Japan has fully reopened and here are all the details you need to know for visiting and travelling around Japan.
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Fantastic news! After more than 2.5 years, Japan is completely reopening for tourism and individual visitors. The official reopening date is October 11th, announced by prime minister Kishida. This means no more quarantine, no PCR release tests, visa procedures or daily arrival cap. In other words: You can start planning your next trip to Japan! To get ready, here is everything you need to know about the reopening of Japan.
Japan reopening details
Here at JRPass.com we could not be happier with the news, it has been a long wait and finally Japan's reopening is here. While it was possible to visit Japan earlier for business or family reasons, until now individual travel was not permitted. This will all change on October 11th when Japan will re-open for 68 countries, including the US, Canada, Europe and UK, as the visa-waiver program on arrival has been reinstated.
In order to travel without limitations, all entrants to Japan must have valid Covid-19 vaccination certificates. For those who have received 3 vaccines, no further tests or requirements are required (Meaning initial 2 vaccination rounds + booster, and 1 vaccine & booster in case of the Johnson & Johnson / JCOVDEN / Janssen vaccine). Japan recognizes all vaccines approved by the WHO.
For those who have not yet been vaccinated, or have not completed the triple vaccination requirement. A negative PCR test is required, taken up to 72 hours prior to departure. Children under the age of 18 travelling together with their triple-vaccinated parents/guardians are exempt from the test.
Do you need to wear a mask in Japan?
Japan never had a mask mandate required by law, and wearing a mask is not required. However, socially it is still highly encouraged to wear a mask in public places, especially where people stay close together, such as indoor spaces and on public transport.
Private businesses may set their own rules and expect customers to wear a mask, this includes accommodations, attractions, shops and others. While unlikely, business may be refused to those not willing to wear a mask.
We recommend bringing enough masks in case you arrive in a busy area, or when you are requested to wear one.
Reasons to visit Japan now
If you’re like us and can’t wait to explore Japan, then there’s no reason to wait and visit Japan ASAP. Having said that, here are more good reasons to visit Japan right now.
- The yen is low: Japan’s currency, the yen, has not been this low in over a decade compared to other major currencies, this means that basically everything in Japan is on discount right now. From your Japan Rail Pass, to accommodation, to food and souvenirs.
- Japan remains closed to some countries: Due to geopolitical reasons, Japan remains closed to some countries, like China and Russia. Especially China used to make up a great part of the inbound tourists, meaning it will be more quiet at popular tourist destinations.
- Promotions to stimulate tourism: Japan is actively promoting tourism and there are several discounts to be had in order to encourage travel and tourism. Such as subsidized accommodation and dining offers. Both locally and on a national level.
- Getting back to normal: After more than 2.5 years, it will be good to everyone that life is returning to normal.
Countries without visa requirements
Japan has reopened to the following countries:
- All European Union citizens
- Costa Rica
- Dominical republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United States
For complete list, see official Exemption of Visa (Short-Term Stay) list from Ministry of foreign affairs.
Tips for visiting
Finally, we’re happy to share with you our best tips for visiting Japan after it’s reopening.
- Be polite: it has been a while since Japan has seen tourists, and people are still adjusting to normal life.
- Book with flexibility in mind: book your accommodation and flights on flexible conditions, as plans can change. Here at JRPass.com we offer flexible booking terms and extra cancellation protection for those who wish the extra peace of mind.
- Consider booking Meet and Greet, for a smooth arrival experience in Japan.
- Check ahead of time: The world has changed in the last 2 years and things may no longer be the same. Better to double-check something, than make the wrong assumption.
Note that travel information can be changed at any time, be sure to check with local Japanese authorities before travel.