Long-awaited news was finally delivered, but still traveling to Japan is under strict restrictions. After closing its border for two years, Japan will partly reopen to international tourists on June 10, 2022. (Update: if you were fully vaccinated three times, the negative test certificate will not be required anymore from September 7, 2022)
But the process is so confusing, and many people may wonder, who can travel to Japan right now? And what procedure to take to enter Japan exactly?
In this article, we will explain the requirements to travel to Japan after its reopening, what rules to follow, and if it’s worth it.
*Great news: The government announced that Japan will finally open its border for visa-free independent travelers on October 11 2022 onwards! (as of September 23)
Who can travel to Japan now?
Only tourists from the 98 countries designated as ‘blue’ can travel to Japan after its reopening. And you can’t travel freely around Japan yet, you must take a fully packaged tour with fixed itineraries accompanied by a guide at all times during your trip, from your arrival to departure. It’s also limited to people who haven’t traveled outside of the ‘blue’ countries within 14 days prior to a visit to Japan. (Update: travelers can book a packaged tour without a guide from September 7th onwards.)
You can travel to Japan if you are;
- from the 98 countries designated as ‘blue’
- taking a fully packaged tour
- having no history of staying outside of ‘blue’ countries within 14 days prior to a visit to Japan
|Asia-Pacific||Indonesia, Australia, Korea, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Laos|
|North America||Canada, United States|
|Middle and South America||Argentina, Ecuador, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Jamaica, Chile, Dominican Republic, Panama, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico|
|Europe||Iceland, Ireland, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Italy, United Kingdom, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Croatia, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Hungary, Finland, France, Bulgaria, Belgium, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Monaco, Montenegro, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Luxembourg, Russia|
|Middle East and Africa||Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Qatar, Cameroon, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia, Djibouti, Tanzania, Nigeria, Bahrain, Benin, Madagascar, Malawi, South Africa, South Sudan, Mozambique, Morocco, Jordan, Rwanda|
Which country is allowed to travel to Japan without a visa?
|Asia-Pacific||Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan|
|North America||Canada, United States|
|Latin America and the Caribbean||Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Surinam, Uruguay|
|Oceania||Australia, New Zealand|
|Europe||Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, North Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom|
|Middle East and Africa||Israel, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Lesotho, Mauritius, Tunisia|
Requirements to travel to Japan
So if you filled the conditions of traveling to Japan, and decided to take a trip soon. What’s the next step? You will have to find a Japanese travel agency that can help you out through the booking process, and finally, get you to Japan. It’s likely that only major travel agencies can handle the process, so your best option to consult with might be JTB, NTA, and KNT.
Here’re the requirements for traveling around Japan.
- Book a package tour and apply for a tourist visa
- Register Visit Japan Web which is the online service where you can proceed with entry formalities such as quarantine procedure, immigration check, and customer declaration when entering Japan as well as Fast Track which allows you to complete a part of quarantine procedure at the airport beforehand
- Take out travel insurance including the coverage of the Covid-19
- Take a Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure (* From September 7th onwards, it will not be required for those who have been vaccinated three times and have a certificate)
*The government announced that they allow international tourists to come without taking a fully packaged tour accompanied by a tour guide from September 7th onwards. However, tourists still need to arrange their trip through a travel agency that will manage their itinerary and acquire a tourist visa.
How to apply for a tourist visa
To apply for a tourist visa, there’s a certain document that you need from a travel agency.
When you book the tour, the travel agency applies for the Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System (ERFS) for you. You’ll need to submit information such as your name, DOB, sex, passport number, nationality, address of your accommodation, etc, in order to the registration. Once the travel agency completes the registration for ERFS, you have to go to the embassy of your country to submit the visa application with the certificate for completion of registration to ERFS. The whole procedure of getting a tourist visa may take a while.
Read more about applying for a visa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Rules to follow during your visit
There’s a precautionary measure to take during your stay in Japan.
Wearing a mask is required at almost all times. There’re some exceptions though;
- Outdoor activities
- Walking around the non-crowded outside area
At restaurants, it’s recommended to wear a mask while not eating. Also goes the same with indoor facilities such as shrines, temples, and museums.
Is it worth traveling to Japan now?
You have to take a package tour with a fixed itinerary, which means there’s a high chance that your Japan trip will be much more expensive than usual. And if you don’t like a fully packaged tour, and prefer to travel with more freedom, we recommend waiting a bit longer when the border is fully opened with fewer restrictions.
And when the border is fully opened again, don’t forget to check out our fun tours in Japan!
- Tokyo Fish Market Tour @Tsukiji – Enjoy Local Food and Drink
- Tokyo 1- Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
- Kyoto Private Full Day Walking Tour [Customizable]