Shibuya Sky at Shibuya Scramble Square

Coronavirus updates: Attractions and venues in Tokyo that are still open

Some venues may be closed for now to curb the spread of Covid-19, but Tokyo's not on lockdown – there's still lots to do

By Youka Nagase
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Since the arrival of Covid-19 coronavirus, Tokyoites have been frantically running around panic-buying toilet paper, masks, cleaning supplies and various other daily necessities. While many major attractions and museums in Tokyo and across Japan have closed their doors for two (or even three) weeks to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus, there's still plenty to see and do in Tokyo. Department stores are still open, albeit with reduced hours, and here are our recommendations of things you can still do in Tokyo despite all the frenzy. 

RECOMMENDED: How to protect yourself from coronavirus while in Tokyo/Japan

Zojoji Temple

Attractions Religious buildings and sites Shiba-Koen

The main temple of the Buddhist Jodo sect in the Kanto area, Zojo-ji was built in 1393 and moved to its present location in 1598. In the 17th century 48 temples stood on this site. The main hall has been destroyed three times by fire in the last century, the current building being a 1970s reconstruction. The most historic element is the Sangedatsumon main gate – dating back to 1605, it’s the oldest wooden structure in Tokyo. 

Sensoji Temple

Attractions Religious buildings and sites Asakusa

Kaminarimon Gate, the colossal vermillion entrance to Sensoji Temple, metropolitan Tokyo’s oldest and most popular temple, is quintessential old-school Tokyo, and the temple itself is a sight to behold, too.

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Meiji Shrine
Photo: Niphon Subsri/Dreamstime

Meiji Shrine & Inner Garden

Attractions Religious buildings and sites Harajuku

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. 

Daiso Harajuku

Shopping Harajuku

Whether you're looking for household products or cheap souvenirs, you're sure to find what you need at this three-floor ¥100 shop, a prominent landmark on Harajuku's Takeshita-dori shopping street. Daiso makes life easier for international shoppers by offering floor guides in English as well as Japanese, while some of the staff can also speak English. 

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3331 Arts Chiyoda

Art Suehirocho

Opened in March 2010, the site of the former Rensei Junior High School may still look like an educational institution from the outside, but its interiors have been transformed to serve a very different purpose. Each classroom is dedicated to a gallery or creative space, whose occupants are free to experiment with the interior any way they choose. 

Daikanyama Tsutaya Books

Shopping Bookshops Daikanyama

In a perfect world, all bookshops would be like this. It's easy to lose hours thumbing through the selections here, which include a good range of English-language titles, art books, antique tomes and magazine back issues. 

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Tsukiji street snacks | Time Out Tokyo
Photo by Kisa Toyoshima

Tsukiji Market

Shopping Tsukiji

The Tsukiji Shijo (market), usually just referred to as Tsukiji, holds a special place within Japan’s food culture. Although the inner market has moved to Toyosu, there are still plenty of restaurants, food stalls, and takeaways at the outer market, which functions as a shopping district and food hub.

Oedo Onsen Monogatari
nosemasa

Oedo Onsen Monogatari

Health and beauty Spas Aomi

In addition to housing natural hot spring baths, open-air baths, saunas and more, this Edo era onsen theme park also does a line in festivals, fortune telling, places to drink and dine, shopping, and even overnight accommodation. Oedo Onsen Monogatari houses six different type of baths, including one in which you can lie down (‘neyu’), a lukewarm bath ideal for summer (‘nuruyu’) and a special bath for dogs (‘Tsunayoshi Bath Tub’). 

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Yoyogi Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Harajuku

Get back to nature without straying too far from the nearest Starbucks with an outing to Yoyogi Park. This ever-popular spot in central Tokyo occupies the site of Japan's first successful powered aircraft flight, and later the athletes' village during the 1964 Olympics. The north side is a lush sprawl of trees and greenery where city slickers can take a break from the crush or let their pets roam free at the dog run. The south side has an event plaza and open-air stage that hosts many of Tokyo’s larger festivals, including the annual Earth Day, Thai Festival and One Love Jamaica. The park is open 24 hours, and includes a parking lot. You'll find Meiji Shrine, NHK, Shibuya Ax and the National Gymnasium (Kokuritsu Yoyogi Kyogijo) nearby.

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