Japan closing for March...

The government has ordered all schools to close until April. Graduation ceremonies and many public festivals have been canceled. The Studio Ghibli Museum has shut down until March 17th, hoping it will be safe to re-open by then. The US State Department has a level 2 advisory on travel to Japan, instructing travellers to “exercise increased caution”.

I keep checking to make sure our flights haven’t been canceled. And I really need to get rid of the last of the usual sinus infection that followed the cold I had at the beginning of February; I don’t think even the slightest cough or sniffle will amuse the Immigration counter at Haneda.

The good news is that we’re unlikely to get stuck in a huge sweaty crowd at Immigration this time. If they’re still letting people in at all by then…

As for what to do once we’re there, crowds are out. I suspect the monthly craft and flea markets will all be canceled. Popular shopping areas like Teramachi and Nishiki will either be ghost towns or very off our list. This may end up being a temple/museum/restaurant trip with carefully-selected shopping.

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