Joya no Kane, the ringing of the temple bell 108 times to cast out the 108 earthly desires for the New Year, will mostly not be available for visitors again this year. Like last year, the only temple in Suginami offering the experience is Myohoji Temple in south Koenji. On New Year’s Eve the temple will close its gates at 4:00pm and reopen at 11:30pm, when 100 tickets will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. The ringing of Myohoji’s large cast iron bell will be possible for those 100 people (1 ring each, while temple monks will assumedly be ringing off the remaining 8 rings) from midnight until 1:00am, the first hour of 2022.
The travel situation has still not improved, but we wish everyone a happy New Year. Here’s hoping Japan can open its doors to visitors in 2022.
This year Trolls in the Park is on as usual, and considering it is an outdoor event there are few restrictions that would cause its cancellation. The event runs until Tuesday, November 23, which is a holiday, “Labor Thanksgiving Day.” On the same day, the Bikkuri Street Performance event will held for one day in Koenji. This was postponed from its usual schedule in spring. Also the annual stunning Otaguro Park fall foliage illumination will also be open this year from November 26th until December 5th. As usual, please wear masks and keep social distance. Please check the links for more details. We hope next year will return to normal event schedules!
Experience Suginami Tokyo and the Chuosen Aruaru Project have once again collaborated with Matcha, a leading Japan travel web magazine. As we approach a time when we can once again travel, this may be a good source to whet your appetite for some local Tokyo adventures. Please check the link here: https://matcha-jp.com/en/aruaru (external link to Matcha’s site) You can find some videos that introduce our lovely area of Tokyo, plus an article about TV shows and anime locations in Suginami as well as one giving ideas for a local stroll.
Japan’s 4th State of Emergency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic was extended until September 30th, but it will finally end on October 1st. This means restaurants and bars will be open after 8pm again, as well as other entertainment being able to reopen. At the same time on October 1st, quarantine restrictions for those entering the country will be slightly eased. Previously Japan made no distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, but from Oct. 1 the self-isolation period for people vaccinated against COVID-19 will be reduced from 14 days to 10 days, although some countries with heightened risk will have more strict rules. As usual, please check the links from our Emergency and Useful Information page for updates and more detailed terms.