They praised the compactness of the venue plan and applauded the pace of construction.
“Seeing the existing and the new, it’s a good mix,” Owen Lewis, secretary general of CISNOC, told Around the Rings.
“Particularly around the water areas there’s lots of new construction. It’s got a great backdrop. The Olympic Village is going to be amazing and everything’s pretty timely. I’m quite impressed.”
“It’s up to Cook Islands standards.”
About 15 busloads of NOC members left to inspect the venues following the Asian National Olympic Committee General Assembly late last month. The tours lasting more than four hours were mostly drive-by – with only two stops at the Odaiba Marine Park and overlooking the Olympic Village.
Hugh Graham, president of CISNOC, walked to edge of Tokyo Bay to inspect the water during the stop at Odaiba Marine Park, where marathon swimming and triathlon will be held.
“It looks clean, better quality than Rio,” he said. “There were a lot of concerns, not just from our sailors, but also from other sailors.”
Noting the ducks on the water, he added, “There’s wildlife there, so that’s a good indicator as well.”
Etisone Ed Imo Jr, president of the America Samoa National Olympic Committee, said he appreciated “just knowing where the places are at and they’re working on everything. You expect a lot from the Japanese and they’re pretty much prepared.”
The NOC delegates, international federation officials and media saw 14 venues, including those for most of the biggest sports, as well as the Olympic Village and the Main Press Centre.
They also passed their hotel, the ANA Intercontinental, which brought murmurs of approval from delegates who spotted the Starbucks at street level.
Guides also pointed out the Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Skytree and the Ginza district as tourist attractions.
“I liked the venues very, very much,” said Nelia Demianets, a delegate from Ukraine. “I liked the city very much. It’s close together. I think it will be one of the best Games.
“Everywhere it is clean. It’s new. It looks very, very nice.”
A country known for its cranes in artwork has dozens of cranes hovering over construction that isn’t confined to Olympic venues.
“They’re well on their way with regard to preparation,” Cora Hepburn, who will be chef de mission for the Bahamas, told ATR. “As far as their deadlines, it seems as if it’s possible. I was pleased with what I saw.”
Especially compared to Rio, venues are much closer together.
“It’s a relief,” Hepburn said. “Normally at these Games, you have to travel so far to get from one venue to the next venue and I think because of the closer proximity to each other, it should be a much better Olympics.”