Travel Briefs

Anyone with mobility issues visiting Tokyo, Japan, can view or download for free the 53-page “Tokyo Sightseeing Accessibility Guide 2021.” Including information about accessible transportation, as well as tips, it maps out suggested routes for visiting popular historical, natural and cultural sites.

To download the guide, visit


On Nov. 6 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the new Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen (Museumpark 18; phone +31 10 441 9400, became the world’s first art storage facility of its size to allow the public access to its complete collection, which comprises 151,000 pieces from medieval to contemporary, including pieces by van Gogh and Dalí.

In the Museumpark next to the Boijmans museum’s original 1930s building, the bowl-shaped, mirror-paneled depot displays the works...


One of the world’s largest floor mosaics was unveiled on Oct. 29 at Qasr Hisham, or Hisham’s Palace, in Jericho, West Bank Palestine, after a 5-year restoration. The more than 1,000-year-old mosaic depicts animals such as lions and gazelles as well as repeating geometric patterns. 

Qasr Hisham was built during the Umayyad Caliphate as a winter lodge for caliphs. Its ruins were rediscovered in the 19th century. 

The palace is open daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Entry...


The US opened its land and water crossings along the Mexico and Canada borders to vaccinated foreign travelers, regardless of their countries of origin, on Nov. 8. The borders had been closed to all foreigners except essential workers since March 2020. US citizens and permanent residents had been allowed to cross back into the US with proof of a negative COVID test during the border closure.

For vaccinated travelers only, Royal Caribbean International (866/562-7625, is offering preboarding rapid COVID-19 antigen tests at select US ports: Miami, Canaveral and Tampa Bay in Florida as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Royal Caribbean requires a negative antigen or PCR test taken within 48 hours in order to board.)

Tests can be scheduled no more than 24 hours in advance. If a slot is available, a test can be taken as late as 30 minutes before a traveler...


At Dollar Canyon, 45 minutes from Edinburgh in southern Scotland, visitors can take a 3-hour canyoning course with The Canyoning Company (Perthshire, Scotland, UK; phone +44 7725 813 729,

Participants will follow a river through a tight canyon, with activities such as abseiling down waterfalls, leaping from outcrops into pools, and swimming. This is a “beginner” course; participants need no canyoning experience and only a basic level of fitness...


In an onsen (hot spring) resort area two hours north of Tokyo, Japan, visitors can book a ride on the steam locomotive SL Taiju.

SL Taiju travels from Shimo-Imaichi station (accessible by train via Tokyo’s Asakusa station) 35 minutes to the Kinugawa-Onsen station, with a stop at Tobu World Square, a theme park featuring scale models of worldwide attractions. During the journey, attendants dressed in traditional Japanese clothing hand out tourist info and travel advice.



On the website Check Barcelona (, visitors to the Spanish city can see real-time visitor numbers at Barcelona landmarks and attractions along with the typical number of visitors by hour. The website includes a map so that you can also see, while using the website on a smartphone, how busy attractions are that are near you. There is also information on operating hours and entry fees for each location to help you plan your day.