24. August 2021
Every month around the 20th, I am providing updates on latest situation regarding the pandemic and any changes in travel restrictions to Japan. Borders remain shut for now, and many viewers have already voiced their wishes for the Japanese government to open them up.
24. June 2021
The popular hot springs facility in the Odaiba district is closing down this autumn, the final day of business on September 5th. The closure is not related to COVID-19, but more because the land lease with the Tokyo Government expires at the end of the year, and the management could not agree on an extension.
19. June 2021
With only a month to go until the opening of the Olympics, the state of emergency will be lifted for the capital city while looser restrictions will remain. Restaurants will continue to be asked to close at 8 pm. Alcohol can be served until 7pm, but not to groups of 3 or more people. Customers served alcohol must leave in 90 minutes. Kanagawa Prefecture (including Yokohama) will allow groups of up to 4 to drink but the same 90 minute rule applies. Many tourist facilities continue to be closed...
21. April 2021
A state of emergency will be issued for Tokyo in the upcoming days, the third time this has happened since the pandemic broke out and only a month after the second declaration expired. Details or the duration are still under consideration and a decision is expected by the end of the week (23rd). This time the restrictions could involve a wider range of activities, whereas the second declaration mainly focused on closing restaurants early and had very little impact on daily lives. UPDATE (May...
25. March 2021
The state of emergency for the Tokyo capital area was lifted on the 22nd, ending more than two months of restrictions that focused mostly in the dining sector. Restaurants in Tokyo will continue to close early at 9pm, and spectators at sporting events will be limited to 10,000 fans. The timing coincided with the cherry blossoms reaching full bloom (photo: Ueno park, 24 Mar) and while the viewing is not restricted, almost all parks prohibit eating/drinking and encourage visitors to quietly enjoy...
08. March 2021
Despite a drastic improvement in the number of COVID-19 cases, the state of emergency in the Tokyo Metro area was extended for another two weeks, until March 21st. Restaurants will continue to close at 8 pm, and some facilities run by the Tokyo Government will remain closed, but overall things are running fairly normally.
08. February 2021
The state of emergency issued for Tokyo and surrounding prefectures Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa has been extended for another month until March 7th. The ban on entry to Japan remains in place for foreign visitors, and the business track program has been suspended.
12. January 2021
Following a surge in new cases and hospital beds quickly reaching capacity, the government declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and surrounding prefectures Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba. Restrictions focus on restaurants and bars, which will now be ordered to close at 8 PM. Unlike the declaration in April-May 2020, schools will remain open and so will movie theaters and gyms. Sporting and cultural events can still be held though the attendance must be controlled to under 5,000 people. The...
25. December 2020
Due to a spike in new cases of COVID-19, some facilities run by the Tokyo Government announced they will be shutting down for the New Year holiday period between Dec 26-Jan 11. They include places such as: Tokyo Government Building Observatory Ueno Zoo Kasai Rinkai Aquarium (Tokyo Sea Life Park) Hamarikyu Garden Koishikawa Korakuen Garden The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden will also close from Dec 26-Jan 11.
15. December 2020
Anyone arriving in Japan from a foreign country must arrange for transportation in advance under current government guidelines. Starting December 16, the Airport Transport Service (who operate the buses under the "Friendly Airport Limousine" brand) will start a new service to selected hotels in the Akasaka and Shinjuku area, which will be an exclusive service for arriving passengers. https://www.limousinebus.co.jp/uploads/info/2020/12/cross_border_en.pdf A reservation and payment must be placed...

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