On March 13, Japan dropped the indoor masking recommendation. So, you no longer need to mask up in shops, restaurants, attractions, on public transport etc. Notably, Japan’s airlines also dropped their masking recommendation, so you no longer need to mask up on Japanese airlines flying to/from Japan or within Japan (most foreign carriers dropped their mask requirements several months ago).
The government still allows individual businesses to ask their customers to mask, so don’t be surprised if you’re asked to mask in a restaurant or small shop. You might carry a mask for such occasions, but shops that ask their customers to mask will likely have a box of masks on hand.
Commentary by Chris
While the Japanese government dropped the indoor masking recommendation on March 13, you might be surprised to see many Japanese wearing masks both indoors and out. And you may hear announcements on some forms of public transport recommending that you wear a mask during crowded times. But, apart from the odd restaurant or shop, you no longer have to wear a mask anywhere in Japan, and that includes public transport. The only place where you are really likely to be asked to mask is at a hospital or clinic.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world