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M-Wave, Nagano

#48 of 144 in Things to do in Nagano
Arena / Stadium · Tourist Spot
Nagano Olympic Memorial Arena (長野市オリンピック記念アリーナ, Naganoshi Orinpikku Kinen Ari-na), or M-Wave (エムウェーブ, emu-ue-bu), is a covered speed skating oval in the city of Nagano, Japan. M-Wave, which opened in November, 1996, was constructed for the speed skating events at the 1998 Winter Olympics. It was Japan's first International Skating Union (ISU) standard indoor 400m double-track, and only second one in Japan. The other, Meiji Hokkaido-Tokachi Oval, is located in Obihiro, Hokkaido.

In addition to the 1998 Winter Olympics, the 2002 World Figure Skating Championships, various ISU world speed skating championships and speed skating world cups, and the 2005 Special Winter Olympics were held. Outside the winter business, other sporting events, large-scale exhibitions and concerts are held.

M-Wave is located in the eastern sections of Nagano City, in the communities of Asahi (朝陽) and Mamejima (大豆島), near the Chikuma River and the city of Suzaka (須坂). M-Wave is located within short distance of four other venues of the 1998 Winter Olympics. It is 3 kilometers from the Aqua Wing Arena, which hosted ice hockey; 5 kilometers from Big Hat, which also hosted ice hockey; 6 kilometers from White Ring (arena), which hosted the figure skating; and short track speed skating events; and 11 kilometers from Nagano Olympic Stadium, which was used for the opening and closing ceremonies.

The skating rink operates from October to March, with the 400-m speed skating oval and a regulation-size ice hockey rink inside the oval.
M-Wave was constructed at a cost of 348 billion yen as a speed skating venue for the 1998 Winter Olympics. The building's name, M-Wave comes from its distinct shape which is designed to resemble the surrounding mountains. The building, which was the recipient of the Special Award by the British Institution of Structural Engineers, is one of the largest hanging wooden roof structures in the world. The arena has a capacity of 18,000. The M-Wave is equipped with movable stands and an automatically winding artificial lawn machine. The two movable stands, each of which have seating for 1,210 spectators, allow the arena to be converted into various configurations including concert hall or a football field.

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33 reviews
  • It is nice to see that the Olympic legacy is very much alive -- the building is well used for a variety of activities. Hence ,make sure that before you visit, you check the availability (on line...  more »
  • The Olympic Ice rink located at the M-Wave was such good fun. They let me try speed skates on and have a go on them before swapping to another type of skate for the rest of my time on the ice which...  more »
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