Share the article
Starting from October 11 of this year. Japan will remove almost all other entry requirements and allow normal tourism after more than 2.5 years of strict restrictions. During a press conference in New York on Thursday, September 22, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that Japan will get rid of the daily arrivals limit. In addition, the country will allow individual tourists to enter without a visa, allowing Americans to enter the country without having to go through a cumbersome process on obtaining a tourist visa.
A long time
Travelers have been watching Japan as much of the world began to reopen earlier this year. During this time, Japan made only minor adjustments that allowed travel under very strict conditions. Until June 10, foreigners were prohibited from entering the country for tourist purposes. Even then, the restrictions placed on travelers wishing to jump the visa barrier were significant.
Travelers who wanted to visit Japan could only do so by making a reservation with a tour operator. While in the country, they were unable to leave their tour group for any reason. In addition, travelers had to obey all local regulations or guide instructions. Not the most interesting way to spend your vacation. Not surprisingly, tourism did it little to restore these restrictions.
The latest rule change is good news for both foreign tourists and Japanese citizens. Digital Technology Minister Taro Kona, expressed which many on Twitter are likely feeling with the announcement. “FinallyJapan will reopen the border…”
Finally, Japan will reopen the border. Visa-free regime, no daily limit and free individual visits are back.
— KONO Taro (@konotaromp) September 22, 2022
What rules still apply?
From October 11th, traveling to Japan will become much easier, but some restrictions still apply. Specifically, visitors entering Japan will either need to get three shots of the Covid-19 vaccine or undergo a PCR test before arrival. Fully vaccinated people will need to be tested before departure and will be able to travel to Japan just as they did before the pandemic. The local government still strongly recommends the use of a mask in certain situations, such as on most public transport. Just in case, travelers should take a few items with them on the road.
Why the change?
Last week Travel Off Path reported that Japan is considering easing restrictions this fall. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s latest statement confirms this and sets October 11 as the set date for restrictions to be lifted. The move comes after Japan’s currency hit an all-time low. Against the strong US dollar, the yen is at its weakest in 24 years years.
Japan has been slow to open up compared to other Asian destinations such as Indonesia or Thailand, and it is paying the price. Japan’s previous visa requirements and strict travel restrictions have made the country virtually inaccessible to most travelers, leading to a sharp decline in tourism revenue. Japan received 31.88 million foreign visitors 2019 year, setting a new record. This year, there were no numbers even close to 2019, and the country is desperate to recover tourism revenue.
How bad is that?
To show how ineffective Japan’s attempt is “discovery” for tourism in June of this year, we had to consider the following statistics. In July of this year, Japan received about 144,500 foreign visitors. In July 2019, Japan received more than 3 million! Overall, July 2022 showed 95.2% decrease visitors compared to 2019. Clearly, Japan needed to take a few more steps to regain its footing in the tourism sector, and the country has finally decided to do so.
Good news for travelers
Before the pandemic, Japan had been steadily increasing the number of visitors every year. Interest in the unique destination grew, and it seemed that the country would continue to break records. Japan’s exceptional natural beauty and unique architecture make for a colorful vacation, and many travelers have been waiting for today’s news for a very long time.
According to Digital Technology Minister Taro Cohn, “Finally, Japan will reopen[!]»
This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest news that will affect your next trip, visit: Traveloffpath.com
↓ Join the community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community Group on FB has all the latest reopening news, conversations and Q&As happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE FOR OUR LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Enter your email address to subscribe to the latest Travel Off Path news straight to your inbox
Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions subject to change without notice. The decision to travel is your responsibility. Before you travel, contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry into your country of citizenship and/or any changes to travel requirements. Travel Off Path does not recommend traveling against government advice
https://www.traveloffpath.com/japan-reopening-for-normal-tourism-october-11/ Japan reopens for regular tourism on October 11