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Latest information on what is happening around Tokyo!

Yokohama team to experiment with near-capacity crowds

Huge crowds will soon be returning to Japanese stadiums
Huge crowds will soon be returning to Japanese stadiums

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.

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Entry Restrictions will be eased - Tourists excluded

The Japanese Government is considering to ease entrance restrictions for anyone planning to stay in the country for more than three months, allowing workers and students from any nation to enter the country. The Asahi Shimbun reported the proposal, citing multiple government sources.

Entrance will be limited to 1,000 people per day, and there will be a 14 day self-isolation requirement. All visitors need to clear the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test upon arrival at the airport.

Business travel from several countries such as Vietnam and Thailand resumed on a limited scale back in late July.

Entering the country for tourism purposes will continue to be banned.

 

UPDATE Oct 1st - Starting today applications for visas are being accepted on a limited basis. Information on who is eligible and what kind of paperwork is necessary can be found in the below Japan Times article.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/09/30/national/social-issues/entry-japan-coronavirus/

JR East moving up the departure time of the last train in Tokyo area

Starting next spring, the final train on the Yamanote Line will be leaving about 30 minutes earlier, according to media reports. JR East is making the move to allow more time for maintenance crew and also cut down on operation costs. This means services will end around 0:30 instead of 1 am. The news come as many major rail operators in Japan are reporting huge losses due to companies switching to teleworking and reducing business trips.

Bars and restaurants are closing earlier, or not operating altogether, reducing the demand for late night services.

Hakone Tozan Rail resumes operation

The Hakone Tozan Railway resumed full operation today, more than nine months after it received heavy damage from Typhoon Hagibis.

 

 

Visitors can now do a full circuit of the main tourist sites by using the Tozan Rail, Cable Car, Ropeway and the boat on Lake Ashi.


When will Japan reopen its borders?

As of July 1st, Japan bans entry of residents from a total 129 countries/regions.

 

https://www.japan.travel/en/coronavirus/

 

In the past month, there has been reports the government is considering easing restrictions on business entries from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.

 

On July 1st, the Asahi Shimbun reported that Taiwan, South Korea and China are also among the candidates. Brunei and Myanmar could also possibly be included.

 

After business travel resumes, students will receive the next priority. It will be some time before tourists will be allowed in, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

More facilities reopen in Tokyo

Following the lifting of the state of emergency, more facilities are starting to reopen to the public.

 

Some places conduct body temperature checks at the entrance and all locations require visitors to wear a mask.

 

Places that have reopened:

Amusement Parks

Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea (reopening July 1st/requires advance reservation)

 

Gardens

Imperial Palace East Gardens

Rikugien

Koshishikawa Korakuen

Hamarikyu

Shinjuku Gyoen

 

Obseravtion decks

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Skytree

Shibuya Sky (Shibuya Scramble Square)

Tokyo City View(Roppongi Hills) 

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (from July 1st)

 

Museums

Tokyo National Museum (requires reservation)

National Museum of Nature and Science(requires reservation)

Miraikan (requires reservation)

Edo-Tokyo Museum

The National Arts Center Tokyo 

 

Other

Tama Zoo 

Ueno Zoo (requires reservation)

Tokyo Sea Life Park/Kasai Rinkai Aquarium (requires reservation)

Toyosu Market (Early morning tuna auctions remain closed to public)

Digital Art Museum teamLab Borderless (requires reservation)