Tokyo 2020: Early look at the next Summer Olympics

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike takes the Olympic flag on stage. © Stefan Wermuth
The closing of the Rio 2016 Olympics means the countdown has begun to the next Summer Games – with 1,434 days to wait until Tokyo 2020 gets underway.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's appearance as Super Mario at the closing ceremony in Brazil was a light-hearted moment ahead of the more serious matters to come.

Much like Rio, preparations for Tokyo have already been hit by rising costs, corruption allegations and issues with the infrastructure.

Tokyo's residents already face the prospect of footing their share of the bill – $20 billion and rising – as Japan bids to deliver the most spectacular Games in history.

READ MORE: Rio 2016 Olympic Games close with spectacular carnival-themed ceremony (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Organizers have already faced criticism over the huge cost of the original design for the main stadium and a plagiarism row over the 2020 logo.

A French police investigation into a seven-figure payment, made during Japan's bid to host the Games to an account linked to the son of the disgraced former world athletics chief Lamine Diack, has been another unwelcome distraction.

READ MORE: French police investigating alleged $1.4mn payment to secret account in race for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Despite the initial problems, Tokyo is keen to deliver an event which will be easily accessible for everyone involved, with the majority of the 33 venues being used within 5 miles (8km) of the Olympic Village at Harumi Futo Park.

The average ticket price in Tokyo will be $71, with entry to the opening ceremony on July 24, 2020, costing between $252 and $1,513.

The sporting action – including gold medals in judo, cycling and fencing and judo – kicks off the following day.

The 28 different sports that featured at Rio 2016 will all return in 2020, along with five new additions.

Karate, surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing make their debut, while baseball/softball returns having been left out of the last two Olympics.

Japan's athletes will be eagerly anticipating the prospect of competing on home soil after they secured a record medal haul in Rio, with the country's chef de mission, Seiko Hashimoto, predicting a top-three finish in the medal table for the hosts.

Two of the most successful Olympians ever are unlikely to compete in Tokyo, with swimmer Michael Phelps and sprinter Usain Bolt both claiming Rio would be their final Games.

Canada's Andre De Grasse could be the man to step into Bolt's shoes, while Japan will hope its Rugby Sevens team can build on their semifinal appearance in Rio.

The Games close on August 9, with the Paralympics following on August 25.

The heat and humidity that engulfs Tokyo during July and August is likely to make things uncomfortable during the Games, but visitors to Japan can expect to be wowed by the latest technological innovations.

The country aims to build a small army of robots which will help visitors with directions and transportation at venues across Tokyo.

Panasonic is working on translation gadgets which visitors can wear around their necks, while Japanese company Robot Taxi Inc. is developing driverless vehicles to transport people from stadium to stadium.

The Games may also feature a shower of man-made meteorites in the place of fireworks at the opening and closing ceremonies, while hydrogen-powered buses and buildings could make Tokyo 2020 the most environmentally friendly Olympics in history.

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