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 declaration could be extended if the number of cases do not drop below a certain level, which in Tokyo would be 500 cases per day.
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
Kasai Rinkai Aquarium (Tokyo Sea Life Park)
Koishikawa Korakuen Garden
The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden will also close from Dec 26-Jan 11.
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.
A reservation and payment must be placed in advance and the passenger must be staying in one of the 12 hotels below.
【Akasaka Area】6 Hotels
The Okura Tokyo, ANA InterContinental Tokyo, New Otani, The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu, The Capitol Hotel Tokyu
【Shinjuku Area】 6 Hotels
Century Southern Tower, Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, Hyatt Regency Tokyo
Shinjuku Washington Hotel, Park Hyatt Tokyo, Hilton Tokyo
The committee studying the feasibility of a Mount Fuji Railway met for the fifth time earlier this month. The team is led by the President of the House of Councilors.
The plan being discussed will call for a light rail system using the space which is currently the Subaru Line toll road. It will climb to the 5th station parking area, at an elevation of 2,300m (7,500 ft). The initial cost estimate is placed at 1.4 billion JPY.
Once the railway is complete, traffic on the road will be limited to emergency vehicles and allow for a more environmentally friendlier transport option for the roughly 5 million people that visit this area annually.
The committee will make a final proposal in February of 2021.
The 2020 NPB Season safely came to a close with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks sweeping the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants 4-0 in the Japan Series. The Hawks are now the Japanese Champions for four years in a row.
And the preliminary schedule for the 2021 season has already been released:
*Back to the normal 143 game format
*March 26 - Season Opener
*July 19-August 12- Interruption of games due to the Summer Olympics
*Oct 16- Final regular season game
The season schedule could change drastically depending on the fate of the Summer Olympics. The number of fans allowed inside the stadiums will likely be decided a few weeks before the season opener.
As the government continues to explore ways to host the Summer Olympics amidst the pandemic, the Yokohama BayStars baseball team will take part in an "experiment" to make available 80% of its seats for its home games from Oct 30-Nov 1.
The trial conducted by the local government, NEC and LINE will monitor fan movement and collect data from the 27,000+spectators that could attend on each of the three days.
As precautions against the virus, Japanese sport teams are only selling a max of 50% of stadium capacity.
A crowd of 20,904 showed up at the Oct 4 game in the Hanshin Koshien Stadium, the largest attendance so far for a sporting event held since the outbreak.