TOKYO INFRASTRUCTURE 068 Komazawa Olympic Park

Legacy of the two Olympic Games

In 1913, Tokyo Golf Club rented out the former farmland as a site of golf course and established “Komazawa Golf Course”, the first golf course developed by Japanese. Since then this place has inherited the DNA as a stage for sports.
After the golf course moved to Asaka in 1932, it was decided to be the main venue of the Olympic Games in 1940, in commemoration of 2600 years of the Imperial reign, in which the former plan of the outer garden of the Meiji-jingu Shrine had come to a deadlock. Although a major sports center including the world’s largest main stadium, swimming stadium and the Olympic village was planned, due to the return of the Olympic Games, the plan was cancelled.

During the wartime it was designated as air defensive open space by Tokyo Metropolitan Government and after the war was incorporated into the public land and lent out as farmland etc. In 1953 the hardball baseball field was built with the contribution of Tokyu Electric Railway Company and from the following year it became familier as a home field of the professional baseball team Toei Flyers, “Komazawa Baseball Ground.”
When the 1964 Olympic Games were decided, the development of the general playground was planned as the second venue, and six athletic facilities for volleyball, soccer, hockey, etc. were constructed.

Eiga Takayama, an urban planner who drew up a grand design of Komazawa Olympic Park said, “Green and sky, unlike the cool Hibiya Park in the business district where adults work in the office buildings, but in the suburbs, children can have adventures, make discoveries and enjoy themselves here. Even a child who is not good at exercising get motivated to take exercise and join sports without knowing it once he or she has taken a step into the park.”

By widening Komazawa Street which bisects the park site and digging down the bus stop part, the approach space was produced which made it possible not only to separates sidewalks and car lanes but also to emphasize the front of the entrance and the symbolism of the central square of the second floor with a tower. It was the idea by Kan Hideshima, an urban designer, that determined the landscape of Komazawa Park.

Takayama told the plan of Komazawa Park was aimed to realize an ideal urban planning through the cooperation of civil engineering, architecture and landscape design. For him the occurrence of “Tokyo’s miracle” that Japanese football national team defeated Argentina at Komazawa venue may have been a medal awarded to the very best stage, actually Takayama had been a national football nomination candidate for the Berlin Olympics. (S.Doi)


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