Japan has always had a high standard of hygiene and cleanliness, which is deeply instilled in their culture. Everyone does their part, from students cleaning their classrooms daily to citizens wearing masks when they are sick. Furthermore, in order to make post COVID-19 travel as safe as possible, Japan has been implementing extensive protocols to manage and control the virus. New health and safety measures have been implemented in trains, airplanes, hotels and popular tourist spots. Let us look towards a brighter future as we introduce to you the current safety measures being taken by Japan.
Japan has always been famous for its high standards of hygiene and cleanliness. This culture of cleaning up after oneself is deeply ingrained in Japanese society. It was showcased during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where Japanese fans were spotted cleaning up the stadium after their team’s victory over Columbia. It impressed people from all over the world and reminded everyone of the importance for caring for the planet.
This clean culture is instilled into Japanese people from early childhood. Children take responsibility at an early age, cleaning their school classrooms and hallways after classes have concluded. Some even volunteer to clean up their neighborhood in groups over the weekend. Cleaning up after football matches is merely an extension of basic behaviors that are taught during childhood in schools and households all over Japan.
Even before this pandemic, Japanese society has seen the consistent use of face masks worn when someone feels ill. Japan’s history of mask-wearing dates back as long ago as the 1920s. In Japan, wearing a face mask when you are ill is a matter of social responsibility and not wanting to put others in harm’s way. The habit has become second nature, as have other hygienic customs such as bowing rather than shaking hands and taking off one’s shoes when one enters a household.
In preparation for the international travel being resumed, its vital that all forms of travel are safe to use. It’s also important that all travel venues, such as accommodation and tourist attractions, are equally safe. Japan has implemented various new health and safety protocols so that foreign and domestic travellers alike are able to travel in the safest conditions possible post COVID-19?
Photo via Aviation wire/ Aviation Wire
Japan’s major airlines ANA (All Nippon Airways) and JAL (Japan Airlines) have put in place new requirements and safety precautions to provide a safe and comfortable flight. During check-in and security checks social distancing markers have been put in place as well as vinyl sheets to prevent the spread of infection. Disinfection of equipment is done regularly and temperature checks of passengers are taken at the security area. During the flight, cabin attendants wear face masks and gloves and antibacterial wipes are available. Furthermore, ANA and JAL’s aircraft are disinfected thoroughly. Frequently touched surfaces such as seats and handles are regularly wiped with alcohol-based cleaning agents. Both ANA and JAL aircraft have clean air drawn in from outside, which is then processed through high quality filters, replacing the entire cabin’s air in around 3 minutes. The air within the aircraft is never stagnant and is constantly being circulated even when the plane is on the ground.
ANA’s Official Website:https://www.ana.co.jp/en/jp/topics/coronavirus-travel-information/initiative/
JAL’s Official Website:https://www.jal.co.jp/uk/en/info/travelalerts/flysafe/protection-measures/jal/
Photo via Sankei Photo
JR East and JR West, two of the major Japanese train lines, have implemented strict safety measures to ensure you can travel with peace of mind. In addition to regular cleaning, they also regularly sterilise surfaces within their train stations and train cars that commuters frequently touch. These include seats, handles, elevator buttons, escalator handrails, vending machines and toilets. Disinfectant soap can also be found at their stations, all train attendants wear masks, and windows are slightly opened in trains to allow for ventilation and a stream of regular fresh air.
JR East also has an app where commuters can check the congestion status of major trains to help alleviate overcrowding. For Shinkansens (bullet trains), seat reservations can be made, which allow you to choose your seats and check the status of passenger numbers. There is also constant ventilation of air, with the air being replaced about every 7 minutes.
Taxis in Japan have always been known for their exceptional service. Taxi drivers have a strict dress code that consists of a suit, tie and often white gloves. Automatic doors are also a staple and this feature helps in providing less contact on your journey. Further safety measures being employed by the major taxi companies like Tokyo MK include all drivers having to wear a face mask, temperature checks conducted before any driver operates and disinfection after each disembarked passenger.
Official website: https://en.tokyomk.com/prevention
Prince Hotels & Resorts
Photo via Price Hotels& Resorts
The Prince Hotels & Resorts has developed the “Price Safety Commitment”, which is their range of new protocols for hygiene and disinfection. They have been implemented in order to provide guests with a safe and clean environment. These protocols include stronger measures for employee hygiene, which involves consistent body temperature checks, hand-washing, gargling, mask or face-shield wearing and hygiene training for all staff members.
There will also be new measures for cleaning and disinfection, with thorough disinfection of frequently touched surfaces in hotels and restaurants. They have also installed hand sanitisers as well as introduced “Safety Stickers”, which are placed on the door of rooms that have been thoroughly disinfected. These stickers indicate that no-one has entered after cleaning. Acrylic screens have also been installed at front desks and cashiers and social distancing is being ensured in order to prevent droplet spread. Lastly, all guests of the hotel will be required to fill out a self-check sheet upon check-in to ensure they are healthy and guests of the restaurants will undergo a temperature check before being seated.
Official Website: https://www.princehotels.com/en/safety/
Photo via Booking.com
Dozen Ryokan, which is part of the Machiya Inns & Hotels group, has an extensive list of measures to ensure that anyone staying there feels safe. All staff are required to wear masks and the health of staff are being monitored closely. Any staff with a temperature over 37.5℃ or with cold symptoms will be asked to stay home. In addition, rooms are well ventilated and cleaned thoroughly after the departure of each guest. Any guest with a temperature over 37.5℃ will be asked to refrain from staying at the premises. The Machiya Inns & Hotels group is diligently monitoring the situation and following the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Official Website: https://www.machiya-inn-japan.com/en/covid19.html
Okura Nikko Hotel
Photo Via Okura Nikko Hotel
The new safety measures entitled “Clean & Safe Stay” will become the ‘new normal’ at Okura Nikko Hotels. These measures include a hand sanitiser station, staff wearing face masks or face shields and clear protective barriers at the front desk to prevent droplet infection. Other measures also include social distancing while waiting in line and reduced number of people allowed in closed spaces such as elevators and smoking rooms. Guest rooms, restaurants and other public spaces will frequently be ventilated and are disinfected thoroughly. Before the staff enters the hotel, they are required to undergo health and temperature checks and will have received additional training about safety, hygiene and infection control.
Official Website: https://www.okura-nikko.com/covid-19/clean-safe-stay/
Universal Studios Japan
TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved. / WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s20)
Universal Studios Japan has resumed general operations as of 19th June. It is to be reopened in phases to allow for capacity control. As of the publication of this article, admission is available to all Studio Pass holders, though guests are cautioned to adhere to their individual prefecture’s travel policy. Park admission may be limited to allow for social distancing. In the event of such measures, new guests will not be admitted and ticket sales will be suspended. This will be announced on the official website, social media accounts, and at major train stations in Osaka city.
In addition to these measures, guests are required to wear face masks at all times within the park. They also have to submit to temperature checks at the entrance gate and sanitise hands frequently at the sanitising stations installed across the park. Lastly, guests are asked to register their email address in the OSAKA COVID-19 Tracing System before entering the park. This is part of Osaka’s prefectural measures to prevent the possible spread of infection.
Official website: https://www.usj.co.jp/e/information/notice/safety/index.html
Photo via GoTokyo
Tokyo Skytree has put in place various preventative measures for the safety of its customers and staff. Customers above the age of 6 and all staff are required to wear a mask, hands must be sanitised upon entry, temperature checks are taken before tickets are bought and spaces are marked out to maintain social distancing when lining up. The observation deck is ventilated twice as frequently as usual and automatic doors are being kept opened to allow for fresh air. The number of guests on the deck and in elevators has been limited and the facility is being disinfected regularly.
Photo via Tokyo Disney Resort/ Jiji.com
After 4 months of closure, Tokyo Disneyland reopened on 1st July. It’s reopening also saw the implementation of updated safety measures to ensure all parkgoers have a safe and enjoyable experience. Before entering the park, guests’ temperatures will be taken and guests with cold symptoms or a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or above will be asked to refrain from entering. Guests will be required to wear masks at all times, except while eating. Markings have been installed to maintain social distancing in queue lines, seats and restaurant tables. Hand sanitisers have also been installed in attractions, shops, restaurants, restrooms and other locations in the Park.
Official website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/topics/reopen/
teamLab Borderless Tokyo
Photo via teamlab
The popular digital art installation, teamLab Borderless, has reopened and is taking extra measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In order to enable social distancing, tickets currently have set admission dates and times. Additionally, the number of guests inside the museum is limited to half or less than usual. Guests are required to wear masks inside the venue and have their temperature checked at the door. If you are exhibiting symptoms or register a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or above, you will be asked to refrain from entering and a refund will be issued.
The museum itself is being frequently cleaned and disinfected and ventilation has been increased to allow for more airflow. In addition to this, surfaces inside the museum have been given an antiviral coating. Employees are required to wear face masks or shields and acrylic shields have been installed at the counters. Unfortunately, popular artworks the Floating Nest and the Light Forest Three-dimensional Bouldering are currently closed in the interest of public health.
Official website: https://borderless.teamlab.art/#information
Japanese society has always held hygiene and cleanliness as a priority. This is plain to see when you observe citizens wearing masks, cleaning up after themselves in cafes and restaurants, or bowing to each other as they say their goodbyes. In addition to this, businesses, transport services and public attractions have created new health and safety precautions for tourists to travel safely. It is clear that every individual in Japan is doing their part to make the country as safe as possible.