when can I travel to Japan?

Despite strict border restrictions, Japan still managed to become the top tourist destination in the world. While the country has finally reopened its borders to tourists on guided group tours, it’s still not open to independent travellers.

If you’re wondering when you can visit Japan freely, we’re here to answer your questions. Here’s all the latest information you need to know, including who can come into Japan, border restrictions, and rules you must comply with if you choose to visit Japan via a guided tour group. We’ll keep this article updated as more information becomes available.

Who can travel to Japan?

As of July 1, Japan has raised its daily entry cap to 30,000 people. You can come into Japan if you are a foreign resident with a valid residence visa, business traveller, foreign student, or tourist on a package tour.

What do I need to enter Japan?

All travellers, regardless of vaccination status or place of departure, must produce a negative Covid-19 test certificate within 72 hours of departure. Entry rules differ depending on the country or region you’re travelling from. Japan has divided the countries and regions into three categories: red, yellow and blue (more on this later). Depending on your designated category, you may be asked for the following documents upon arrival:

  • Sign a Written Pledge (only for those required to quarantine)
  • Submit a questionnaire administered by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (you may submit this ahead of time through Fast Track)
  • Submit a Covid-19 vaccination certificate. (You don’t have to be vaccinated to enter Japan, but arrivals from red and yellow countries or regions can reduce quarantine time by submitting this in advance. You can also submit this via Fast Track)
  • Download the MySOS health monitoring app on your smartphone
  • Take a PCR test upon arrival (travellers in the blue category and fully vaccinated travellers in the yellow category are exempt from this)

You can speed through some arrival procedures at the airport by using Fast Track – see our guide here.

For further details on entry requirements, visit the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Do I need to quarantine upon arrival in Japan?

As previously mentioned, travellers are split into three categories (red, yellow and blue) depending on the country or region they are coming from. These categories also determine the quarantine measures you must follow upon entry into Japan.

  • Red: travellers must take an on-arrival Covid-19 test and quarantine for three days at a designated government facility – regardless of vaccination status.
  • Yellow: travellers without a valid vaccination certificate must take an on-arrival Covid-19 test and quarantine for three days at a designated government facility. Those with a valid vaccination cert are exempt from on-arrival testing and quarantine.
  • Blue: No on-arrival testing and quarantine – regardless of vaccination status.

For further details on which countries and regions are in each category, visit here.

What do I need to visit Japan on a guided group tour?

For now, Japan is only open to foreign tourists on guided tours. The government is also asking travellers in these tour groups to wear face masks and purchase insurance to cover potential Covid-19 medical expenses. These safety measures will be made known to tour participants when they purchase their tour package. Those who fail to comply with the rules may not be able to take part in the tours.

When can independent travellers visit Japan? 

Currently, there is no news on when Japan will open up to independent travellers. However, the country has been slowly easing its entry restrictions and we’re hoping the borders will fully open soon. We’ll keep you updated as more information is released by the authorities. 

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