Japan Government Masking Recommendations
- Masks not necessary unless in close proximity to others.
- However, most Japanese wear masks when they’re outside.
- Masks recommended unless you are more than two meters (six feet) from other people and not talking.
- However, almost all Japanese wear masks when indoors.
On Public Transport
- Masks recommended.
Commentary by Chris
Foreign visitors to Japan may be surprised at the mask situation in Japan: Most Japanese faithfully mask up both indoors and out, whether or not they are near other people. The government has been trying to change this habit. Months ago, they announced that it wasn’t necessary to mask outdoors unless you’re very close to other people. And, more recently, they announced that you could remove your mask when indoors if you’re not talking and at least two meters from others.
But government policy and social customs are two different things. Japanese don’t usually care if you go maskless outside, but if you remove your mask indoors – even when it’s okay to do so according to the regulations – be prepared to get a lot of nasty looks from the Japanese people around you.
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 Icoca 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