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Emma Steen

Emma Steen

Writer, Time Out Tokyo

Articles (113)

5 best places to get your taco fix in Tokyo

5 best places to get your taco fix in Tokyo

Gone are the days of cold, rubbery tortillas sprinkled with processed cheese – Tokyo has elevated its taco game and now boasts a wide array of eateries that specialise in this coveted Mexican dish. The tortillas are handmade with masa flour and, while imported ingredients can mean higher prices, these Tokyo establishments hit the spot if you’ve been hit with an insatiable craving for street food from the other side of the globe.  Ranging from no-nonsense authenticity to modern Tex-Mex with a Japanese twist, Tokyo has all the best spots for every kind of occasion.  RECOMMENDED: Best international restaurants in Tokyo

20 best things to do in Daikanyama

20 best things to do in Daikanyama

Here’s a little secret – the neighbourhood of Daikanyama is a lot smaller than you’re led to believe. The block is shaped like a rectangle and it takes about 10 minutes to walk from Daikanyama's train station to the other end of its perimeter. However, many of the shops and restaurants in the nearby corners of Sarugakucho (and even Meguro) like to identify as part of the Daikanyama community. And who could blame them for wanting to be a part of Tokyo’s coolest neighbourhood? While Daikanyama has earned itself a reputation as a highbrow neighbourhood of brunch spots, third wave coffee stands and designer boutiques, the area isn't as pretentious as you might think. The green-filled neighbourhood is full of local businesses where the owners know their patrons by name (like our favourite takoyaki stand Tempu) and relaxed hangouts like Spring Valley Brewery – built on disused Tokyu Line tracks – make the area more welcoming than snooty.  A mash-up of all of Tokyo’s best bits, you've got niche art galleries you might find in Roppongi mixed with the underground music venues of Shimokitazawa, lively Shibuya-style bars and enough trendy boutiques to rival Ginza – all in one place. There’s a lot going on here, with something for everyone, whether you’re into bargain hunting or fine dining, but nothing feels out of place.  To get you started exploring the neighbourhood, here’s our list of the best things to do in Daikanyama. RECOMMENDED: Explore more of the city with the 101 best thing

日本で行きたい「千と千尋の神隠し」モデルスポット6選

日本で行きたい「千と千尋の神隠し」モデルスポット6選

タイムアウト東京 > トラベル >「千と千尋の神隠し」モデルスポット6選 空に浮かぶ城から生い茂った森まで、宮崎駿の想像力は果てしない。彼が手がける異世界のいくつかは目を見張るほど美しく、まるで現実に存在するかのような説得力がある。 この記事では、長編アニメーション映画『千と千尋の神隠し』の舞台とうわさのスポットを紹介。全て製作に影響を与えたと公式に認められているわけではないが、まるで映画の中にいるような体験ができる。金具屋で温泉につかったり、海上の下灘駅で電車に乗ったりと、千尋になったつもりで訪れてみよう。 ※営業状況に関して変更となる施設もあるので、詳細は公式ウェブサイトをチェックしてほしい 関連記事『ジブリ好きのための東京ガイド』『平成を代表する長編アニメーション作品』

6 places in Japan that look like scenes from Spirited Away

6 places in Japan that look like scenes from Spirited Away

From floating castles to enchanted forests, Hayao Miyazaki’s imagination seemingly knows no bounds. Some of his otherworldly places are so eye-wateringly beautiful, it hurts to know they don’t really exist, but Ghibli fans can still access the next best thing – the places that inspired the ones seen in Miyazaki’s films.  Not everywhere on this list is acknowledged as an influence on ‘Spirited Away’, but they all look like they belong in the same mysterious spirit world. Soak in the baths of Kanaguya or catch a train at the seaside Shimonada Station and you might just find yourself feeling like a character straight out of ‘Spirited Away’. RECOMMENDED: What we know so far about the upcoming Ghibli theme park

直島で過ごすアートな休日

直島で過ごすアートな休日

タイムアウト東京 > トラベル > 直島で過ごすアートな休日 世界中から「アートの島」として注目される直島。およそ30年前に香川県の観光振興を目的に設立された「ベネッセアートサイト直島」は、犬島、男木島などいくつかの島にまたがり、それぞれの島には、インスタレーションやギャラリーが点在している。 直島に初めてアート作品が常設されたのは1989年のこと。その後は安藤忠雄による建築物や、草間彌生の『黄色いカボチャ』などが続々と誕生し、今では島全体がキャンバスのようだ。 2022年は3年に1度の『瀬戸内国際芸術祭2022』も開催中。ここでは滞在しながらアートに触れられるスポットやするべきこと、宿泊施設を紹介しよう。

Best art exhibitions in Tokyo right now

Best art exhibitions in Tokyo right now

With an abundance of art shows happening this season, it'll be hard to catch all of the latest installations before they dissapear. Nonetheless, we've got a list of the top art exhibitions taking place in some of Tokyo's most popular galleries to help you figure out where to start. For a full day of art excursions, you should also check out Tokyo's best street art and outdoor sculptures, or fill your Instagram feed at two of the hottest digital art museums: teamLab Borderless and teamLab Planets Tokyo. Note that some museums and galleries require making reservations in advance to prevent overcrowding at the venues.  RECOMMENDED: Not in Japan? You can still visit these amazing Japanese museums via virtual tours

40 best Japanese movies and series with English subtitles on Netflix

40 best Japanese movies and series with English subtitles on Netflix

If being cooped up at home all these months has made small talk and social interaction a terrifyingly foreign concept, take comfort in knowing this: the topic of Netflix can bond anyone, regardless of age, gender or social background. More than just another way to kill time, the streaming platform has become a way to travel, fall in love and live vicariously with its immense selection of movies and TV shows during this interminable pandemic.  Whether you want to be swept off your feet with impassioned romantic dramas or salivate over mouth-watering dishes in food documentaries, you’ll find everything you’re looking for right here. From gripping new thrillers to heartfelt anime, these are the best Japanese series and movies available with English subtitles on Netflix right now (note: regional restrictions may apply). RECOMMENDED: The best documentaries about Japanese food

7 Japanese words and concepts anyone can relate to

7 Japanese words and concepts anyone can relate to

As hard as we try to translate the exact nuances of a word or phrase from one language to another, sometimes we can’t help but wish certain Japanese words existed in the English vocabulary. While each word has a specific nuance to it, you’ll be surprised by how relevant they are to our daily life regardless of where you live. From Japan’s favourite greeting to a specific word reserved for when you don’t feel like answering the door (no, it’s not ‘go away!’), these words carry so much depth that you simply can’t translate them into a single and compact word in English. RECOMMENDED: Learn Japanese for free online

10 best urban breweries, wineries and distilleries in Tokyo

10 best urban breweries, wineries and distilleries in Tokyo

Whether you’re a wine lover, sake enthusiast or craft beer connoisseur, Tokyo most likely has a pint-sized place producing tipples you’ll love – and we’re not talking about cocktail bars. While there are lots of exciting day trips to take to breweries, wineries and distilleries just outside of Tokyo, the city has its own fair share of facilities for those who love world-class booze to explore.  There isn’t exactly room for any vineyards or a full-scale warehouse for storing hundreds of barrels of whisky, but a handful of determined independent makers have managed to set up base in small spaces within the metropolis to produce their own local labels. Some brands started out as a hobby, while others are passion projects run by people with a strong social conscience. Best of all, you’ll find most venues have on-site bars for tastings and many offer tours, so you can learn all about how your new favourite drink is made.  RECOMMENDED: Stock up at the best bottle shops and liquor stores in Tokyo

10 best onsen destinations in Japan

10 best onsen destinations in Japan

Hot springs, or onsen, are a big deal in Japan. Not to be confused with sento, which are usually public baths using heated tap water, onsen are comprised of volcanic spring water that's full of natural minerals, giving health benefits like clearer skin, detoxification and better blood circulation, among others. As winter descends, these onsen resorts become desirable destinations for day trips and weekend breaks, so we've rounded up six of the best. If you're a first-timer, be sure to check out our onsen etiquette guide. RECOMMENDED: The best places to go glamping in Japan

7 best secret bars in Tokyo

7 best secret bars in Tokyo

The thing about keeping secrets is that some things are too good not to share. So as much as we’d love to keep these fanciful hideouts to ourselves, we’ll spill the beans just this once in the firm belief that these hidden bars and speakeasies are so nifty that everyone ought to experience them. We’re talking cleverly concealed entrances in quiet alleyways and private tequila bars that you wouldn’t know unless a well-connected friend brought you there.  Think you know every nondescript nook and clandestine cranny Tokyo has to offer? We reckon this list says otherwise. RECOMMENDED: Japanese alcohol you didn't know existed 

Naoshima art island: the best museums, where to stay and what to do

Naoshima art island: the best museums, where to stay and what to do

Dotted along the Seto Inland Sea off the southern coast of Kagawa prefecture is a series of islands that comprise one of Japan’s largest – and more successful – art initiatives. Established roughly 30 years ago as a scheme to boost tourism in the region, the project spans several islands including Teshima, Inujima and Ogijima, each houses a series of site-specific art installations and galleries. The most famous art island of the lot, however, is Naoshima, where the first permanent artwork of the project was installed in 1989.  More than a destination that just happens to feature a lot of art, the entire island is a walkable canvas of public installations and revered buildings designed by luminary architects including Tadao Ando. You’ve seen pictures of the island’s most iconic permanent art pieces including Yayoi Kusama’s yellow pumpkin – which sadly is still missing from its rightful place at the pier – but photos will never compare to the near-transcendental experience of exploring Naoshima on foot and seeing these pieces in-person. RECOMMENDED: The Setouchi Triennale art festival is happening this year

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Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum

Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum

The posh neighbourhood of Minami Aoyama is often associated with upscale boutiques and bakeries, but the area is also chock full of small museums and galleries, which often get overlooked in favour of larger attractions in the vicinity like Meiji Jingu. Among these hidden gems is the Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum, dedicated to one of Japan’s most prominent masters of contemporary art. Born in 1911, Taro Okamoto was an artist and art theorist famous for his avant-garde paintings and sculptures that have become permanent fixtures in public spaces across Japan. These include ‘Tower of the Sun’, which served as the symbol of Expo '70 held in Osaka, as well the 60m-long mural found in Shibuya Mark City titled ‘Myth of Tomorrow’. The latter carries a poignant message as it depicts the instant of an atomic bomb explosion (you can read more about the piece here).  Opened in 1998, the museum served as Okamoto’s primary studio and residence for the last 44 years of his life. Okamoto, who moved from Japan to Paris at the age of 18, spent the beginning of his career exploring abstraction. He later went on to become the youngest member of the Abstraction-Création group in 1933. Four years later, he left the group and turned his attention to the Surrealism movement and rubbed shoulders with pioneers by the likes of Max Ernst and Man Ray.  Highlights at the museum include the back gallery, where Okamoto conceived his ‘Tower of the Sun’ sculpture and created all of his paintings from 1954. Th

One of These Days

One of These Days

3 out of 5 stars

There’s something morbidly fascinating about witnessing a group of people participating in the absurd marathon car-touching contest depicted in German filmmaker Bastian Günther’s sobering true-life drama. It follows 20 or so people in a small southern town in the US who compete in a car dealership contest in a bid to win a brand new pickup truck. The last person to remain standing with their hand on the vehicle gets to take it home.  Questions soon spring to mind: how long can the average person actually go without sleep? Is anyone here desperate enough to publicly wet themselves for this truck? Haven’t people died from doing this? Why would anyone come up with this idea in the first place?But One of These Days is keen to take you from the position of a bemused onlooker to the grim reality of being one of these sleep-deprived contestants still clinging on after 24 hours standing in unbearably hot weather. Among them is fast-food employee Kyle (Joe Cole), who struggles to make ends meet and believes that winning the contest is the key to proving himself as a worthy provider for his partner Marie (Callie Hernandez) and their infant son.  Peaky Blinders’ Joe Cole does an exceptional job as a man striving to keep his head above water  Cole does an exceptional job portraying this desperate man who is striving to keep his head above water in a tight-knit but hard-scrabble Bible Belt town. The film zeroes in, too, on Carrie Preston (True Blood) as the contest’s perky organiser Joan

Meiji Shrine & Inner Garden

Meiji Shrine & Inner Garden

Everything you need to know about visiting Meiji Shrine and its inner garden (1-1 Yoyogi-Kamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo). From its majestic torii gate and the surrounding forest to the iconic wall of sake barrels, Meiji Shrine (or Meiji Jingu) is easily the most iconic shrine in Tokyo and draws millions of visitors every year. Completed in 1920, the shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji – whose reign (1868-1912) coincided with Japan’s modernisation – and his consort, Empress Shoken. The original shrine buildings (except for Shukueisha and Minami-Shinmon) were burnt down after an air raid during World War II, so the current main buildings date back to 1958 when they were reconstructed. These structures are an impressive example of the austere style and restrained colours typical of Shinto architecture.  While the shrine is an ever-popular spot for sightseeing, it gets especially busy for Hatsumode (the first Shinto shrine visit of the New Year). Hatsumode occurs over the first three days of the New Year and is an auspicious occasion to worship and wish for good fortune. The shrine also regularly hosts numerous festivals, including two sumo dedicatory ceremonies in early January and at the end of September. You are likely to see couples dressed in wedding attire on your visit, as it is a common venue for Shinto marriage ceremonies.  Know before you go Admission is free, but if you want to experience the shrine at its most tranquil state, you might need to be up by dawn as the landm

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In photos: must-see highlights at teamLab's sensational digital art forest in Kyushu

In photos: must-see highlights at teamLab's sensational digital art forest in Kyushu

It’s difficult to name a favourite teamLab exhibit when the art collective has so many fantastical installations across Japan, but if we were to rank all of the projects the digital art wizards have done so far, this exhibition in Kyushu would be high on the list. Set in the 500,000sqm Mifuneyama Rakuen, teamLab’s A Forest Where Gods Live digital art installation is one that demonstrates how nature can become its own form of art. Set to return to Kyushu this summer, this year’s exhibition will be available from July 15 to November 6 2022. Photo: ©teamLab During the day, you can see historical landmarks like the cave of 500 stone arhats (disciples of Buddha) which were hand-carved by the monk Gyoki roughly 1,300 years ago. Photo: teamLab, ‘Life is Continuous Light - Azalea Valley’ and 'Resonating Mt. Mifuneyama' ©teamLab Return after dark, however, and the park becomes a transcendental realm where digital art transforms the site’s trees and rock formations into mystical installations. Photo: teamLab, 'Ever Blossoming Life Rock' ©teamLab ‘Ever Blossoming Life Rock’ The results are extraordinary. Even an ordinary boulder can become a canvas for a mesmerising digital artwork. The ‘Ever Blossoming Life Rock’, for instance, can be seen covered in bright blossoms that grow, flourish and wither before fading in unique, never-repeated sequences.  Photo: teamLab, ‘Universe of Water Particles on a Sacred Rock’ ©teamLab ‘Universe of Water Partic

5 best Japanese films and series coming to Netflix in May 2022

5 best Japanese films and series coming to Netflix in May 2022

We love dark documentaries and dystopian thrillers as much as the next person, but you can have too much of a good thing. With the exception of ‘Vampire in the Garden’ – which looks ultra violent – the month of May will bring more mellow and uplifting features to match the cheery spring season, with slice-of-life titles like ‘Akebi’s Sailor Uniform’ and wholesome dramas like ‘Mio’s Cookbook’. (Note: regional restrictions may apply.) The Stranger by the Beach  Synopsis: Shun Hashimoto is an aspiring novelist who lives in Okinawa after his parents disowned him for being gay. One day, he meets an orphaned high schooler on the beach called Mio and the pair slowly get to know each other before Mio abruptly announces his plans to relocate from the island into the city on the mainland. Mio eventually returns to Okinawa as a 20-year-old with the intention of professing his love for Shun, but it’s been three years since the two last met and a lot of things have changed for Shun in the interim.  Overview: ‘The Stranger by the Beach’ is a 2020 anime film adaptation based on the 'L'etranger' manga series by Kanna Kii. While the original story has been classified as a BL (boys love) manga, the anime has a surprising amount of depth to it. It also veers away from gratuitous intimate scenes that only exist for the sake of fan service. Sweet, wistful and beautifully executed, this is one of the best Japanese LGBTQ+ films on Netflix to date.  Available May 1.  Mio’s Cook

Yoyogi Park is expanding to include food and sport facilities

Yoyogi Park is expanding to include food and sport facilities

Renovations are now underway for the updated version of Yoyogi Park set for completion in 2024. On May 9, demolition began for the expansion of Yoyogi Park, which will soon stretch into a 4,000sqm patch of land across from the Yoyogi National Gymnasium and by the JR Yamanote Line. Once some of the old structures have been cleared, construction of new facilities will begin in spring 2023.  Photo: Tokyu Land Corporation The renovation of Yoyogi Park is part of a wider redevelopment project which also involves renovating Shinjuku’s Meiji Park, right beside the Japan National Stadium. The massive undertaking is a joint project between the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyu Land Corporation and Tokyu Fudosan Holdings Corporation, with the goal of creating a better connection between the city and its parks.  Photo: Tokyu Land Corporation New facilities to be built for Yoyogi Park include a skate park, a jogging track, studios for activities like yoga classes and a food hall. Rather than replace the park’s greenery with concrete, however, the new designs will see more greenery added to the area with elements like vertical gardens, rooftop vegetable gardens and extra trees planted around its perimeter.  More from Time Out  Survey: tell us what living in Tokyo is really like for you The first Time Out Market in Asia is opening in Osaka ahead of World Expo 2025 Tokyo’s massive Bicqlo Shinjuku to close this June New Trunk Hotel in Shibuya will have an infinity pool over Yoyogi Pa

A timeline of Japan’s border reopening measures: meme edition

A timeline of Japan’s border reopening measures: meme edition

We know, we know. Waiting for Japan to fully reopen its borders has been a test of patience, to say the least. The country is taking an extremely cautious approach to ease its border restrictions, but we would like to be optimistic about the prospects of Japan welcoming tourists again soon.  While the government has pledged to make Japan as accessible as other G7 countries from June, we’re still waiting on a tangible roadmap that we can use to finally begin drafting travel plans. Bear with us – we’ll do our best to update you as quickly and accurately as possible on Japan’s reopening plans as more announcements are expected in the coming weeks.  In the meme time, here’s an ultra informal timeline of Japan’s border reopening scheme from January 2022 onwards. (You can find a more detailed rundown of Japan’s border rules here).  January 2022: Tokyo and several other prefectures in Japan are put under quasi-state of emergency. Majority of foreign non-residents have been unable to enter Japan since April 2020.  Photo: imgflip March 1 2022: Japan reopens to business travellers and foreign students, but remains closed to tourists. Photo: StockLite/Shutterstock March 21 2022: Japan lifts quasi-emergency measures, business establishments no longer asked to shorten operating hours. April 2022: Government announces the lifting of entry ban of 106 countries, but tourists are still barred from visiting Japan. Photo: imgflip May 2022: Japan’s tourism industry submits

Here's the plot and trailer for Makoto Shinkai’s new anime Suzume no Tojimari

Here's the plot and trailer for Makoto Shinkai’s new anime Suzume no Tojimari

Acclaimed Japanese director Makoto Shinkai is back with a new sneak peek for his upcoming tri-annual feature film – and it's everything you can expect from the ‘Kimi no Na Wa’ (‘Your Name’) creator. The new film, titled ‘Suzume no Tojimari’ (English title TBC), is set to be released in Japan on November 11, with production for the anime now underway. The new teaser doesn’t give away much, but promises plenty of open blue skies and shimmery ocean views that are emblematic of Shinkai’s magical worlds.  Photo: ©2022SNTFP The story centres on a 17-year-old girl in Kyushu called Suzume, who one day encounters a mysterious time traveller who tells Suzume he is looking for a door. Photo: ©2022SNTFP When Suzume follows him to the mountains to locate the door in question and opens it, it triggers a domino effect where doors that seemingly lead to nowhere all across Japan burst open one by one. It soon becomes evident that it is up to Suzume to close each door to save the world from collapsing. Photo: ©2022SNTFP  ‘Suzume no Tojimari’ will debut in Japanese cinemas on November 11 and will be distributed in all major territories from early 2023.  More from time Out Survey: tell us what living in Tokyo is really like for you 5 best Japanese films and series coming to Netflix in May 2022 Here’s how to get tickets for Ghibli Park – and what they cost It’s happening: Japan to reopen borders from June Naoshima’s missing pumpkin sculpture could return this year Want to be the f

The first Time Out Market in Asia is opening in Osaka ahead of World Expo 2025

The first Time Out Market in Asia is opening in Osaka ahead of World Expo 2025

Osaka’s food scene is set to get all the more exciting in the near future with the opening of Time Out Market’s first location in Asia slated for 2025. The world’s first editorially curated food and culture market, Time Out Market started in Lisbon in 2014 and has since expanded successfully to other world cities. There are now seven Markets around the globe, including Miami, New York, Boston, Montreal, Chicago and Dubai, and more locations are in the pipeline. The new Time Out Market Osaka – in partnership with real estate developer Hankyu Hanshin Properties Corporation – will arrive ahead of Expo 2025 during what is bound to be a historic year for Osaka.  Photo: Eva SakellaridesTime Out Market Boston The upcoming locale is more than just a food hall. Time Out Market Osaka will bring the best of the city under one roof, all based on the editorial curation Time Out has always been known for. It will be a cultural and culinary hub that supports local businesses and enables people to connect with the city through eating and drinking as well as fun events and workshops. Spanning 31,000 sq ft, Time Out Market Osaka will boast a handpicked selection of 15 eateries, as well as two bars, brought to you from the city’s best chefs, restaurateurs and mixologists.  Photograph: Jaclyn RivasTime Out Market Chicago Here you’ll be able to taste dishes from Osaka’s trendsetting eateries, and the city’s top culinary talents will have a chance to showcase their creations to a wider crowd a

訪日観光客、5月中にも試験的に小規模ツアーで受け入れへ

訪日観光客、5月中にも試験的に小規模ツアーで受け入れへ

観光経済新聞によると、内閣総理大臣の岸田文雄は2022年6月から、ほかの主要7カ国(G7)諸国と同様に外国人が来日しやすい環境を日本に整える旨を明らかにした。それ以来、日本の水際対策緩和についてはさまざまな見解が交わされている。 一部では、試験的な観光客受け入れから始まって、時間をかけて徐々に開放されると報道されてきた。共同通信によると、5月にこうした小規模ツアーを試行した後、6月には観光客や外国人旅行者の本格的な受け入れが計画されているという。 また、テレビ朝日の報道では、小規模ツアーについて、国土交通省は5月17日、5月下旬から米国、オーストラリア、タイ、シンガポールの4カ国から試験的に受け入れるとを明らかにした。入国には、新型コロナウイルス感染症のワクチンを3回接種済みで、旅行会社が行動管理することが条件。この結果をもとにガイドラインを策定するという。 これらの経緯を踏まえ、観光ビザで渡航する人々を受け入れるかは、早ければ5月中旬にも正式に決定される可能性もあるだろう。実現すれば、2020年以来初めて公に観光客を迎えることになりそうだ。 なお、政府は6月から1日当たりの入国者数上限を、1万人程度から2万人に倍増させることも決定している。 原文はこちら 関連記事 『政府、6月から1日当たり入国者数を2万人に倍増へ』 『観光業界が外国人観光客の受け入れの早期再開を国に要望』 『日本の入国規制について知っておくべきこと』 『ディズニーがコロナ禍で変わった6のこと』  『日本の渡航制限は「あまりにも厳しく、非現実的」読者調査で分かった本音』  東京の最新情報をタイムアウト東京のメールマガジンでチェックしよう。登録はこちら

Japan’s new Covid-19 border rules explained

Japan’s new Covid-19 border rules explained

Covid-19 restrictions are ever-changing and it can be hard to keep track of new information on Japan’s border restrictions. To bring you up to speed on the latest rule changes, we’ve answered some of the most common questions regarding Japan's current border restrictions.  The following information is based on the government's recent decision to ease border restrictions, effective March 1 2022.  Who can enter Japan? As of March 1, foreign residents, business travellers and foreign students are allowed to enter Japan – but the borders are unfortunately still closed to tourists. If you’re a returning resident of Japan or travelling for business or study purposes, read on. If you’ve been waiting to visit Japan on holiday, bear with us! There are plans to further relax border restrictions from June so that Japan can be as accessible as other G7 countries. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as more information becomes available.  Note: spouses and children of Japanese nationals as well as of foreign nationals who hold Long Term Resident status are categorised as having ‘exceptional circumstances’, which allows them to re-enter Japan regardless of the current travel restrictions. See the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more information on who can enter Japan under exceptional circumstances.  What do I need to enter Japan? Currently, you need to prepare the following documents before departure: A Covid-19 test certificate acquired within 72 hours of departure

Japan will allow tourists to enter on a trial basis this month

Japan will allow tourists to enter on a trial basis this month

There’s been a lot of speculation on Japan’s border reopening measures ever since Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced a goal to make Japan as accessible as other G7 countries from June. Some reports have suggested that Japan’s reopening will be a long and gradual process beginning with a trial tourism scheme, but according to Kyodo News, the government is now planning for a full-scale reception of tourists and foreign visitors in June.  On Tuesday May 17, government officials revealed that Japan is set to begin accepting some tourists on a trial basis from four countries – the US, Australia, Thailand, Singapore – later this month. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, travellers from the aforementioned countries will be allowed to enter Japan as long as they have received three Covid-19 vaccinations and are part of a government-approved tour group with a fixed itinerary.  The decision to reopen Japan to people who are travelling on tourist visas could be officially announced as early as this week. This will be the first time that Japan has welcomed tourists since 2020.  In addition to reopening borders to tourists, the government is also set to double its daily entry cap from 10,000 to 20,000 people in June.  For more information, see our breakdown of Japan's current border rules. This article was originally published at 12.25pm and updated at 3.54pm on May 17. More from Time Out  Survey: tell us what living in Tokyo is really like for

The new Gran Regalo Asagiri glamping site in Shizuoka has a stunning view of Mt Fuji

The new Gran Regalo Asagiri glamping site in Shizuoka has a stunning view of Mt Fuji

There are few buildings in Tokyo where on a clear day – if you squint hard enough – you can spot the snow-capped peak of Mt Fuji in the far distance. But nothing beats seeing Japan’s most iconic mountain up close with no skyscrapers obstructing your view. Photo: Booking Resort At the new Gran Regalo Asagiri glamping site opening in Shizuoka this month, you can look at Mt Fuji all day and gaze up at the starry night sky after sundown. Fujinomiya city, where the glamping site is found, is roughly a two-hour train journey to the south of Tokyo. It also sits at a higher altitude than Tokyo, which means that the area is comfortably cooler during summer.  Photo: Booking Resort There are eight dome-shaped tents, each can accommodate up to four people. Every tent comes with its own deck for private barbecues, as well as separate bathroom and shower so you won’t have to share facilities with other guests. One tent in particular even has a small dog run attached for those who are travelling with their furkid.  Photo: Booking Resort Rates start at ¥19,360 per person per night without meals, while packages that include breakfast and dinner start at roughly ¥33,000 per person. Dinner spread includes grilled Asagiri pork, rainbow trout carpaccio and prime ribs, but guests who opt to bring their own ingredients have the option of using the barbecue grill for a flat fee of ¥4,180.  Photo: Booking Resort Gran Regalo Asagiri is opening on April 23. You can now book your stay online.  M

政府、6月から1日当たり入国者数を2万人に倍増へ

政府、6月から1日当たり入国者数を2万人に倍増へ

日本政府は、2022年5月11日、外国人の1日当たり新規入国者数を、これまでの1万人程度から6月には2万人程度に倍増する方針を明らかにした。時事通信の報道によると、内閣総理大臣の岸田文雄は、感染防止を優先する姿勢から社会経済活動を重視する方向に徐々に軸足を移していく姿勢を打ち出してきた。今回の措置は、こうした水際対策緩和の一環と考えられる。 パンデミックが起きて以来、日本は在留資格のない外国人の入国を禁止してきた。3月にはビジネス関係の出張者や技能実習生、留学生の受け入れが認められたが、観光客は依然として入国できない状況が続いている。  しかし、そうした現状にも光明が差し込んできた。早ければ5月中にも、新型コロナウイルス感染症ワクチンの接種を受けた旅行者を試験的に受け入れるとの報道があったのだ。ブルームバーグによると、日本は観光を大々的に再開する前に、まず旅程が決まっている小規模なツアー客に対して開いていく予定だという。 日本経済新聞でも、ゴールデンウィーク中に発生した新規感染者数を検討してから2週間以内には、観光ビザの発給を再開するか最終的に決定する予定だ。  関連記事 『東京のベストを決めるアワード、受賞店舗が決定』 『二子玉川にアジア料理店「88 Asia」が登場、バインミーは鳥羽周作直伝レシピ』 『上野公園で台湾グルメを満喫、「台湾フェスティバル™」が開催』 『映画監督のヴィム・ヴェンダースが来日、新作は渋谷のトイレが舞台』 『豊洲に江戸の街並み、千客万来施設の概要発表』 東京の最新情報をタイムアウト東京のメールマガジンでチェックしよう。登録はこちら  

観光業界が外国人観光客の受け入れの早期再開を国に要望

観光業界が外国人観光客の受け入れの早期再開を国に要望

5月12日、日本の観光業界の関係者グループが国土交通省に対し、外国人観光客に対する日本の国境開放を求める正式な要望書を提出した。NHKによると要望書を提出した団体は、旅行会社で作る日本旅行業協会や日本ホテル協会、航空大手やJRグループなどだ。 要望書では、日本が1日当たりの入国制限を完全に撤廃し、外務省が新型コロナウイルスの警戒レベルを引き下げるよう求めている。また、観光目的の入国を認めていない国は、極めて少数派になっていると指摘した。 首相の岸田文雄はすでに、日本がほかの主要7カ国(G7)と同じように、来月にも国境規制を緩和する計画を発表しているが、具体的なロードマップがないため、多くの人々が不安を感じている。 観光産業関係者だけでなく、経済を懸念する日本の政治家の中にも、景気回復のために国境を完全に開放するよう政府に要求する人は少なくない。宮城県知事の村井嘉浩もその一人で、5月9日の記者会見で、「諸外国よりも日本は慎重だった。このタイミングでの緩和は遅いぐらいだ」と述べている。 関連記事 『東京のベストを決めるアワード、受賞店舗が決定』 『二子玉川にアジア料理店「88 Asia」が登場、バインミーは鳥羽周作直伝レシピ』 『上野公園で台湾グルメを満喫、「台湾フェスティバル™」が開催』 『映画監督のヴィム・ヴェンダースが来日、新作は渋谷のトイレが舞台』 『豊洲に江戸の街並み、千客万来施設の概要発表』 東京の最新情報をタイムアウト東京のメールマガジンでチェックしよう。登録はこちら