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Travel Alerts and Disaster Updates

Latest news on events affecting travel in Japan

Last updated

Coronavirus Outbreak

The outbreak of the coronavirus is having a big impact on tourism in Japan. The country's borders remain closed to international tourists, and there are no signs that the borders will be opened to considerable numbers of tourists in the near future.

Current state of tourism: borders closed

Domestic Situation

Although the virus has not spread in Japan at a rate seen in Europe and North America, infection numbers have increased considerably around the turn of the year, and a national state of emergency was declared in January in some parts of the country. As of now, the state of emergency remains in place only in the greater Tokyo area (Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures) and is set to last until March 21.

The state of emergency is somewhat less far reaching than the one observed nationwide in spring 2020 and focuses mainly on early closures of dining and drinking establishments, the discouragement of unnecessary outings and the promotion of remote work.

Inside the cities, public transportation has never been greatly affected; however, airlines continue to suspend a considerable amount of their domestic flights, while some long-distance railway services are being scaled back slightly.

International Travel Restrictions

Due to the spread of new, more contagious strains of the virus, Japan is closing its borders until March 21 to all new foreign arrivals except foreign residents of Japan or under special circumstances.

It is currently undecided when regular tourists will again be able to enter the country, but it is unlikely to happen in considerable numbers before autumn 2021 after the end of the Olympic and Paralympic games.

Closures and cancellations

Most tourist attractions in Japan were closed in April and May 2020, and many events and festivals nationwide continue to be cancelled or postponed. Most tourist attractions have reopened in the meantime, and only a few remain closed. Some attractions in the areas affected by the new state of emergency have closed again or shortened their hours. Below is a list of major tourist attractions and their current state of business in some of the more popular destinations in our sightseeing guide:

Tokyo

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Tokyo Tower (reopened)

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Tokyo Government Building observation decks (closed indefinitely)

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Observation areas at Toyosu Market (closed until Mar 21)

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Kyu Shiba Rikyu (closed indefinitely)

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Tokyo Disneyland (reopened)

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Tokyo DisneySea (reopened)

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Guided tours of the Imperial Palace (closed indefinitely)

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Imperial East Gardens (closed indefinitely)

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Hama Rikyu (closed indefinitely)

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Rikugien (closed indefinitely)

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Edo Open Air Museum (closed indefinitely)

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Shinjuku Gyoen (closed indefinitely)

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Koishikawa Korakuen (closed indefinitely)

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Kiyosumi Garden (closed indefinitely)

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Showa Memorial Park (closed until Mar 21)

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Institute for Nature Study (reopened)

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Sumida Hokusai Museum (reopened)

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Tokyo National Museum (reopened)

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Tokyo Skytree (reopened)

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Sumida Aquarium (reopened)

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Edo-Tokyo Museum (reopened)

Yokohama

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Ramen Museum (closed indefinitely)

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Sankeien Garden (reopened)

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Zoorasia (reopened)

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Kirin Beer Factory (closed indefinitely)

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Cupnoodles Museum (reopened)

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Hakkeijima Sea Paradise (reopened)

Kamakura

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Great Buddha (reopened)

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Hasedera Temple (reopened)

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Engakuji Temple (reopened)

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Kenchoji Temple (reopened)

Hakone

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Sightseeing cruises on Lake Ashinoko (reopened)

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Hakone Checkpoint (reopened)

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Hakone Open Air Museum (reopened)

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Gotemba Premium Outlets (reopened)

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Pola Museum (reopened)

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Hakone Glass no Mori (reopened)

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Okada Museum of Art (reopened)

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Narukawa Art Museum (reopened)

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Hakone Ropeway (reopened)

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Komagatake Ropeway (reopened)

Around Mount Fuji

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Subaru Line toll road to the 5th Station (reopened)

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Kawaguchiko Music Forest (reopened)

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World Heritage Center (reopened)

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Fuji Q Highland (reopened)

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Maglev Exhibition Center (reopened)

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Former Togawa Residence (reopened)

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Fujisan Museum (reopened)

Nikko

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Toshogu Shrine (reopened)

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Taiyuin (reopened)

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Rinnoji Temple (reopened)

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Tamozawa Villa (reopened)

Kyoto

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Sanjusangendo (reopened)

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Nanzenji Temple (reopened)

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Ryoanji Temple (reopened)

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Katsura Villa (reopened)

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Kyoto Imperial Palace (reopened)

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Nijo Castle (reopened)

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Toji Temple (reopened)

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Ninnaji Temple (reopened)

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Tofukuji Temple (reopened)

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Toei Eigamura (reopened)

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Sento Palace (reopened)

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Shugakuin Villa (reopened)

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Kyoto Tower (reopened)

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Kyoto National Museum (reopened)

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Sagano Railway (reopened)

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Kyoto Aquarium (reopened)

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Kyoto Railway Museum (reopened)

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Yamazaki Whisky Distillery (closed indefinitely)

Osaka

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Osaka Castle (reopened)

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Umeda Sky Building (reopened)

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Osaka Aquarium (reopened)

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Shitennoji Temple (reopened)

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Osaka Museum of History (reopened)

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Osaka Science Museum (reopened)

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National Museum of Art (reopened)

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Universal Studios Japan (reopened)

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Abeno Harukas (reopened)

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Grand Front Osaka (reopened)

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Asahi Beer Suita Brewery (closed indefinitely)

Nara

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Todaiji Temple (reopened)

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Kofukuji Temple (reopened)

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Horyuji Temple (reopened)

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Toshodaiji Temple (reopened)

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Nara National Museum (reopened)

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Heijo Palace (reopened)

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Isuien Garden (reopened)

Himeji

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Himeji Castle (reopened)

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Kokoen Garden (reopened)

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Shoshazan Ropeway (reopened)

Sapporo

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Sapporo Beer Museum (reopened)

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Clock Tower (reopened)

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Historic Village of Hokkaido (reopened)

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Shiroi Koibito Park (reopened)

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Okurayama Ski Jump and the Winter Sports Museum (reopened)

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Mount Moiwa (reopened)

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Several facilities at Moerenuma Park (reopened)

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Sapporo Factory (reopened)

Nagoya

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Nagoya Castle (reopened)

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Tokugawa Art Museum (reopened)

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Port of Nagoya Aquarium (reopened)

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Noritake Garden (reopened)

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Midland Square (reopened)

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Science Museum (reopened)

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Railway Museum (reopened)

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Legoland (reopened)

Kanazawa

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Kenrokuen (reopened)

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Seisonkaku Villa (reopened)

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Kanazawa Castle (reopened)

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Ninjadera (reopened)

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21st Century Museum (reopened)

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D.T. Suzuki Museum (reopened)

Takayama

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Hida Folk Village (reopened)

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Takayama Jinya (reopened)

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Takayama Yatai Kaikan (reopened)

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Matsuri no Mori (reopened)

Naoshima and nearby islands

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Chichu Museum (reopened)

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Benesse House Museum (reopened)

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Art House Project (reopened)

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I Love Yu (reopened)

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Lee Ufan Museum (reopened)

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Ando Museum (reopened)

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Art installations on Teshima Island (reopened)

Hiroshima

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Peace Memorial Museum (reopened)

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Hiroshima Castle (reopened)

Fukuoka

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Canal City (reopened)

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Uminonakamichi Park (reopened)

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Kyushu National Museum (reopened)

Nagasaki

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Atomic Bomb Museum (reopened)

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Glover Garden (reopened)

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Oura Church (reopened)

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Dejima (reopened)

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Mount Inasa (reopened)

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Cruises to Gunkanjima (reopened)

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Nagasaki Museum of History (reopened)

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Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum (reopened)

Okinawa Island

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Shikinaen Garden (reopened)

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Peace Memorial Museum (reopened)

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Okinawa World (reopened)

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Nakagusuku Castle (reopened)

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Churaumi Aquarium (reopened)

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Nakijin Castle (reopened)

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Ocean Expo Park (reopened)

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Nago Pineapple Park (reopened)

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Ryukyu Mura (reopened)

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Sefa Utaki (reopened)

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Okinawa Prefectural Museum (reopened)

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Tamaudun (reopened)

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Karate Kaikan (reopened)

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Orion Happy Park (reopened)

2019 Typhoon #19

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. Still disrupted are train sections near Fukuroda Falls and Bessho Onsen. See each page for more details.

2016 Kyushu Earthquake

Strong earthquakes hit Kyushu in April 2016. 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 Shinmoedake (Kirishima) (Level 2 - do not approach the crater)
    Closure of hiking trails.
  • Kusatsu-Shirane (Level 2 - do not approach the crater)
    No-entry zones around craters. Closure of hiking trails.