The cherry blossoms have started to open in Tokyo, so we can expect full bloom in around 2 weeks, though many predictions for full bloom are March 23. To reduce the spreading of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), it is urged that those who want to enjoy the cherry blossoms this year please enjoy a stroll through the areas rather than typical “hanami” picnics with eating and drinking in groups. Also please respect cough etiquette and do your part to prevent the spread of the virus. Along the Zenpukuji River at Zenpukuji-Gawa Green Park is one great place for your sakura stroll.
Recently in Japan many events have been cancelled and traveling to Japan has also been discouraged due to the Coronavirus outbreak. You may have been planning a trip here and decided to cancel, or you may already be visiting and not sure how to handle the situation. The most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus/COVID-19 in Japan (and abroad) can be found on the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website. You can find that information on our Emergency & Useful Info page. We plan to add other helpful links there also.
We have added more guides/maps such as Nishi-Ogikubo’s antique District, Koenji’s Nightlife, and a general guide to the Suginami Area, so be sure to check our Maps & Info page, where you can view or download the PDF’s.
It’s the holiday season, and in Japan many people go to a Buddhist Temple on New Year’s Eve for “Joya no Kane” (Ringing of the temple bell for a purified New Year) and after the new year begins, most people go to Shinto Shrines for “Hatsumode” to pray for a prosperous New Year. Suginami, Tokyo has great Temple options for New Year’s Eve and Shrine options for New Year’s, so be sure to check our Temples and Shrines page! Before you go to Shrines to pray for the New Year, you may also want to check our handy manga guide, How to Pray at Shrines.