Japan Travel Restrictions: How can I Travel to Japan?

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by Trip.com

Japan Travel Restrictions – Policies for Foreign Travelers

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(From October 11, 2022) Japanese Government just announced that 【1】Returnees Follow-up Systems (ERFS) is no longer required,【2】the measure to limit the entry of foreign tourist to those on package tours was lifted, 【3】visa exemption arrangments will be cancelled.

From October 11, 2022, visitors will once again be able to travel to Japan without a visa or tour group, which is good news for all of you.

So who can enter then?

Japan's border controls will undergo several significant changes begining October 11. To summarize, the key points are as follow:

  • Visitors who are holding visa exemptions, can visit Japan without a visa.
  • Package tours are no longer required for visitors
  • Travelers are no longer required to return a COVID-19 test upon arrival unless they are suspected of being infected with COVID-19.
  • There is no longer a cap on daily arrivals to Japan.

Japan Travel Restrictions – Quarantine

Osaka Street View

【The latest quarantine meaures】From 12:00am (midnight/JST) on October 11, self-quarantine in places such as own residence or accommodations are no longer required.

For those eligible to enter Japan, quarantine is required. Certain restrictions apply depending on which country travelers arrive from, though in general, a stay of 3, 6, or 10 days at a designated quarantine facility is required. After this stay is completed, travelers will be transferred to their place of residence to complete the remaining amount of the 14-day period.

As of Oct 1, 2021, the quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers has been reduced from 14 to 10 days, removing the need to stay 3 days at designated quarantine facilities. For Japan, fully vaccinated is defined as having received two doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine at least 14 days before traveling. At the end of the 10-day quarantine period, another COVID-19 test is required.

Those entering the country are required to install a location-tracking app on their phones and report their location within the app daily. Location information is also expected to be tracked via smartphone map apps, as this data may be requested by health authorities. Travelers who do not have a smartphone that can install the necessary apps will be required to rent one at the airport at their own expense.

Regardless of the duration of quarantine, those who have entered the country are not permitted to take public transportation for 14 days. Be prepared for a potentially expensive (depending on your destination) taxi ride upon entering the country.

Japan Travel Restrictions – Domestic Travel

Japanese Girls

When compared to other countries in the world with high population densities, Japan has fared fairly well in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, however, the domestic tourism industry has taken a hit.

At the time of writing, most major tourist attractions in Japan, such as the Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Disneyland, Kyoto Imperial Palace, and Osaka Castle have reopened. While museums and historical buildings are generally open, some indoor attractions, such as the Asahi Beer Suita Brewery in Osaka and Kirin Beer Factory in Yokohama remain closed.

When it comes to domestic transportation within Japan, getting around the country is still quite convenient. The country's reliable rail system is still running on time and as scheduled without much impact from the pandemic. Cancellations of domestic flights, however, do occur on occasion due to low ticket sales.

The good news is that domestic tourism within Japan is generally encouraged. In July 2020, the government launched the "Go To Travel" campaign, which provided discounts of up to JPY20,000 per person on accommodations and related travel expenses. While the campaign was later suspended due to virus outbreaks in early 2021, Japan's new tourism minister announced plans to potentially resume the campaign in early 2022. When the "Go To Travel" campaign was launched, the provided subsidies were available to both Japanese citizens and foreign residents.

In Japan, wearing face masks is required when taking public transportation and visiting public spaces. While a state of emergency is not currently in place (the most recent one ended on Oct 1, 2021), it's possible that the government may reinstate curfews or other limitations in areas where outbreaks occur. In the past, curfews resulted in bars and restaurants closing at 20:00 in metropolitan areas like Tokyo and Osaka.

Japan Travel Restrictions – Japan border reopening

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From October 11, Japan is set to reopen to tourist again. International tourists can finally roam the country with having to book a package tour, which is a good new. Tourists from bule list countries, such as United States, Australia and some European Union countries, are no longer required to quarantine or submit to on-site testing in airport.

Proof of vaccination is not required, but it does eliminate the need to provide a negtive covid-test result 72 hours before departure.

Japan Travel Restrictions – Requirements for Entry

Traveler Type Negative COVID-19 Test Quarantine
Foreign Business Travelers ✗ (with valid covid-19 vaccination certificate)
Foreign Students ✗ (with valid covid-19 vaccination certificate)
Japanese Citizens ✗ (with valid covid-19 vaccination certificate)
Permanent Residents ✗ (with valid covid-19 vaccination certificate)
Foreign Tourists
(with visa exemptions)
✗ (with valid covid-19 vaccination certificate)

The information provided in this article is for reference only. Please note that COVID-19 related travel policies are subject to change. For the latest travel restrictions for Japan, please refer to the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Bird View of Japan City

FAQ about Japan Travel Restrictions

  • Can tourists enter Japan?

    Foreigners can enter Japan with valid visa.

  • Will the "Go To Travel" campaign resume?

    Based on statements from Japan's tourism minister, it's expected that the "Go To Travel" campaign may resume in early 2022.

  • Is a COVID-19 test required to enter Japan?

    A negative COVID-19 test result from within 72 hours before your time of departure is required if you cannot provide a valid covid-19 vaccination certificate.

  • Can I transit through Japan?

    Foreign travelers can transfer through Japan's airports as normal.

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