Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Japan: Travel advisory

With millions of tourists due to visit Japan in 2020, this page can help travelers to stay up to date with news about travel restrictions to Japan regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Below you’ll find information regarding whether it is currently safe to travel to Japan, essential safety measures, and the Japanese response to coronavirus.

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Shukubo: Temple lodgings in Japan

The Japanese word shukubo literally means “sleeping with the monks.” Shukubo is an accommodation experience in which the traveler lodges within a Buddhist temple. It often includes lessons in vegetarian or vegan cooking called shojin ryori, an opportunity to observe the daily life of Buddhist monks, and morning religious rituals.

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Tanabata 2020 Guide: the Summer ‘Star Festival’

Tanabata, also known as the ‘Star Festival’, is a Japanese celebration which takes place on the seventh day of the seventh month. According to Japanese folklore, this is the only day of the year when the two stars, Altair and Vega, can meet.

At this time of the year, it is tradition to write Tanabata wishes (known as tanzaku) on colorful strips of paper and hang them on Tanabata trees made from bamboo branches. People also decorate their houses and public spaces.

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Visit the best Japanese museums from home: Virtual tours

Although you may not be planning to travel around Japan with a JR Pass for a while, it’s now possible to explore some of Japan’s best museums digitally and get a good idea of what to expect when you do arrive.

It’s now entirely possible to visit a range of galleries and museums in Japan online via offer a virtual exhibition tour, simply by using the Google Arts & Culture Street View from the comfort of your sofa.

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Shinkansen Timetables: How to find and read

Although the public transportation network is incredibly efficient and Japanese trains are a great way to get around the whole the country, foreign visitors to Japan may at first have some difficulty navigating timetables and deciding which trains they need to catch.

Furthermore, while many railway, bus and ferry schedules may be published online on the website of the operators, it may often be difficult to find English-language versions.

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