Exhibition: Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic torches

This exhibition CLOSED on Mon, 6th Sep 2021

This exhibition has finished.

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

Cost: Free of Charge

Copies of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic torches will be on display in London during the summer.

The simple structures are designed in the shape of cherry blossom (sakura), a flower which is immediately identified with, and cherished in Japan for its seasonal beauty and symbolism of renewal.

The design was inspired by the designer, Yoshioka Tokujin's visit to Fukushima Prefecture in 2015, an area that faced a monumental reconstruction programme following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in 2011. As part of the reconstruction efforts, the designer held a drawing workshop with children from the affected area. He saw the spirit of the local people and their optimism for the future projected in the children’s vibrant cherry blossom drawings.

Some of the aluminium used to make the torches has been recycled from the temporary housing units that were built in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. In this way, materials used in the reconstruction have been transformed into a symbol of peace. The torch is designed in the shape of the Olympic flame and the five sakura petals release five individual flames which merge into one, symbolizing Yoshioka’s wish for peace and for the world to come together as one. The flame is able to stay continuously lit thanks to the three different combustion methods which form a part of the torch design.

Yoshioka achieved a simple, strong and lightweight design, seamlessly manufactured from one sheet of metal by using an aluminium extrusion technique, which is also used in the production of Japan’s Shinkansen trains (bullet trains).

The Olympic and Paralympic torches designed by Yoshioka Tokujin are on display on the Ground Floor of Japan House London from 13 July until 6 September 2021.

Contact and Booking Details

More information at this website.

No need to book tickets - just turn up on the day.


Japan House,

101-111 Kensington High Street,
W8 5SA

Map of Japan House