The Nippon Budokan is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Kitanomaru Park, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It was built in 1964 to host the judo competition for the 1964 Summer Olympics. Since then, it has become one of the most iconic venues in Japan, hosting a wide range of events, from martial arts competitions to music concerts.

Nippon Budoukan

The Nippon Budokan is considered a hallowed ground for martial arts enthusiasts, as it has played an important role in promoting and preserving traditional Japanese martial arts. It is also a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world who are interested in Japanese culture and history.

Key Takeaways

  • The Nippon Budokan is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Kitanomaru Park, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Built in 1964 to host the judo competition for the 1964 Summer Olympics.
  • Hallowed ground for martial arts enthusiasts
  • Known for its unique octagonal shape.


Nippon Budoukan

The Nippon Budokan, also known as the Japan Martial Arts Hall, is an indoor arena located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It was built for the 1964 Summer Olympics, specifically to host the inaugural Olympic judo competition. The venue was designed by Mamoru Yamada, a Japanese architect, and is modeled after the octagonal Yumedono (Hall of Visions or Hall of Dreams) in Horyuji Temple in Nara.

Since then, the Nippon Budokan has become a symbol of Japanese martial arts and has hosted numerous martial arts competitions, including the World Judo Championships and the All Japan Kendo Championships. The arena has also gained international fame as a concert venue, with many famous musicians and bands performing there, such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton.

Over the years, the Nippon Budokan has undergone several renovations and upgrades to modernize its facilities and improve its functionality. In 2019, it was announced that the venue would be used for the judo and karate events at the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Nippon Budoukan

Nippon Budokan is a unique octagonal-shaped building that was designed by the Japanese architect Mamoru Yamada. The building’s design was inspired by the Hall of Dreams at Horyuji Temple in Nara. The building was built in 1964, before the last Tokyo Olympics, with a strong desire to popularize traditional Japanese martial arts.

The structure is made of steel and concrete, and its exterior is clad in copper plates. The building is 42 meters in diameter and 42 meters high. The roof is made of a series of concentric circles that give the building a distinctive look. The interior of the building is designed to accommodate a variety of events, including martial arts competitions, concerts, and other cultural events.

One of the most striking features of the Nippon Budokan is its large roof, which is supported by eight massive pillars. The roof is designed to resemble a traditional Japanese temple roof, with an intricate pattern of wooden beams and rafters. The roof is covered with copper plates that have been treated to give them a greenish patina, which adds to the building’s distinctive appearance.


Nippon Budoukan

The venue hosts a wide range of events, from martial arts tournaments and demonstrations to concerts and music festivals.

One of the most notable events held at Nippon Budokan is the annual Nippon Budokan Taikai, a martial arts tournament that features various disciplines such as judo, kendo, karate, and aikido. The tournament attracts participants from all over Japan and is a must-see for martial arts enthusiasts.

In addition to martial arts events, Nippon Budokan also hosts a variety of concerts and music festivals throughout the year. Some of the most popular events include the Tokyo Jazz Festival, the Japan Music Festival, and the Tokyo International Music Market.

For visitors interested in attending an event at Nippon Budokan, it is recommended to check the official website for the latest schedule and ticket information. The price of tickets can vary depending on the event, seating location, and availability.

Notable Performances

Here are just a few of the most memorable performances:

Year Artist Genre
1966 The Beatles Rock
1978 Bob Dylan Folk Rock
1980 Queen Rock
1982 Michael Jackson Pop
1994 Bob Marley’s Band Reggae
2014 One Direction Pop

The Beatles’ 1966 performance was particularly historic, as they were the first Western pop group to perform at the Budokan. Despite opposition from traditionalists, the band’s two shows were each seen by 10,000 fans. Michael Jackson’s 1982 performance was also notable, as it was part of his first solo world tour and marked his first time performing in Japan.

Other notable performances at the Budokan include Queen’s 1980 concert, which was part of their Game Tour and featured hits like “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” Bob Dylan also played the Budokan in 1978, performing songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Like a Rolling Stone.” In 1994, Bob Marley’s band played the venue as part of the “Bob Marley Day” festival.

More recently, One Direction played the Budokan in 2014 as part of their Where We Are Tour. The band’s performance was highly anticipated by their Japanese fans, and tickets sold out quickly.

Fun Facts

Here are some interesting facts and trivia about the Nippon Budokan:

  • The Nippon Budokan was originally built for the judo competition in the 1964 Summer Olympics. Today, it is still a popular venue for martial arts competitions and concerts.
  • The arena has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Cheap Trick. In fact, Cheap Trick’s live album “At Budokan” was recorded at the venue in 1978.
  • The Nippon Budokan was also the site of the first ever American-style professional wrestling event in Japan, featuring wrestlers from the World Wide Wrestling Federation (now known as WWE) in 1973.
  • The arena is located in Kitanomaru Park, which is also home to the Science Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art. Visitors can explore the park and its attractions before or after events at the Budokan.
  • The Nippon Budokan has a unique octagonal shape and can seat up to 14,471 people. It has been designated as an important cultural property by the Japanese government.
  • The venue has also been used for other events, such as the World Table Tennis Championships and the World Judo Championships. It has even been used as a temporary shelter during natural disasters, such as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

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