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Tokyo - Harajuku: Yoyogi Koen - Yoyogi National Gymnasium | by wallyg
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Tokyo - Harajuku: Yoyogi Koen - Yoyogi National Gymnasium

Kokuritsu Yoyogi Kyōgi-jō (国立代々木競技場), or Yoyogi National Gymnasium, was designed by Kenzo Tange and built between 1961 and 1964 to house swimming and diving events in the 1964 Summer Olympics. A separate annex was used for the basketball competition at those same games. The design, famous for its suspension roof, inspired Frei Otto's arena designs for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

The arena holds 13,291 people and is now primarily used for ice hockey, futsal and basketball. In October 1997, the NHL opened its season at the arena with the Vancouver Canucks taking on the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in two matches. The following season the San Jose Sharks played the Calgary Flames in two games also to open the 1998–99 NHL season. It also hosted the 2010 World Judo Championships.


Yoyogi kōen (代々木公園), or Yoyogi Park, was the site of the first successful powered aircraft flight in Japan, on December 19, 1910, by Captain Yoshitoshi Tokugawa, after which it became an army parade ground. During the post World War II occupation, it was the site of the Washington Heights residence for U.S. officers. It was later the site for the main Olympic athletes village of the 1964 Summer Olympics and the swimming, diving, and basketball venues.

Today, the park is a popular hangout, especially on Sundays, when it is used as a gathering place for people to play music, practice martial arts, etc. Yoyogi Park has a fenced dog run, one of the few areas in Tokyo where dogs are allowed to be off leash. The dog run is located towards the western side of the park, inside the bicycle path, east of the parking lot at the western edge of the park.

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Taken on May 15, 2011