounds.


People who are chosen in the lottery must buy all the tickets they are awarded; partial purchases are not allowed. The committee is considering imposing a penalty on people who do not buy all the tickets. Application and purchase can only be made in Japan. Tickets will be available for purchase from other countries in the spring of 2020 or later.


If a person has tickets they cannot use, they will be able to resell them at fixed prices through an official resale service to start in the spring of 2020 or later. However, people who acquired tickets through auction sites or other unofficial means cannot use the resale service.


As a countermeasure against illicit ticket purchases, applicants must submit their telephone number when they register. Therefore, multiple people cannot register the same telephone number. The name of the person who plans to see the event for each ticket must also be submitted.


The deadline for purchasing the tickets is July 2. People who won the lottery can pay for the tickets with a Visa card (credit, prepaid or debit), or in cash at major convenience stores. However, if the total payment is ¥300,000 or more, including tax, only a Visa card can be used.


Winning applicants can select their tickets from three types — displayed on the screens of smartphones and other devices, printed on a home printer, and preprinted paper tickets. In case of preprinted paper tickets, winners must pay service and delivery charges.

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