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The Tokyo Effect: Article 2 of 3

How Tokyo’s innovation is
surging ahead of the Tokyo
2020 Games

Kiwi photographer Cody Ellingham captures Tokyo’s transformation.

Cody Ellingham

Photography by Cody Ellingham & Benjamin Beech

For years, Tokyo, the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 host city, has been accelerating its transformation to show the world it is one of the most innovative cities.

From automated vehicles to automatic translation devices, the Tokyo 2020 Games will showcase some of the world’s most futuristic technologies and modern sustainability efforts. Tokyo-based photographer Cody Ellingham is capturing the transformation of a city creating a legacy reaching far into the future.


In 2018, Ellingham set out to capture the architectural legacy of the Tokyo 1964 Games, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

He photographed some of the historic Olympic buildings such as the Yoyogi National Stadium, the Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports Ground and the Nippon Budokan.

“I was exploring the Golden Age of Tokyo," he explained. "And [the buildings] represented that modern dream of the new Japan.”



The Athletes' Village itself will also continue to be of use after the Tokyo 2020 Games as an eco-friendly residential district.

“Tokyo is looking to build long-term structures,” Ellingham said about the Tokyo 2020 Games architecture. “And looking at how the 1964 buildings are still there today, I would like to imagine the buildings built this time around will last just as long, if not longer.”

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