While for some businesses, continuing operation through COVID-19-fueled lockdowns and post-lockdown social distancing measures is possible by shifting the primary storefront online, for restaurants and event spaces this simply isn’t possible. It’s why the music industry and cinemas have struggled so much since March, and for restaurants, the issue is similar, and made worse by the fact that distancing forces such locations to operate below maximum capacity. Many places have been forced to close as a result, and the Sailor Moon show restaurant ‘Shining Moon Tokyo’ is one of the places forced to close as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
Shining Moon Tokyo was the first Sailor Moon-themed show restaurant when it opened in July 2019, offering a unique experience that blended Sailor Moon-themed cuisine and drinks with a stage show featuring cast members performing in character for restaurant patrons. Located in Minato-ku in Tokyo near the Azabujuban Station not too far from Roppongi Hills, the restaurant was a unique dining experience that targeted locals and tourists alike.
Unfortunately, the restaurant has been impacted heavily by COVID-19, having been left unable to operate for multiple months and losing part of its early 2020 operation season, scheduled for between February 1st and April 30th, to forced Tokyo lockdowns. Although many fans had hoped the restaurant would be able to re-open following the gradual re-opening of Tokyo following the lockdown, this has proven to be too difficult and it was announced on twitter that they will not re-open. The website, the final remnant of the restaurant, will be shut down at the end of August.
Difficulties with re-opening Shining Moon Tokyo safely have been cited as the reason for the closure of the Sailor Moon-themed restaurant in their official statement, and while it’s disappointing that they have been forced to close, especially in such circumstances with no ability to give the place a proper send-off, the reasoning given for the closure is understandable in light of the circumstances. I just wish I had a chance to go myself!