Coronavirus Update

Life in Japan during Coronavirus

So how exactly is daily life currently in Japan? We’re in regular contact with colleagues, friends and family throughout Japan to keep abreast of what’s really happening on the ground, so that when the time is right, you’ll be able to book a trip to Japan with confidence.

At this time, life in Japan has more or less returned to what is described as a ‘new normal’, with the country reopening but maintaining vigilance in the fight against the virus. Hand sanitiser can be found in the entrance of almost all public buildings, including shops, restaurants and offices and in some places, visitors have their temperature checked on entering.

Masks – masks have been worn in public by the Japanese for many years when they are sick for example, or when pollen counts are high, so masks are a very common sight in Japan even at the best of times. During the current pandemic, almost everyone is wearing a mask outside in big cities although in smaller cities and in the countryside, this is less noticeable.

Hotels – more or less, most hotels in Japan are now open and ready for business although that business is currently all domestic. Hotels we have spoken to are committed to providing increased health and hygiene measures that go beyond the necessary protocols required by local government authorities. Many of these efforts are noticeable, such as distancing between tables, face masks worn by employees and regular temperature checks for guests and staff, as well as some behind the scenes protocols that are less noticeable to guests.

Shops – are also now, more or less, open as normal, although many are using social distancing measures such as seen elsewhere.

Restaurants – as with other businesses, most restaurants are now reopened and doing business as normal, but with spacing of tables and limits of the number of diners allowed in at one time.

Public Transport – at this time, all public transport in Japan is operating as normal, after restrictions were removed on June 1st. Almost all passengers will wear masks.

What else is open right now?

After the state of emergency was lifted on May 25th 2020, many businesses began to reopen, including museums, galleries, department stores and tourist attractions, although visitors are still advised to wear masks, keep a safe distance from others, and sanitise their hands on entry. Some venues are also doing temperature checks at the door.

Although Tokyo is taking a generally slower and more cautious approach, prefectures less affected by coronavirus have seen attractions open up little by little.

Check what is opening up on this list curated by Time Out Japan

What about in Tokyo itself?

The Governer of Tokyo has put in place a 3 stage plan to reopen the city after the Government emergency was lifted.

– The reopening of museums, libraries and other cultural institutions with precautions in place
– Restaurants asked to close at 10pm instead of 8pm
– Public events allowed but attendance capped at 50 people

– Facilities with no history of cluster infections encouraged to reopen
– Public events to be capped at 100 people.

Stage 3 (CURRENT)
– Facilities with no history of cluster infections allowed to reopen,
– restaurants and other food establishments encouraged to remain open until midnight
– Public events will be limited to 1,000 people

So when can I go to Japan?

This of course is the important question and which no one can clearly answer just yet. Based on what we know now and the projections for control of the virus in Japan, we feel that it is reasonable to be thinking of visiting from late 2021 onwards although this may change in the future with new information. At this time we do not recommend you consider visiting any earlier than that.

If you would like to start thinking about a trip to Japan, we would be delighted to chat through your plans with you and remember that with our very generous terms, you can book a trip to Japan with confidence