Can I still visit Japan?

It has been two and a half years now that traveling in Japan has been relatively easy and free. Few countries in the world have been so cautious about reopening their borders to tourism after the cataclysmic lockdowns of 2020. But today, we’re thrilled to learn, via Time Out Tokyo and the Japan timethat travel to Japan will soon return to something very much like the old normal.

What are the new travel restrictions in Japan?

Following previous reports that Japan was preparing to drop pre-departure testing, the Japanese government has now announced that from September 7, 2022, travelers will be allowed to visit Japan without booking a guided tour. Individual package tours will now be allowed – even those that only include flights and hotels.

The only remaining snag will be that potential visitors will have to book through a travel agency, as a point of information and contact. This will somewhat limit travelers’ choice of accommodation. This also means that you cannot, for example, book accommodation spontaneously while you are in Japan – so no free roaming backpacking trips yet.

But all of this is much better than the current situation, in which potential tourists can only enter Japan if they have booked a strictly scheduled escorted group tour.

At the same time, Japan’s list of permitted countries will also be removed, with visitors from all countries and regions now being accepted.

The country will also start allowing up to 50,000 overseas arrivals per day, up from 20,000 currently. (In fact, the stringency of the current “trial tourism” regime saw only 14,345 people arrive per day in July.)

If you plan to travel to Japan from September 7, you will still need to complete all steps to apply for a visa and follow all border measures, including quarantine and proof of vaccination.

Despite some remaining complications, it looks like Japan is finally moving from its tourism trial to a full, albeit cautious, reopening. According to the words of a government official quoted by the Japan time: ‘We hope that more foreign tourists will come to Japan.’ And that’s something we can all be very excited about.

Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Get ready with our guide to the 15 best hotels in Japan.

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