The vibrant, high-tech urban hub that is Tokyo, Japan is expected to deliver a sensory feast when the 2020 Olympics begin a year from now. Explore the visual impact of the city through a selection of historical and contemporary images from the archive, including gems from AP, PA, Mary Evans Picture Library and other global partner agencies.
Night fete: Women arrive in boats to join revellers in the city, circa 1800. Image by Mary Evans Picture Library.
Bright banners: A city scene shows women with parasols walking along streets lined with colourful advertising banners, circa 1910. Image by Mary Evans Picture Library.
In Tokyo, Good Taste is in Fashion: A Coca-Cola advertisement shows a party in Tokyo in the 1950s. Image by The Advertising Archives.
Sky high: Balloons fly over Olympians and spectators during the opening ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympics at the National Stadium in Tokyo. The venues planned for the 2020 Olympics both look to the future and incorporate the past. Image by AP.
Wearing kimono: A girl in kimono attends a festival to celebrate children's growth and pray for their wellbeing at Meiji Jingu in November 2012. Image by Itsuo Inouye for AP.
Thank you: Citizens celebrate at the Tokyo Municipal Government office square in September 2013 after the International Olympic Committee chose the city to host the 2020 Olympics. Image by Kyodo News, AP.
Cry baby: A baby held by an amateur sumo wrestler breaks into tears during the Nakizumo, or crying baby contest, at Sensoji Temple in May 2015. The Nakizumo is a traditional event in which the young contestants are put together to determine how long and loud they can cry as a celebration of their growth and prayer for good health. Some 120 babies attended the event that year. Image by Kiyoshi Ota.
Olympics parade: People wave at Japanese medallists returning from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and Paralympics in the Ginza district in October 2016. Some 90 medallists took part in the motorcade. Image by Shizuo Kambayashi for AP.
Cherry blossoms: A toddler enjoys the pink flowers in March 2017. Image by Shizuo Kambayashi for AP.
Street style: A dramatic beauty look on the streets of Tokyo in June 2017. Image by Robin Utrecht for Abaca Press, PA.
Winter ritual: Japanese bathers pray for a healthy new year while dipping in a cold water tub with blocks of ice at a Teppozu Inari Shinto Shrine in January 2018. Image by Shizuo Kambayashi for AP.
Olympic rings: A camera with a fisheye lens captures college students near the new National Stadium, the main venue for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, in May 2019. Image by Kyodo, AP.
In addition to the local coverage, AAP Photos also supplies images, videos and graphics from our global partners. You can find out more about our image partners here.
Subscribe to AAP Back Story updates: