Information for the State of Emergency in Saitama Prefecture, Summer 2021.
On July 29th 2021 it was announced that a State of Emergency (SOE) will begin on Monday August 2nd in Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba. In addition, the current State of Emergencies in Tokyo and Okinawa will be extended to finish at the same time as the SOE in Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba, which was initially Tuesday August 31st. However, the period was extended twice already. The State of Emergency will now run until at least Thursday September 30th.
State of Emergency Summer 2021
Saitama is to enter its second State of Emergency in 2021 from August 2nd. It was initially set to run until Tuesday August 31st. However, it was later extended to run until Sunday September 12th. And then it was extended again – to run until September 30th.
The first state of emergency (SOE) in 2021 was from January to February 7th. On July 31st the prefecture posted the details of the summer SOE on their website. Incredibly, it is not a strict as the SOE at the start of the year. For example, they are not requesting places close, just that they follow the guidelines. However, at the same time, they are quite stringently requesting that individuals refrain from going out unnecessarily. Here is an outline of the requests of the summer State of Emergency 2021:
Outline of the State of Emergency August – September 2021
Request from the Saitama Prefectural Government based on Article 45, Paragraph 1 of the Special Measures Law:
- Strictly refrain from using unapproved restaurants, etc. that do not have thorough infection control measures, or restaurants that do not respond to requests for closure or shortening of business hours.
- For food and drink, please use the “Sai no Kuni New Lifestyle” Safety certified restaurant that participates in efforts to protect against Covid.
- Refrain from moving across prefectural borders such as for leisure, trips or unnecessary / non urgent trips to extended family member’s homes.
- Refrain from going out and moving unnecessarily, including during the day. In particular, refrain from going out after 8 pm.
- Excludes cases necessary for maintaining life and health. It is okay to visit a medical institution. In addition, it is also okay to go shopping for food, medicines, and / or daily necessities. Furthermore, travel (within the prefecture) for work or school is also approved. Moreover, exercising or taking a walk outdoors is also approved.
- Even if you need to go out, try to avoid crowded places and stick to a small number of people such as your own family or people you interact with regularly for daily life.
- Refrain from behaviors that have a high risk of infection, such as drinking alcohol in groups on the streets or in parks.
Always wear a mask and practice regular hand washing, alcohol disinfection and ventilation. Furthermore, avoid the three “C”s – closed environments, crowded places, close contact settings. Also:
- When out and about, take all possible infection prevention measures, and make sure to go directly to your destination without stopping at any place other than the intended place.
- Ensure social distance and avoid conversations without masks
- When eating and drinking, limit to 90 minutes, and thoroughly implement the recommendation of “mask eating and drinking”, “silent meal“, “individual meal”, “quiet gourmet food”, and “mask at lunch”, regardless of whether its day or night.
- As much as possible, only eat with up to 4 other people (except for family members living together) and refrain from home parties.
- Go shopping alone as much as possible
Ironically despite all that, they are not asking municipal facilities to close this time. And currently few have indicated that they will close. This of course may change with time, but right now the main change that is evident so far is to the summer pools:
The four prefectural pools were set to open for four weeks from Saturday July 31st for four weeks. Furthermore, tickets had already gone on sale. However, as soon as the SOE was announced they each updated their website to say that their pools will not open. Moreover, they will refund those tickets already bought in advance.
- Saitama Water park – official notification and ticket refund information
- Kawagoe Water park – official notification and ticket refund information
- Kazo Hanasaki Water park – official notification and ticket refund information
- Shirakobato Water Park – official notification and ticket refund information
You can find detailed information for each of those aqua / water parks by using the search function at the top right of the page. You can also keep up to date on the pools that are open here.
Several of the barbecue sites were already closed during the “manbo” pre-emergency stage of directives from the Government. Some have already posted to say they will remain closed until the end of the State of Emergency. For example:
- Kurakake Clear Stream Village – Official website
- Kawasemi Gawara – Official notification
- Ranzan Valley Barbecue – Official website
The following factory tours are also closed during the State of Emergency in Saitama 2021.
For information on events please see “Events that are cancelled and those that are going ahead in summer 2021” or check the calendar which is updated frequently.
Tentative – mostly open!
Museums & Libraries
The vast majority of museums and prefectural libraries closed during the Winter State of Emergency in Saitama in 2021. However, at this moment in time, July 31st 2021, it would seem most of them will remain open. If this changes, I will update accordingly, as soon as is possible. But you can also use this list of the museums to check for the most up to date information for each location. The column on the right “external link” has a link to the official website for each place:
|Saitama Aquarium||Official website|
|Museum of History and Folklore||Official website|
|Sakitama Ancient Burial Mounds||Official website|
|Ranzan Historical Museum||Official website|
|Museum of Natural History||Official website|
|The Museum of Rivers||Official website|
|Saitama Prefectural Archives||Official website|
|Museum of Literature||Official website|
|Saitama Prefectural Libraries|
Kumagaya and Kuki
|Peace Museum||Official website|
|Tokorozawa Aviation Museum||Official website|
|Youth Astronomical Museum||Official website|
|Skip City Visual Museum||Official website|
|Honmaru Goten||Official website|
|Kawagoe City Art Museum||Official website|
|Kawagoe City Museum||Official website|
|Yamazaki House||Official website|
|Kawagoe Festival Museum||Official website|
|Chichibu festival museum||Official website|
|Disaster Prevention Learning Center||Official website|
|Nanbata Castle Park House||Official website|
The “Genki Plaza” are a type of community center with various type of facilities. They also closed during the winter SOE. However, at this moment in time information for the summer State of Emergency is not available. The official website is linked below so you can check for the most recent information.
- Kazo Genki Plaza – Official website
- Ogawa Genki Plaza – Official website
- Otaki Genki Plaza – Official website
- Nagatoro Genki Plaza – Official Facebook page
- Kamikawa Genki Plaza – Official website
Children’s Centers (Jidokan)
These children’s centers closed during the winter state of Emergency, but at the moment plan to stay open this summer:
- Appiland, Ageo
- Ageo Children’s Castle
- Kasukabe Dai Ichi Jidokan – Angel Dome
- Kasukabe Dai ni Jidokan – Guu
- Showa Jido Center – Smile
Partially Closed in Winter
Places that were partially closed during the winter state of emergency, but currently have few if any changes planned for during the Summer SOE:
- Saitama Children’s Zoo was open, but the Beatrix Potter Museum, Children’s Castle and Eco Hauchu were closed during the Winter SOE. Also, several of their daily and weekly events were cancelled. For the summer SOE there is little cancelled or closed, but you do need to register your information before entering the zoo. You can do it at the gate or online before you visit. Information on the official website here.
- Sayama Chikozan Park Children’s Zoo also seems to be staying open, but with changes to events. Official website.
- Chichibu Muse Park‘s music room is closed. The outdoor stage will close by 8 pm. Some events maybe cancelled. Official website.
- Kazo Miraikan’s planetarium closed during the winter SOE, but is currently not planning to close. Official website.
Places that closed during the 2020 State of Emergency, but did not close during the winter SOE and currently have no plan to close during the Summer SOE.
- Railway Museum
- Chukaman Museum
- Moominvalley Park
- Saiboku no Mori
- Iwako Eraser factory tour
- Trampoland Saitama (but closing at 7 pm)
- Musashi no Mura
- Bonsai Museum
- Smaland Ikea (change in hours)
- Tobu Zoo (change in hours)
- Seibu Amusement Park
At the moment it would seem that the August 2021 State of Emergency is the least “strict” to date for businesses. Perhaps they are trying to but the responsibility on the individual with all the requests that essentially add up to a message of “STAY HOME” as much as possible. Things are constantly changing though. So please do always check the official website for the most up-to-date information. I can’t update this post daily, but if there are any significant changes to the SOE I will update this post as soon as possible. I hope you can all stay safe these summer holidays.