Support our mission
 
At Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, the Tomodachi Lanes bowling alley is open until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at the base theater, first-run films like “Scream” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” are playing.
At Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, the Tomodachi Lanes bowling alley is open until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at the base theater, first-run films like “Scream” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” are playing. (Aaron Kidd/Stars and Stripes)

Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See more stories here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.

TOKYO — Fun hasn’t died just because Japan-based U.S. troops and their families are restricted to their homes and installations for the next 1 ½ weeks.

The golf course and trails at Tama Hills Recreation Area are still open in western Tokyo. Dance lessons are scheduled at Yokosuka Naval Base in Kanagawa prefecture. And it might be a good time to catch up on auto maintenance at the base auto hobby shop.

“You can’t get outside the fence line and to do the types of activities and vacations that we wanted to do,” Brig. Gen. James B. Wellons, deputy commander of U.S. Forces Japan, said during a Facebook livestream Monday. “But we can come together as units; we can come together with our friends who are also isolated here on base.”

The U.S. military population in Japan, which includes more than 50,000 service members, was ordered Monday to stay on their respective bases or in their off-base homes until Jan. 24 to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus respiratory disease.

The order arose after the Japanese government drew U.S. authorities’ attention to the spread of COVID-19 cases in communities surrounding U.S. bases on Okinawa and near Hiroshima starting in mid-December.

At Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, the Tomodachi Lanes bowling alley is open until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at the base theater, first-run films like “Scream” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” are playing.
At Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, the Tomodachi Lanes bowling alley is open until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at the base theater, first-run films like “Scream” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” are playing. (Aaron Kidd/Stars and Stripes)

During the temporary stay-at-home order, U.S. personnel may visit local communities only for essential services like medical appointments or grocery shopping, or for running or biking for exercise if they live off base.

Meanwhile, base commanders are reminding people that they still have opportunities to unwind, though all activities require social distancing and the mandatory use of face masks, according to USFJ orders that also increased the health protection condition to Bravo on Jan. 6. Bravo indicates an increased risk of the virus spreading.

At Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, the Tomodachi Lanes bowling alley is open until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at the base theater, first-run films like the latest "Scream" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home," are playing this weekend.

At Yokosuka, a ballroom dance workshop is scheduled 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the base community center. Beginners can pick up the basic steps for the waltz, tango and foxtrot at $40 per couple, according to base Morale Welfare and Recreation.

On Okinawa, the Kadena Marina restaurant and Okuma Beach, both located outside of the base, are still available for personnel. Okuma Beach offers food, boarding and outdoor activities, including golfing, tennis, snorkeling, diving, wake boarding, jet skiing and kayaking.

“We’re trying to keep services open,” said Brig. Gen. David S. Eaglin, commander of the 18th Wing at Kadena, during a Facebook livestream Monday. “We have resources available to you. The idea is not to stay in your home and suffer through this alone. There are opportunities on the base.”

twitter Email

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up