[Update, September 11] NHK and Japan Today have reported that Tokyo will be added to the Go to Travel campaign starting from October 1, after Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike lowered the coronavirus alert level. Starting in October, Japan residents can use the campaign discounts (up to 50 percent) to travel to and from Tokyo.
[Update, September 10] Tokyo was initially excluded from the Go to Travel campaign due to its rising Covid-19 coronavirus cases. However, since the number of confirmed cases has been decreasing since mid-August, the Japan tourism board is thinking of adding Tokyo back into the domestic travel campaign on October 1. Coronavirus monitoring experts will hold a meeting today to discuss the safety of including Tokyo, then the tourism board will consult with the experts on September 11. Currently, Tokyo is at a stage two alert, which means there has not yet been a significant drop in the number of coronavirus inpatients and deaths.
If and when Tokyo is added into Go to Travel, people will be able to use the campaign discounts to travel to and from the city.
[August 26] Even though the days are still hot, we’re faced with the undeniable truth: summer is almost over. Obon, Japan’s biggest summer holiday, has passed and September is just around the corner. Even though autumn calls for school and work, there might be a chance for Tokyoites to take a delayed summer vacation. Japan’s Go to Travel campaign, a travel subsidy that offers up to 50 percent off domestic travel, is currently ongoing and is expected to end early next year. The programme started on July 22, and in a bold move, decided to exclude Tokyo from the campaign due to the capital's increasing numbers of Covid-19 coronavirus cases.
Since Tokyo has been reporting fewer numbers in recent days, the government is considering adding the city to the campaign. According to The Japan Times, Economic Revitalization Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said, ‘The government will make a decision at a subcommittee meeting in September, while analyzing the infection situation.’ If Tokyo is added back into the campaign, that means Tokyoites can travel outside of the prefecture and others can travel into Tokyo with the discount.
We can only hope Tokyo will be added into the campaign for autumn and winter so us city slickers can enjoy the countryside fall foliage and go skiing. In the meantime, we’ll be making our travel bucket lists while discovering Tokyo and its surroundings.