The Japanese air force flew over Tokyo, on Wednesday, leaving the people awestruk. As she flew over the Olympic Stadium, they drew the five Olympic rings in a practice flight. They will be showcasing the same on the opening ceremony to mark the official start of the Tokyo Games as the threat of COVID-19 looms.

Japan air force's aerobatic demonstration squadron, Blue Impulse, drew the Olympic symbol with white smoke near the national stadium. This prompted people to wave at the pilots and also take pictures and videos of the event.

"The sky is blue today so I was able to clearly see the five white contrails, so it was exhilarating," Reuters quoted Noriko Hoshino, a 44-year-old office worker, as saying.

While the opening ceremony will be held on July 23, Friday, the softball and football competitions have already started.

During the opening ceremony, the rings will bear the original colours of blue, yellow, black, green and red, an official at the Air Self-Defence Force said.

According to Reuters, the Blue Impulse first drew the rings over central Tokyo as part of the opening ceremony of the 1964 Olympics in the city.

For many in Japan, the Olympic symbol in the autumn sky was one of the most memorable moments from the sporting event that is being held with strict COVID-19 protocols.

The Tokyo Olympics, touted as the strangest Olympics in history, will take place in front of thousands of empty seats on Friday. Only 1,000 dignitaries will be present at the 68,000-seat Olympic Stadium for the extravaganza.

Japan's Emperor Naruhito will be chief among the VIPs, along with other world leaders and senior figures including US First Lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Tokyo 2020 has had a difficult build-up and the opening ceremony is no exception, with a series of sackings of people connected with the show.

The ceremony's director, Kentaro Kobayashi, was fired on the eve of the show over a 1998 comedy sketch referencing the Holocaust.

The ceremony's focal point will be the lighting of the Olympic cauldron. This will conclude a torch relay that started 16 months ago.