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Travel Alerts and Disaster Updates

Latest news on events affecting travel in Japan

Coronavirus Outbreak

Last updated: June 6, 2020

The outbreak of the coronavirus is having a big impact on travel activities in Japan in the form of travel restrictions, closures and event cancellations.

Current state of tourism: do not travel in and out of Greater Tokyo and Hokkaido

Domestic Travel Restrictions

Although the virus has not spread in Japan at an explosive rate as seen in Europe and North America, the central government declared a state of emergency on April 7, requesting people to stay home and certain businesses to close. After a decrease in new infections, the state of emergency was fully lifted on May 25.

Even after the end of the state of emergency, people in the entire country are requested to exercise social distancing and refrain from visiting crowded and badly ventilated places. In some prefectures, certain types of businesses and establishments are requested to remain closed or shorten their business hours.

People are also asked to refrain from non-essential travel in and out of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama and Hokkaido, the five prefectures that saw the highest infection numbers, through June 18. Restrictions on inter-prefectural travel in the rest of the country were lifted on June 1. The remaining restrictions on domestic travel are scheduled to be lifted from June 19, and a campaign to promote domestic tourism is slated to start in late July.

Inside the cities, public transportation is not greatly affected; however, airlines and long-distance bus companies have drastically cut their services, and seasonal and tourist trains have been suspended. Many intercity train connections, including shinkansen, saw a decrease in services in May, but are now fully or mostly back to normal levels of service.

International Travel Restrictions

Japan is currently refusing entry to non-Japanese people who have been to any of over 100 designated countries across the world within the past 14 days, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea, China and most European countries (including the UK), except under special circumstances.

Japan is also temporarily suspending visa exemptions for the time being, making it necessary for all visitors to apply for a visa before traveling to Japan.

Furthermore, all people entering Japan, including Japanese nationals, will have to undergo a quarantine at a designated location and may not use public transportation for 14 days upon arrival.

Likewise, there are many countries that refuse entry to people arriving from Japan or require travelers arriving from Japan to undergo a quarantine.

The above measures by the Japanese government are expected to be maintained through June, but afterwards a gradual reopening of Japan's borders is being considered, starting towards countries where the coronavirus has been contained or which have particularly important ties to Japan (Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand are some first candidates). Business travelers and experts are expected to be given priority, followed by students and eventually tourists.

Closures and cancellations

A large number of tourist attractions are cautiously reopening these days, while others remain closed. Most events and festivals have been cancelled or postponed. Below is a list of major tourist attractions and their state of business in some of the more popular destinations in our sightseeing guide:

Tokyo

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Sensoji Temple (closed indefinitely)

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Tokyo Tower (reopened 5/28)

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Tokyo Government Building observation decks (closed indefinitely)

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Toyosu Market (closed indefinitely)

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Kyu Shiba Rikyu (reopened 6/1)

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Tokyo Disneyland (closed indefinitely)

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Tokyo DisneySea (closed indefinitely)

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Guided tours of the Imperial Palace (reopened 6/2)

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Imperial East Gardens (reopened 6/2)

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Hama Rikyu (reopened 6/1)

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Rikugien (reopened 6/1)

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Edo Open Air Museum (reopened 6/2)

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Shinjuku Gyoen (reopened 6/2)

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Koishikawa Korakuen (reopened 6/1)

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Koishikawa Botanical Garden (closed indefinitely)

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Kiyosumi Garden (reopened 6/1)

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Ghibli Museum (closed indefinitely)

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Institute for Nature Study (reopened 6/1)

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Sumida Hokusai Museum (reopened 6/2)

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Tokyo National Museum (reopened 6/2)

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Tokyo Skytree (reopened 6/1)

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Sumida Aquarium (closed indefinitely)

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Most events of the 2020 Sanno Matsuri (cancelled)

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Edo-Tokyo Museum (reopened 6/2)

Yokohama

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Ramen Museum (closed indefinitely)

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Sankeien Garden (reopened 6/1)

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Zoorasia (closed until 6/10)

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Kirin Beer Factory (closed indefinitely)

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Cupnoodles Museum (closed indefinitely)

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Hakkeijima Sea Paradise (reopened 6/1)

Kamakura

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Great Buddha (reopened 6/1)

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Hasedera Temple (reopened 5/18)

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Engakuji Temple (reopened 6/1)

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Kenchoji Temple (reopened 6/1)

Hakone

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Sightseeing cruises on Lake Ashinoko (reopened 6/1)

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Hakone Checkpoint (reopened 5/27)

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Hakone Open Air Museum (closed until 6/7)

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Gotemba Premium Outlets (reopened 5/29)

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Pola Museum (reopened 6/1)

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Hakone Glass no Mori (reopened 6/1)

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Okada Museum of Art (reopened 5/30)

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Narukawa Art Museum (reopened 5/27)

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Hakone Ropeway (reopened 5/30)

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Komagatake Ropeway (reopened 6/1)

Around Mount Fuji

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Subaru Line toll road to the 5th Station (closed indefinitely)

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Kubota Itchiku Museum (reopened 5/30)

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Kawaguchiko Music Forest (reopened 6/5)

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World Heritage Center (reopened 5/22)

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Fuji Q Highland (reopened 5/23)

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2020 Shibazakura Festival (cancelled)

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Maglev Exhibition Center (reopened 6/2)

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Iyashi no Sato (closed indefinitely)

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Former Togawa Residence (reopened 5/27)

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Fujisan Museum (reopened 5/27)

Nikko

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Toshogu Shrine (reopened 6/1)

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Taiyuin (reopened 6/1)

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Rinnoji Temple (reopened 6/1)

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Tamozawa Villa (reopened 5/18)

Kyoto

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Sanjusangendo (closed until 6/14)

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Nanzenji Temple (reopened 6/1)

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Ryoanji Temple (reopened 5/25)

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Katsura Villa (reopened 5/23)

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Kyoto Imperial Palace (reopened 5/23)

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Nijo Castle (reopened 5/18)

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Toji Temple (reopened 6/1)

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Ninnaji Temple (reopened 5/22)

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Tofukuji Temple (reopened 5/25)

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Toei Eigamura (closed indefinitely)

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Sento Palace (reopened 5/23)

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Shugakuin Villa (reopened 5/23)

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Processions of floats during the 2020 Gion Matsuri (cancelled)

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Kyoto Tower (reopened 6/1)

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Kyoto National Museum (reopened 6/2)

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Sagano Railway (closed until 6/12)

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Kyoto Aquarium (closed indefinitely)

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Kyoto Railway Museum (closed until 6/14)

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Yamazaki Whisky Distillery (closed indefinitely)

Osaka

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Osaka Castle (reopened 5/20)

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Umeda Sky Building (reopened 5/26)

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National Bunraku Theater (reopened 6/5)

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Osaka Aquarium (reopened 6/1)

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Shitennoji Temple (closed until 6/7)

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Osaka Museum of History (reopened 6/1)

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Osaka Science Museum (reopened 5/21)

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National Museum of Art (reopened 6/2)

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Universal Studios Japan (closed until 6/7)

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Most events of the 2020 Tenjin Matsuri (cancelled)

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Abeno Harukas (reopened 5/21)

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Grand Front Osaka (reopened 5/22)

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Asahi Beer Suita Brewery (closed indefinitely)

Nara

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Todaiji Temple (reopened 6/1)

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Kofukuji Temple (reopened 6/1)

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Horyuji Temple (reopened 5/21)

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Toshodaiji Temple (reopened 6/1)

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Nara National Museum (reopened 6/1)

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Heijo Palace (reopened 6/2)

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Isuien Garden (reopened 6/1)

Himeji

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Himeji Castle (reopened 5/28)

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Kokoen Garden (reopened 5/28)

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Shoshazan Ropeway (reopened 6/1)

Sapporo

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Sapporo Beer Museum (closed indefinitely)

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Clock Tower (reopened 6/1)

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Historic Village of Hokkaido (reopened 5/26)

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Shiroi Koibito Park (closed indefinitely)

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Okurayama Ski Jump and the Winter Sports Museum (reopened 6/1)

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Mount Moiwa (reopened 6/1)

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Several facilities at Moerenuma Park (reopened 6/1)

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Sapporo Factory (reopened 5/30)

Nagoya

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Nagoya Castle (reopened 6/1)

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Tokugawa Art Museum (reopened 6/2)

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Port of Nagoya Aquarium (reopened 5/25)

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Noritake Garden (closed indefinitely)

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Midland Square (reopened 6/1)

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Science Museum (reopened 6/2)

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Railway Museum (reopened 6/3)

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Legoland (reopened 5/23)

Kanazawa

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Kenrokuen (reopened 6/1)

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Seisonkaku Villa (reopened 6/1)

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Kanazawa Castle (reopened 6/1)

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Ninjadera (reopened 6/3)

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21st Century Museum (closed until 6/26)

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D.T. Suzuki Museum (reopened 6/2)

Takayama

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Hida Folk Village (closed until 6/19)

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Takayama Jinya (closed indefinitely)

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Takayama Yatai Kaikan (reopened 6/1)

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Matsuri no Mori (reopened 6/1)

Naoshima and nearby islands

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Chichu Museum (reopened 6/2)

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Benesse House Museum (reopened 6/1)

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Art House Project (closed indefinitely)

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I Love Yu (closed indefinitely)

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Lee Ufan Museum (reopened 6/2)

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Ando Museum (closed indefinitely)

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Art installations on Inujima Island (reopened 6/1)

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Art installations on Teshima Island (closed until 6/30)

Hiroshima

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Peace Memorial Museum (reopened 6/1)

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Hiroshima Castle (reopened 6/1)

Fukuoka

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Canal City (reopened 5/16)

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2020 Hakata Gion Yamakasa (cancelled)

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Uminonakamichi Park (reopened 5/19)

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Kyushu National Museum (reopened 6/2)

Nagasaki

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Atomic Bomb Museum (reopened 6/1)

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Glover Garden (reopened 6/1)

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Oura Church (reopened 6/1)

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Dejima (reopened 6/1)

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Mount Inasa (reopened 6/1)

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Cruises to Gunkanjima (reopened 6/5)

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Nagasaki Museum of History (reopened 5/25)

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Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum (reopened 5/25)

Okinawa Island

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Shikinaen Garden (reopened 6/1)

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Peace Memorial Museum (reopened 5/21)

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Okinawa World (closed indefinitely)

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Nakagusuku Castle (reopened 5/21)

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Nakamura Residence (closed indefinitely)

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Churaumi Aquarium (reopened 6/1)

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Nakijin Castle (reopened 5/18)

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Ocean Expo Park (reopened 6/1)

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Nago Pineapple Park (closed indefinitely)

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Tsuboya Pottery Museum (reopened 6/2)

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Ryukyu Mura (closed until 6/30)

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Sefa Utaki (closed until 6/26)

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Okinawa Prefectural Museum (reopened 5/21)

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Tamaudun (reopened 6/1)

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Karate Kaikan (reopened 5/14)


2019 Typhoon #19 Update

Typhoon #19 ("Hagibis") brought record-breaking rainfall and winds to central, eastern and northern Japan on October 12-13, 2019. The typhoon caused flooding, landslides and loss of life in several regions, especially in the Kanto Region around Tokyo, the eastern Chubu Region, and the eastern Tohoku Region. In the meantime, the situation has normalized in most tourist destinations.

Affected tourist destinations

  • Hakone received particularly large amounts of rainfall, resulting in transportation disruptions. However, the situation has mostly normalized in the meantime except for the disruption of the Hakone Tozan Railway which is scheduled to be back in service around late July 2020. More details.
  • The restoration of damaged train sections that provide access to the Fukuroda Falls and Bessho Onsen is still underway. See each page for more details.

2016 Kyushu Earthquake

Strong earthquakes hit Kyushu in April 2016. Two train lines and a few sightseeing spots are still affected. More details


Volcano Closures

No-entry zones are currently maintained at the following prominent volcanoes:

  • Sakurajima (Level 3 - do not approach the volcano)
    Do not climb the mountain. Does not affect transportation and tourism.
  • Mount Aso (Level 2 - do not approach the crater)
    No-entry zone 1 km from crater. Closure of ropeway, road and hiking trails.
  • Kusatsu-Shirane (Level 2 - do not approach the crater)
    No-entry zones around craters. Closure of hiking trails.
  • Mount Shinmoedake (Kirishima) (Level 2 - do not approach the crater)
    No-entry zone 2 km from crater. Closure of hiking trails.