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People visit Zojoji, a Buddhist temple near Tokyo Tower, Thursday, May 28, 2020.
People visit Zojoji, a Buddhist temple near Tokyo Tower, Thursday, May 28, 2020. (Akifumi Ishikawa/Stars and Stripes)
People visit Zojoji, a Buddhist temple near Tokyo Tower, Thursday, May 28, 2020.
People visit Zojoji, a Buddhist temple near Tokyo Tower, Thursday, May 28, 2020. (Akifumi Ishikawa/Stars and Stripes)
People visit Zojoji, a Buddhist temple near Tokyo Tower, Thursday, May 28, 2020.
People visit Zojoji, a Buddhist temple near Tokyo Tower, Thursday, May 28, 2020. (Akifumi Ishikawa/Stars and Stripes)
People sit at the base of Tokyo Tower on Thursday, May 28, 2020, the day it reopened after a state of emergency was lifted in the city because of the coronavirus pandemic.
People sit at the base of Tokyo Tower on Thursday, May 28, 2020, the day it reopened after a state of emergency was lifted in the city because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Akifumi Ishikawa/Stars and Stripes)
Tokyo Tower is seen on Thursday, May 28, 2020, the day it reopened after a state of emergency was lifted in the city because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tokyo Tower is seen on Thursday, May 28, 2020, the day it reopened after a state of emergency was lifted in the city because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Akifumi Ishikawa/Stars and Stripes)
People stroll near Tokyo Tower on Thursday, May 28, 2020, the day it reopened after a state of emergency was lifted in the city because of the coronavirus pandemic.
People stroll near Tokyo Tower on Thursday, May 28, 2020, the day it reopened after a state of emergency was lifted in the city because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Akifumi Ishikawa/Stars and Stripes)
Blue Impulse, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's aerobatic demonstration team, flies over Mejiro, Tokyo, Friday, May 29, 2020, to show appreciation for health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Blue Impulse, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's aerobatic demonstration team, flies over Mejiro, Tokyo, Friday, May 29, 2020, to show appreciation for health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic. (Kaoru Yamamoto/Stars and Stripes)

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TOKYO — A popular, landmark tourist spot reopened in Tokyo with the recent easing of a state of emergency imposed by the Japanese government nearly two months ago to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Tokyo Tower, an iconic red and white communications and observation structure in central Tokyo, opened its doors Thursday for the first time since April 8, according to the tower’s website.

However, the popular tourist destination will operate with shorter hours than usual, with the main deck open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m daily.

The number of visitors riding the elevator at one time will be limited as an anti-coronavirus measure, the tower’s website stated.

However, every day until June 14 visitors may take the 600-step outside stairs to the main deck, which is usually open only on weekends and holidays. The stairway, which rises 500 feet, will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather permitting, with last access at 7:30 p.m., the website states.

The higher observation floor at 820 feet is accessible only by joining a top-deck, special elevator tour instead of the usual top-deck tour. The 8,000 yen-per-group tour (about $75) is limited to groups of four, which allows families and close friends to participate without sharing the elevator with strangers.

The usual multilingual recorded guide and binoculars are not available for rental.

All visitors are asked to wear masks and agree to a temperature screening at the entrance, according to the website.

Other spots, such as museums, are also beginning to resume operations.

The National Museum of Nature and Science in the Ueno district of the city is reopening on Monday, though reservations are required to visit. The Tokyo National Museum, also in Ueno, is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday.

Most museums and facilities in Tokyo closed after the Japanese government, faced with a rising number of coronavirus cases, declared an emergency April 7 in Tokyo and several other prefectures. The declaration was later extended nationwide before being lifted on May 25.

Japan counted 16,719 coronavirus infected cases and 874 deaths as of Thursday, according to Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare news release.

Tokyo, considered hardest hit by the virus in Japan, on Thursday reported just four new cases from the previous day for a total of 15, according to the metropolitan government website. Since early April, the city has reported 5,195 cases.

Blue Impulse, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s an aerobatic demonstration team, flew over Tokyo on Friday afternoon to thank and honor medical personnel combatting the virus. It was only the third time Blue Impulse flew over Tokyo, Defense Minister Taro Kono said on Twitter.

kusumoto.hana@stripes.com Twitter: @HanaKusumoto

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