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Travel Alerts and Disaster Updates

Latest news on events affecting travel in Japan

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Coronavirus Outbreak

The outbreak of the coronavirus is having a big impact on tourism in Japan. While restrictions on domestic tourism have been lifted, Japan'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 virtually closed

Domestic Situation

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 from April 7 to May 25, requesting people to stay home and certain businesses to close. 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. Restrictions on businesses have been lifted.

All restrictions on inter-prefectural travel were lifted on June 19, and in late July, the Go To Travel campaign was started to encourage tourism, offering residents of Japan a 50% cost reduction on domestic travel until early 2021.

Inside the cities, public transportation has never been greatly affected; however, airlines and long-distance bus companies have considerably cut their services, and seasonal and tourist trains have been suspended, although services have been increased again. Intercity trains have mostly resumed operating according to their regular timetables after a reduction of services in May and early June.

International Travel Restrictions

Japan is currently refusing entry to non-Japanese people who have been to any of over 150 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 to foreign residents of Japan or under special circumstances.

Japan is also temporarily suspending visa exemptions with many countries, making it necessary for visitors to apply for a visa before traveling to Japan.

Arriving travelers who have recently visited a country affected by the coronavirus or who show coronavirus symptoms will have to take a coronavirus test at the airport and wait for the test results to arrive, which usually takes 2-3 hours. Furthermore, all arriving travelers, including those who did not get tested, will have to undergo a self-quarantine at a designated location (usually at a hotel or at home) 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.

A gradual reopening of Japan's borders towards short-time visitors is being prepared. In a first step, a new system, called "Business Track", was started on September 18, allowing business travelers from Singapore to skip the quarantine if they test negative once before departure and once after arrival. However, they still have to go through a time-consuming application procedure, submit a schedule of activities, install a coronavirus contact tracing app and must not use public transportation for two weeks after arrival.

It is currently undecided when tourists will again be able to enter the country.

Closures and cancellations

Most tourist attractions in Japan were closed in April and May; however since late May, a large number of them have reopened. Only a few remain closed now. Most events and festivals nationwide have been cancelled or postponed. 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

Tokyo Tower (reopened 5/28)

Tokyo Government Building observation decks (reopened 7/1)

Toyosu Market (reopened 6/8)

Kyu Shiba Rikyu (reopened 6/1)

Tokyo Disneyland (reopened 7/1)

Tokyo DisneySea (reopened 7/1)

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

Imperial East Gardens (reopened 6/2)

Hama Rikyu (reopened 6/1)

Rikugien (reopened 6/1)

Edo Open Air Museum (reopened 6/2)

Shinjuku Gyoen (reopened 6/2)

Koishikawa Korakuen (reopened 6/1)

Koishikawa Botanical Garden (reopened 8/4)

Kiyosumi Garden (reopened 6/1)

Ghibli Museum (reopened 7/26)

Institute for Nature Study (reopened 6/1)

Sumida Hokusai Museum (reopened 6/2)

Tokyo National Museum (reopened 6/2)

Tokyo Skytree (reopened 6/1)

Sumida Aquarium (reopened 6/15)

Edo-Tokyo Museum (reopened 6/2)

Yokohama

Ramen Museum (reopened 7/7)

Sankeien Garden (reopened 6/1)

Zoorasia (reopened 6/11)

Kirin Beer Factory (closed indefinitely)

Cupnoodles Museum (reopened 7/1)

Hakkeijima Sea Paradise (reopened 6/1)

Kamakura

Great Buddha (reopened 6/1)

Hasedera Temple (reopened 5/18)

Engakuji Temple (reopened 6/1)

Kenchoji Temple (reopened 6/1)

Hakone

Sightseeing cruises on Lake Ashinoko (reopened 6/1)

Hakone Checkpoint (reopened 5/27)

Hakone Open Air Museum (reopened 6/8)

Gotemba Premium Outlets (reopened 5/29)

Pola Museum (reopened 6/1)

Hakone Glass no Mori (reopened 6/1)

Okada Museum of Art (reopened 5/30)

Narukawa Art Museum (reopened 5/27)

Hakone Ropeway (reopened 5/30)

Komagatake Ropeway (reopened 6/1)

Around Mount Fuji

Subaru Line toll road to the 5th Station (reopened 6/15)

Kubota Itchiku Museum (reopened 5/30)

Kawaguchiko Music Forest (reopened 6/5)

World Heritage Center (reopened 5/22)

Fuji Q Highland (reopened 5/23)

Maglev Exhibition Center (reopened 6/2)

Iyashi no Sato (reopened 6/20)

Former Togawa Residence (reopened 5/27)

Fujisan Museum (reopened 5/27)

Nikko

Toshogu Shrine (reopened 6/1)

Taiyuin (reopened 6/1)

Rinnoji Temple (reopened 6/1)

Tamozawa Villa (reopened 5/18)

Kyoto

Sanjusangendo (reopened 6/15)

Nanzenji Temple (reopened 6/1)

Ryoanji Temple (reopened 5/25)

Katsura Villa (reopened 5/23)

Kyoto Imperial Palace (reopened 5/23)

Nijo Castle (reopened 5/18)

Toji Temple (reopened 6/1)

Ninnaji Temple (reopened 5/22)

Tofukuji Temple (reopened 5/25)

Toei Eigamura (reopened 6/15)

Sento Palace (reopened 5/23)

Shugakuin Villa (reopened 5/23)

Kyoto Tower (reopened 6/1)

2020 Jidai Matsuri (cancelled)

Kyoto National Museum (reopened 6/2)

Sagano Railway (reopened 6/13)

Kyoto Aquarium (reopened 6/15)

Kyoto Railway Museum (reopened 6/15)

Yamazaki Whisky Distillery (closed indefinitely)

Osaka

Osaka Castle (reopened 5/20)

Umeda Sky Building (reopened 5/26)

Osaka Aquarium (reopened 6/1)

Shitennoji Temple (reopened 6/8)

Osaka Museum of History (reopened 6/1)

Osaka Science Museum (reopened 5/21)

National Museum of Art (reopened 6/2)

Universal Studios Japan (reopened 6/8)

Abeno Harukas (reopened 5/21)

Grand Front Osaka (reopened 5/22)

Asahi Beer Suita Brewery (closed indefinitely)

Nara

Todaiji Temple (reopened 6/1)

Kofukuji Temple (reopened 6/1)

Horyuji Temple (reopened 5/21)

Toshodaiji Temple (reopened 6/1)

Nara National Museum (reopened 6/1)

Heijo Palace (reopened 6/2)

Isuien Garden (reopened 6/1)

Himeji

Himeji Castle (reopened 5/28)

Kokoen Garden (reopened 5/28)

Shoshazan Ropeway (reopened 6/1)

Sapporo

Sapporo Beer Museum (reopened 8/7)

Clock Tower (reopened 6/1)

Historic Village of Hokkaido (reopened 5/26)

Shiroi Koibito Park (reopened 7/11)

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

Mount Moiwa (reopened 6/1)

Several facilities at Moerenuma Park (reopened 6/1)

Sapporo Factory (reopened 5/30)

Nagoya

Nagoya Castle (reopened 6/1)

Tokugawa Art Museum (reopened 6/2)

Port of Nagoya Aquarium (reopened 5/25)

Noritake Garden (reopened 6/9)

Midland Square (reopened 6/1)

Science Museum (reopened 6/2)

Railway Museum (reopened 6/3)

Legoland (reopened 5/23)

Kanazawa

Kenrokuen (reopened 6/1)

Seisonkaku Villa (reopened 6/1)

Kanazawa Castle (reopened 6/1)

Ninjadera (reopened 9/5)

21st Century Museum (reopened 6/27)

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

Takayama

Hida Folk Village (reopened 6/19)

Takayama Jinya (reopened 6/19)

Takayama Yatai Kaikan (reopened 6/1)

2020 Autumn Takayama Festival (cancelled)

Matsuri no Mori (reopened 6/1)

Naoshima and nearby islands

Chichu Museum (reopened 6/2)

Benesse House Museum (reopened 6/1)

Art House Project (reopened 6/20)

I Love Yu (reopened 6/20)

Lee Ufan Museum (reopened 6/2)

Ando Museum (reopened 6/20)

Art installations on Inujima Island (reopened 6/1)

Art installations on Teshima Island (reopened 7/11)

Hiroshima

Hiroshima Castle (reopened 6/1)

Fukuoka

Canal City (reopened 5/16)

Uminonakamichi Park (reopened 5/19)

Kyushu National Museum (reopened 6/2)

Nagasaki

Atomic Bomb Museum (reopened 6/1)

Glover Garden (reopened 6/1)

Oura Church (reopened 6/1)

Dejima (reopened 6/1)

2020 Nagasaki Kunchi (cancelled)

Mount Inasa (reopened 6/1)

Cruises to Gunkanjima (reopened 6/5)

Nagasaki Museum of History (reopened 5/25)

Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum (reopened 5/25)

Okinawa Island

Shikinaen Garden (reopened 9/8)

Peace Memorial Museum (reopened 9/6)

Okinawa World (reopened 7/3)

Nakagusuku Castle (reopened 9/7)

Churaumi Aquarium (reopened 9/6)

Nakijin Castle (reopened 9/6)

Ocean Expo Park (reopened 9/6)

Nago Pineapple Park (reopened 7/4)

Ryukyu Mura (closed indefinitely)

Sefa Utaki (reopened 9/7)

Okinawa Prefectural Museum (reopened 9/6)

Tamaudun (reopened 9/8)

Karate Kaikan (reopened 9/6)

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. 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.
  • 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.