The former gymnasium was used as a venue for the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. It has gone through renovations, and even today, remains a sports facilities where many dramatic scenes have unfolded and played out.
The site of the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium was once owned by Iemasa Tokugawa (the 17th head of the Tokugawa shogunal house). The land and structures were bought by Tokyo Prefecture in 1943 to be used as a training ground to improve the morale of the people during World War II.
After the formation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the site fell under the jurisdiction of the Public Welfare Bureau, where it was dubbed the “Aoi building” and was used as a training ground.
After the war, it was used for U.S. officers’ quarters and an officers’ club from December 1945 until May 1952. After it was released from confiscation, it temporarily held the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Expropriation Commission.
At the end of 1952, in order to build the gymnasium, all wooden structures were demolished and two Western-style buildings made of reinforced concrete were moved. Construction of the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium started in October 1953 and was completed in August 1956. In May 1957, the Western-style buildings were deconstructed to make way for construction of the indoor swimming pool, and thus all of the original structures on the site at the time of its acquisition have disappeared.
|October 1953||Construction starts on the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium|
|August 1956||Construction of the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium is completed (opens in October)|
|March 1958||Indoor swimming pool and athletic field are completed|
|May 1958||Site for the 3rd Asian Games (Basketball, swimming, diving, and water polo)|
|September-October 1959||Site for the 14th National Sports Festival (gymnastics, diving, water polo)|
|October 1964||Site for the 18th Summer Olympics in Tokyo (gymnastics, water polo)|
|August 1967||Site for the 5th Summer Universiade in Tokyo (gymnastics)|
|December 1986||Construction begins on a complete renovation|
|February 1990||Renovations are completed (renovated buildings open in April)|
|January 2002||The number of users since the 1990 re-opening passes 15 million users|
|May 2006||New multi-purpose courts(futsal) are built within the athletic field|
|June 2006||Renovation of the pool and training room
New studios are built, and studio lessons begin
|June 2008||Studio B is converted into Training Room B, a training room primarily based around free weights|
|April 2009||A garden is cultivated in the sub arena entrance courtyard
Opening of the “Fureai Patio” as a space for relaxation
|March 2010||Solar panels are fixed to the sub arena|
|April 2012||Commencement of indoor swimming pool renovation|
|July 2012||Commencement of overall renovation|
|March 2013||Completion of renovation (renewal open in April)|
Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium Main Arena
In April 2006, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government introduced a designated manager system for the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Tokyo Sport Benefits Corporation is the current designated manager.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium is central in hosting large-scale sports events in Japan, and the main arena can hold a maximum of ten thousand spectators.
The gymnasium has hosted many international and national meets, including world championship competitions in sports like table tennis, wrestling, volleyball, and figure skating. It is one of the few facilities where spectators can have the experience of viewing up close top athletes in heated competition.
Furthermore, the pool, training room, and athletic field are regularly open as a place for ordinary users to casually enjoy sports.