After being lit in Olympia, the flame was conveyed to Athens and then to Tokyo, where it arrived via plane on 23 December 1997. It was on show from 27 to 30 December in the Ginza area, and from 31 December to 4 January in the Yoyogi Athletic Park.
On 4 January 1998, at a ceremony in the Yoyogi Athletic Park, the flame was split into three and taken by plane to three destinations: the Eastern Japan route, starting from Hokkaido; the Pacific Ocean route, starting from Kagoshima; and the Sea of Japan route, starting from Okinawa.
On 23 January, the three flames entered Nagano Prefecture from the north, south and east, and continued their separate routes.
On 5 February, the three flames arrived in Nagano and on the following day, in Central Square, a ceremony was held in which they were reunited.
The flame also lit secondary cauldrons installed at the competition venues in Hakuba, Yamanouchi, Nozawa Onsen and Karuizawa, where it burned throughout the Games.
Start date: 19 December 1997, Olympia (Greece)
End date: 7 February 1998, Multi-purpose Stadium, Nagano (Japan)
First torchbearer: Vassilis Dimitriadis, Olympic participant in alpine skiing (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010). He was also the first torchbearer in Greece for the relay of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
Last torchbearer: Midori Ito, Olympic participant in figure skating (1988, 1992), silver medallist in Albertville 1992
Number of torchbearers: ~15 in Greece, 6,901 in Japan
Recruitment of torchbearers: The participants were chosen by the Organising Committee, the official partner of the relay (Coca-Cola) and a public competition. There were no restrictions on age, gender or nationality.
Distance: 450km in Greece, ~1,162km in Japan
Countries visited: Greece, Japan
Description: The wording “Nagano 1998, XVIII Olympic Winter Games, Nagano 1998” was engraved along the length of the torch. The upper part featured the Games logo, featuring snow crystals topped with the Olympic rings. The torch design was inspired by the pine branch torches used in the past in Japan. The hexagonal shape of the body represented snow crystals, and the silver colour was chosen to resemble a snow-covered landscape. The yellow rope was a reference to a traditional element of Japanese design.
Colour: Red, silver and gold
Composition: Cotton and aluminium
Designer / Manufacturer: Nagano Olympic Games Organising Committee / Katsura Co.
Six metres tall and on a 25-metre base, the cauldron had a burner at a 30 degree incline so that the flame was visible throughout the stadium. The fuel used was natural gas. The aim was to produce a modern version of a traditional Japanese kagaribi bonfire.
The safety lamp made to carry the flame had a burning time of 22 hours.