Olympic History

Enoshima, a two-time Olympic host.
Enoshima, a two-time Olympic host.

Overlooking Sagami Bay, Fujisawa is a picturesque city with a passion for marine sports.
The Enoshima Yacht Harbor set the stage for the sailing events during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics (formerly the yachting events), and more recently, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. On a clear day, Mt. Fuji can be seen rising over the coastline, making it one of the most scenic racecourses in the world.
The Enoshima Yacht Harbor has become the central hub for all things sailing in Japan. After it was selected as a site for the 2020 Olympics, the harbor was host to the Sailing World Cup (among other large-scale international competitions), which offered locals plenty of opportunities to meet with world-renowned sailors.

the 1964 Tokyo Olympics

During the competition, rough seas whipped up by strong winds caused the Australian boat to capsize, throwing the crew overboard. At the time, the Swedish boat, crewed by the Käll brothers, was in the leading group. In an act of outstanding sportsmanship, they turned their boat around and headed back to rescue their stricken rivals, eventually finishing the race in 11th place. The following day, news of the rescue was reported in the newspapers with headlines such as "Gold Medal in Humanity". Recalling the incident, and with broad smiles, the Käll brothers commented, "As guys who spend our lives at sea, above anything else, when we see another boat in trouble the natural thing to do is go and help". So impressive was this strong sense of morality that the story of the Käll brothers was picked up and used as lesson material in some Japanese elementary schools.

the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Photo Provided by Fujisawa City

the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Photo Provided by Fujisawa City

The Games were delayed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were held in 2021 with empty stands, but the town was still decked out in the Tokyo Olympic colors to welcome sailing teams from abroad.
The fiercely competitive eleven-day event lasted from July 25 to August 4, 2021, drawing 350 participants from 65 different countries and regions.

the 2020 Tokyo Olympics


Despite the distancing between the athletes and event staff, to prevent the potential spread of disease, the locals did everything in their power to ensure that their guests received a warm welcome. Athletes arriving in Enoshima by bus were treated to the sight of residents dancing the Tokyo Gorin Ondo 2020 and the Enoshima Yacht Ondo along the Enoshima Ohashi Bridge, and in front of the competition venue. In addition, the “City Cast Fujisawa” Olympic volunteers waved and cheered every day, much to the athletes’ delight.

the 2020 Tokyo Olympics


The Enoshima Yacht Harbor itself is home to the Olympic Cauldron from the 1964 Games, as well as a monument to the 2020 Games.
Meanwhile, the Shonan Port Yacht House and the Nakatsumiya Wooden Deck have plaques inscribed with the dates, courses and names of athletes who participated in previous sailing races.

Come visit Fujisawa, experience the town's warm hospitality, and gaze out over the sea that hosted so many exhilarating sporting events. Come visit Fujisawa, experience the town's warm hospitality, and gaze out over the sea that hosted so many exhilarating sporting events.