Until March 15th: Places that are closed (or open)

Coronavirus Saitama up until March 15th 2020 – List of places that are closed and open during the Covid 19 outbreak in Saitama Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. Jump to open places. This article was last updated and closed on March 15th 2020. Information for and from of March 16th here (please click).

Any place between March 1st 2020 and March 14th was added in red. I am sorry that I cannot answer each of your queries individually, but there are far too many to answer each personally. Hopefully this central point of information will be of use. Please also note, that there is likely to be extensions and/or changes to the dates / information, so please do check with the official websites for any additional changes.

If you know of anywhere else in Saitama that is closed or planning to close, please do let us know. This is locations only, events will be listed in a separate post. This post also has some useful resources for English speaking foreigners in Japan – jump to Resources.

Coronavirus Saitama

Today, March 1st, Metsa (Moominvalley) confirmed that they are temporarily closing due to the coronavirus Saitama quarantine. From Monday March 2nd until Friday March 13th. It is not much of a surprise when the likes of Disney, Universal Studios, TeamLab and Minato Mirai announced temporary closures earlier the week. Even our own Seibu Amusement Park announced closing their popular leisure park on Friday the 28th.

Metsa Village closed during Coronavirus Saitama

However, Metsa have made an interesting move; they are allowing people visit the park during the temporary closure period, between the hours of 11 am and 4 pm. During this time there will be no facilities open and you enter the park at your own risk. They updated again on March 2nd to say that the amusement area “Moominvalley park” will actually be opened to the public for free, but everything in it is closed. And that Metsa Village will actually open for business as normal.

Below a live list of places that are closed during the Coronavirus Outbreak quarantine period in Saitama Prefecture in the Greater Tokyo area of Japan.

Completely Closed

Date
of
Notice
Location/
Attraction
Period
of
Closure
Official
Press
Release
2/25Chukaman Museum3/1 – 3/31Official notice
Meiji Chocolate Factory3/2 – 3/31Official notice
2/28Saitama Aquarium3/2 – 3/15Official website
Glico Pia Pocky Factory 3/2 – 4/3Official notice
Saitama Railway Museum2/29 – 3/15Offical notice
Museum of History and Folklore2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Sakitama Ancient Burial Mounds2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Ranzan Historical Museum2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Museum of Natural History2/29 – 3/15Official notice
The Museum of Rivers2/29 – 3/15Official notice
MOMAS2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Saitama Prefectural Archives2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Museum of Literature2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Saitama Prefectural Libraries
Kumagaya and Kuki
2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Kazo Genki Plaza2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Otaki Genki Plaza2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Nagatoro Genki Plaza 2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Ogawa Genki Plaza2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Kamikawa Genki Plaza2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Naguri Genki Plaza2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Peace Museum2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Tokorozawa Aviation Museum3/2 – 3/16Official notice
Youth Astronomical Museum 3/2 – 3/15Official notice
JAXA2/28 – 3/15Official notice
Seibu Amusement Park 2/29 – 3/15Official notice
Saiboku no Mori3/2 – 3/13Official notice
Iwako Eraser Factory Tour2/29 – 3/31Official notice
Kawaguchi Science Museum2/29 – 3/16Official notice
Kazo Miraikan Planetarium2/27 – 3/31Official notice
2/29Trampoland Saitama2/29 – 3/15Official notice
CESS (under construction)~3/23Official notice
Musashi No Mura3/1 – 3/13Official notice
ALIT3/2 – 3/26Official notice
Bonsai Art Museum3/2 – 3/15Official notice
Skip City Visual Museum3/1 – 3/15Official notice
3/1Chikozan Zoo3/2 – 3/15Official notice
Smaland Ikea Shinmisato3/2 – 3/15Official notice
Little Planet Shinmisato3/2 – 3/13Official notice
Tobu Zoo3/2 – 3/15Official notice

Partially Closed

There are other places throughout Saitama that have enforced partial closures, but are thankfully still open to the public. For example, Shinrin Park (Musashi Kyuryo National Goverment Park) in Namegawa Town. They announced on Friday the 28th that they are closing all indoor facilities including restaurants and exhibition spaces, but the park itself is still open. And even at that, some of the restaurants will remain open for the first week of March.

Children's Castle at Saitama CHildren's zoo Higashimatsuyama things to do in Saitama closed during the coronavirus saitama outbreak
Children’s castle at Saitama Children’s zoo

Saitama Children’s Zoo is similar closing several of their indoor attractions and cancelling popular events. The Children’s Castle, Eco Hauchu, Beatrix Potter Museum and the indoor workshop and display areas will be closed. The zoo train will also stop for the period. The horse riding, milking cows and feeding penguin events have also been suspended temporarily.

Below a list of the places with partial closures during the Coronavirus Saitama quarantine.

Date
of
Notice
Location/
Attraction
Period
of
Closure
Official
Press
Release
2/28Shinrin Park2/29 to 3/15Full list of effected areas
Kumagaya Sports Park3/2 to 3/15Training rooms closed
Kawaguchi Green Center2/29 to 3/22Full list of effected areas and events
2/29Saitama Children’s Zoo2/19 to 3/15Full list of effected areas
and events.
3/1Metsa Village (will open)
Moominvalley Park
3/2 to 3/15Metsa website

Open Places

There are some places that currently have no official notifications of changes to their schedule or temporary closures. For example, most of the public parks are open per normal. Also, and very surprisingly, a lot of the jidokan children’s community centers are also open, but a lot have cancelled all events.

Metsa updated on March 2nd to say they will actually open Metsa village per normal! It is just Moominvalley park that is closed, but people will be allowed walk through it between 11 am and 4 pm. Nothing in Moominvalley park will be open, but there is no fee during this period either.

Flystation Japan in Koshigaya is remaining open (for the moment anyway). At this current moment in time Airjoy in Kawagoe is also remaining open.

Matsuoka Brewery in Ogawa are currently remaining open to the public, they even put a note on their Facebook page to that effect.

Chichibu Muse Park have a note on their website to say hours may change and facilities may close, but apart from cancelling the plum blossom festival they haven’t made any other significant changes or closures.

Midori no Mura are also remaining open for now and just cancelling events. As per the “partially closed” list Kawaguchi Green Center is also remaining open, but closing events. They are also closing off indoor areas.

Round1 also have not yet announced closures or a plan to close. And the excellent Spocha (three floors of sports, games and play areas), which is a great place to let off steam, is also currently set to remain open.

The background of the featured image of this article is of an early blooming cherry blossom “Kawazuzakura” taken on February 28th at Sumiyoshi Sakura No Sato. Even though many of the sakura festivals have been cancelled you can still enjoy the seasonal blooms, at your own risk.

Coronavirus Saitama Resources

In Saitama Prefecture, the Saitama Information & Support is offering telephone support services in 10 languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Nepalese.

The service is available on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number is 048-833-3296.

NHK World News

Click here for the official Saitama Prefecture Coronavirus web page, unfortunately Japanese language only. They do have a few articles in English (and other foreign languages) linked here (click).

Coronavirus information live and in English on NHK World.

Up-to-date information and useful resources in English on the Japan National Tourism Organization website. The linked page also shows attraction closures for Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara, but not Saitama.

Some practical advice from the educational board in my home town of Dublin, Ireland:

Coronavirus Saitama
Coronavirus Saitama

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Seibuen Seibu Amusement Park open during the Coronavirus closures?

No, Seibuen aka Seibu Amusement Park was temporarily closed on February 29th and will remain closed until March 15th.

Is Metsa or Moominvalley Park open during the Coronavirus closures in Japan?

Moominvalley park is closed until March 15th, but Metsa village is partially open. You can walk in the park between the hours of 11 am and 4 pm, but no shops or facilities will be open.

Is the Bonsai Village closed during the Coronavirus closures?

The Bonsai Art Museum is closed until Sunday March 15th, but the village itself is open. Currently, there is no notification of any of the gardens being closed during the period, but that may change.

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