Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announcing closing down of all schools for 1 month, graduation ceremonies cancelled or shortened, and all large gatherings need to be limited if not completely stopped. In order to stop the virus spreading in this vital phase, many major tourists attractions in Tokyo have started closing down, and events are being cancelled.
You want more insight into how big the virus is in Japan? Tokyo Disneyland is closing. This is the first time for such an extended closure since the 3/11 earthquake. pic.twitter.com/464QEMuIZe
— Gearoid Reidy (@GearoidReidy) February 28, 2020
The big one everyone was dreading comes as a no surprise, after the closures of other theme parks. Both Disneyland and Disneysea draw huge crowds, and the government has specifically warned against gatherings. This hasn’t happened since the big earthquake and tsunami 3/11.
Both Disney parks will be closed from February 29th until March 15th. Reopening is scheduled on March 16th. They ask all ticket holders to go to the respective website and follow refund procedures. As of now, only the Japanese website has this information, and you will not see it on the English website.
Here is the official press release http://www.olc.co.jp/ja/news/news_olc/20200228_1/main/0/link/0228.pdf (Japanese)
This comes after the closure of two other expremelly popular venues – Ghibli Museum in Mitaka and Sanrio Puroland, also known as Hello Kitty Land. Both places announced temporary closures a few days before Disney.
Tickets to Ghibli were already notoriously difficult to obtain, so people are sure to be disappointed to find out that the Ghibli Museum will be closed temporarily from February 25th until March 17th. In their official statement they also said that ticket holders will get a full refund, instead of another ticket for a later date. The refund procedure details can be found here: http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/notice/013230/
PUROLAND will be closed from February 22nd until March 12th. Just like Ghibli, they will also fully refund all tickets.
Here is the official press release: https://en.puroland.jp/special/release_lang/pdf/y2020/20200221_SET_Temporary%20Closure_EN_FNL.pdf
NEWS: Pokémon TCG Championships Canceled in Kyoto, Sanrio Puroland Closes Due to Coronavirus Outbreak
— Crunchyroll (@Crunchyroll) February 23, 2020
Read more about other venues and events that have closed down here – https://jpninfo.com/191707 (being constantly updated). Here’s just a quick run down of the major ones that have been announced as of February 28th 2020
— チームラボ / teamLab (@teamlab_news) February 28, 2020
Another tourist favourite decided to temporarily close its doors. Both teamLab Planets and Borderless museums decided to close between February 29th and March 15th 2020, to thwart coronavirus spreading. The museums are always packed, so it seems like a good decision, despite the fact that many tourists will be very rightfully disappointed.
Read on for refund details https://planets.teamlab.art/tokyo/#info
In the upcoming weeks, cultural events will suffer cancellations, with some of them already cancelling shows and some announcing that they are considering cancellations. Comedy clubs like Shinjuku Comedy Club have cancelled their shows for at least two weeks. https://www.comedyclub.tokyo/
The most prominent event cancellation is probably the AnimeJapan 2020 event that was supposed to take place from March 21-24 at Tokyo Big Sight.
O AnimeJapan 2020 vai decorrer de 21 a 24 de março no Tokyo Big Sight, mas recentemente a organização avisou que devido ao coronavírus o evento poderá ser cancelado dependendo da situação em que o Japão se encontrará naquele momento.
— AnimeSpace (@AnimeSpace050) February 17, 2020
Other events at big exhibition halls like Tokyo Big Sight and Makuhari Messe are being either cancelled or are seeing some exhibitors pulling out.
Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo Spring 2020 is not cancelled as of yet, but they have posted on their social media that they will make the decision and announce it on March 2nd.
Museums are also closing down – The National Museum of Nature and Science and The National Museum in Ueno in Tokyo will be closed from February 29th to March 15th, while The National Museum of Western Art in Ueno will be closed until March 16th; 21_21 Design Sight will be closed from February 27th to March 12th; Mori Art Museum will be closed from February 29th to March 13th as well as the Mori gallery and the Skyview on top of Mori Building in Roppongi. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatories will be closed as well. Other museums keep announcing closures, so be sure to check before going.
Also, most of the concerts in the upcming two weeks are being cancelled.
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One of the first impacts of the coronavirus outbreak was the announcement that the Tokyo Marathon would be cancelled for General participants. This isn’t a total cancellation, as about 200 elite runners would be allowed to participate, but there are 39,000 people who were set to run and will now not be allowed to. However, they’ll be allowed to participate in 2021 as long as they pay the required fees for the 2021 event.
This brings us to what the Japanese authorities are dreading the most – a potential cancellation of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games. The International Olympic Committee has yet to issue a statement on their website regarding this.
The modern Olympics, have been canceled only due to war and Tokyo has lost them once already. The 1940 Tokyo Olympics were called off because of Japan’s war with China and World War II.
For more details about Tokyo Marathon and IOC check out our article Coronavirus: What Does the Tokyo Marathon’s Cancellation Mean For the Olympics?
Other sports events
The J-League Japan’s football (soccer) competition was among the first to cancel their matches up until March 15th (almsot 100 matches total). It was followed by other sports – basketball, rugby, sumo, tennis, volleyball, golf and other sport events. The baseball matches will take place BUT the stadiums will have no audience as a precaution. The Sumo association is still debating whether to cancel its Spring Grand Tournament in Osaka scheduled for March 8th to 22nd 2020. If they cancel it, it will be a first in sumo’s long history.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is taking responsibility and stopping many events they sponsor, or at least postponing them or limiting the capacity of people. They are cancelling seminars, sports games, workshops, seasonal festivals and so on. There’s a list here https://www.seisakukikaku.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/information/event02.html that is being updated from time to time. (Japanese only)
The Japanese government has started urging companies and their employees to work from home, and whoever needs to go to work to be allowed flexible start times to avoid rush hour trains. many international companies had already started just that, with big Japanese companies like Dentsu and Shiseido following the government recommendations. JR East trains as of now have in-train announcements with that same message.
Read more about other venues and events that have closed down here – https://jpninfo.com/191707 (being constantly updated)