2020 Important Events in Japan and the Japanese Real Estate Industry

The Tokyo Olympics are not the only big event that will take place this year in Japan. In this post we summarize the key events and dates that will affect the country, the Japanese real estate industry and life in Japan in 2020.

January

  • Early January: “Park City Musashi-Koyama The Tower” a high-end 41-story tower condominium developed byMitsui Fudosan Residential Co., Ltd. is scheduled to be completed. This property will be the first project in the redevelopment of the Musashi-Koyama Station area in Shinagawa Ward.
  • January: Takashimaya plans to open the “Citadines Namba Osaka” a serviced “apartment-hotel” in Namba, near Nipponbashi Park.
  • January 21: Bank of Japan (BOJ) interest rate decision.
  • Late January: Real Estate Economic Institute scheduled to release 2019 sales data for new condominium market.

February

  • February 23: The first Emperor’s Birthday holiday in the Reiwa era. Because the holiday falls on a Sunday, the next day, February 24 will also be a holiday, making for a three-day weekend.
  • Late February: Scheduled completion in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai 21 district of a 19-story commercial building (with offices, shops, childcare center, and conference facility) developed by Shimizu Corporation. It will be located directly above Shin Takashima Station on the Yokohama Minato Mirai line and directly connected to JR Yokohama Station by a pedestrian deck.

March

  • March 1: Tokyo Marathon 2020 will be held in Tokyo.
  • March 14: Tentative opening date of Takanawa Gateway Station, to be located between Shinagawa and Tamachi Station on the JR Yamanote line. The Keihin-Tohoku line will also run through the station. The spring opening date of the Yamanote loop line is meant to help accommodate big crowds expected for the Olympics.
  • Mid-March: Ministry of Land will release the 2020 Official Land Price (Koji Chika) survey.
  • March 18: BOJ interest rate decision.
  • March 26: Tokyo Olympic torch delay is scheduled to start from Fukushima prefecture.
  • March 29: Scheduled expansion of international flight slots to start at Haneda Airport.
  • March 31: End of the fiscal year for the Japanese public sector, many companies in the private sector and the last day of the academic year for Japanese schools and universities.
  • Other Scheduled/Expected events in March:
    • The two newest entries in the Mori Building Company’s high-end development projects “Toranomon Hills Business Tower” and “Toranomon Hills Residential Tower” are scheduled to open as part of the major redevelopment of Toranomon Hills.
    • The name of Haneda Airport’s “International Terminal” scheduled to be changed to “Terminal 3”. The name of the associated Keikyu line station will also be changed.
    • Scheduled completion in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo of a 40-story office/restaurant building “Bunkyo Garden” to be located in front of Kasuga / Korakuen Stations. This will be the first phase of a major redevelopment of the Kasuga and Korakuen station areas that is scheduled for completion in November 2021.
    • JR Central is scheduled to open a new station on the JR Tokaido line (a major railway line connecting Tokyo and Kobe). The new station will be located in Iwata City, Shizuoka, between Fukuroi and Iwata stations on the Tokaido Main line. It will be located about 2-km from Yamaha Stadium, the home stadium of the J1 League club Júbilo Iwata, and the rugby union team Yamaha Jubilo.
    • The “700 Series Shinkansen” is scheduled to be retired.
    • The Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Maya-class AEGIS-equipped guided missile destroyer is scheduled to enter service.
    • The venue for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in July 2023 will be decided. Nine countries, including Japan, are running for candidacy.The venue for the 2023 football FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in July 2023 will be decided. Nine countries, including Japan, are in the running for selection.

Spring 2020

The following events are scheduled or expected to take place in spring 2020.

  • Harajuku, Tokyo: A new mixed-use commercial-residential redevelopment complex will open in front of Harajuku Station. IKEA will also open a city-center store in front of Harajuku Station.
  • Ryogoku, Sumida Ward, Tokyo: APA Hotel & Resort is scheduled to open the 31-story high-rise tower hotel “Ryogoku Station Tower” which will be the largest hotel in Tokyo, with 1,111 guest rooms.
  • Wako, Saitama: A new seven-story station and commercial building is scheduled to open at the south exit of Wakoshi Station on the Tobu Tojo line.
  • Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto: Redevelopment of the Shinfukan shopping complex is scheduled for completion, with brand new shops and Asia’s first branch of the ACE hotel chain.
  • NTT Docomo plans to launch commercial 5G service.

April

  • April 1: Start of the fiscal year in Japan.
  • April 13: Takeshiba, Minato Ward, Tokyo — JR East is scheduled to open phase one of the “WATERS Takeshiba” redevelopment project. The redevelopment of Takeshiba, which is located near Hamamatsucho in Minato Ward, will be modeled on the borough of Brooklyn. JR aims to launch a ferry service connecting Haneda airport with central Tokyo to attract overseas visitors and secure an additional transport route during disasters.
  • April 15: Tokyo Disneyland is scheduled to open a new Fantasyland.
  • April 27: BOJ interest rate decision and BOJ quarterly outlook report.

May

  • May 22: Luxury hotel “The Ritz-Carlton Nikko” will open on the site of the Tobu Lakeside Hotel on the shores of Lake Chuzenji, Nikko, Tochigi prefecture.

Summer 2020

  • Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: Please see July below.
  • Gundam Factory Yokohama is scheduled to open in the Yamashita wharf district of Yokohama before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The project aims to build a full-sized 18-meter-tall moving Gundam statue to mark the franchise’s 40th- anniversary.
  • Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward: A new commercial complex called “Hareza Ikebukuro” is scheduled to open on the former site of the Toshima Ward Office. It will include a 10-screen 1,700-person capacity TOHO Cinema.
  • G20 meeting to be held in Saudi Arabia.

June

July

  • July 1: All retailers in Japan, including supermarkets and convenience stores will be required to charge for plastic shopping bags.
  • July 14: BOJ interest rate decision and BOJ quarterly outlook report.
  • July 14: Takeshiba, Minato Ward, Tokyo — JR East is scheduled to open phase two of the “WATERS Takeshiba” redevelopment project. Please see April above for details.
  • July 14: A new passenger ship terminal “Tokyo International Cruise Terminal” is scheduled to be completed in Koto Ward, Tokyo.
  • July 23 to 26: National holidays will be moved to create a special four-day weekend in honor of the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
  • July 24 to August 9: The 32nd Summer Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo.
  • July 30: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s term will end.
  • Other Scheduled/Expected events in July:
    •  “Tokyo Bay Shiomi Prince Hotel” a 605-guest room hotel will open in Koto Ward, Tokyo.
    • The Mars probe “Mars 2020” is scheduled to be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. If all goes well, it will start exploration in February 2021!

August

  • August 8 to 10: National holidays will be moved to create a special three-day weekend in honor of the close of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
  • August 9: Closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
  • August 21 to 23: FUJI Rock Festival will be held.
  • August 25 to September 6: Tokyo 2020 Paralympics will be held.
  • Other Scheduled/Expected events in August:
    • Hiroshima: The “hitoto Hiroshima The Tower” a 178-high 54-story high-rise condominium building in Naka Ward, Hiroshima is scheduled for completion. The tower will be built on the site of the former headquarters of Hiroshima University and is 1.8 kilometers south of the Peace Memorial. A 1930s building across the street from the tower is one of the city’s few buildings to have survived the 1945 atomic bomb.
    • A luxury sightseeing train “The Royal Express” operated by JR Hokkaido and Tokyu is scheduled to start service.

Fall 2020

  • “Ginza Sony Park” building in Chuo Ward, Tokyo scheduled to be closed.
  • Ikegami Station (on the Tokyu Ikegami line in Ota Ward, Tokyo) redevelopment project scheduled for completion. A new five-story station building and new shops are planned.
  • Scheduled completion of a large-scale MICE facility (international exhibition center) in the Nakagusuku Bay Marine Town district of Okinawa.

September

  • September 16: BOJ interest rate decision.
  • September 19 to 22: Four-day “Silver Week” long weekend.
  • September: Scheduled introduction of the incentive “My-Na-Point” system to encourage people to apply for My Number and to do cashless transactions (e-payment).

October

  • October 1: Partial enforcement of the Revised Liquor Law to start. The tax on malt-based beer (not less than twenty-five percent malt) will be lowered and the rate for beer-flavored liquors (less than twenty-five percent malt) will be increased.
  • October 28: BOJ interest rate decision and BOJ quarterly outlook report.

November

  • November 3: U.S. presidential election.
  • “Yodobashi Umeda Tower” a 1,000-guest room hotel will open at JR Osaka Station north exit.

December

  • December 17: BOJ interest rate decision.

Lead photo: iStock stock photo