Health and Sports Day Showcases Japan's Passion for Sport and Olympism

Japan and its capital enjoyed a weekend of sport in celebration of Health and Sports Day, or Taiiku no hi. The public holiday, one of Japan's most popular, was observed on Monday, 8 October. Japan is the unique country to have such a public holiday recognising the importance of health and sport. Health and Sports Day, first observed in 1966, exactly two years after the Tokyo 1964 Games Opening Ceremony, is a tangible example of the country's passion for sport and the Olympic Values - excellence, respect and friendship - values that Japanese people truly live and share.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and numerous National Federations organised a large sports festival, bringing together athletes and the public at the Ajinomoto National Training Center and etc. More than 10,000 children and adults had the chance to meet 77 Olympians, Paralympians and athletes from both the summer and winter Olympic Games.

On Saturday, 6 October, a tree-planting ceremony was held on the Sea Forest Island. Now in a development phase, once complete the Sea Forest will reconnect Tokyo with the sea.

The man-made island is included in the Tokyo 2020 plan as a proposed location for Rowing, Canoe-Kayak (sprint), Equestrian (cross-country), Sailing, Golf and Cycling (mountain bike).

Thanks to tree-planting activities like the one this weekend, officials estimate that an 88-hectare forest will be complete in the near future.
Image of the event

Around 10,000 visitors gathered at National Training Centre to enjoy sport with 77 athletes including London 2012 Olympians and Paralympians

The Sea Forest

The Sea Forest, on a man-made island in the Tokyo Bay, will welcome several Olympic sports