After two years of strict travel restrictions, Japan has finally reopened its borders to tourists on June 10. However, the entry policy does make it hard for those intending to visit. Those looking to travel to Japan are required to be with a local guide at all times whilst in the country. If you don’t mind being part of an organised and guided tour group, then this may be the option for you.
Being part of a guided tour group does have its benefits: a pre-planned itinerary, reliable tour guides and someone to support you along the way. However, many will be disappointed as Japan has always been a country which is best explored at one’s own leisure and pace.
Being part of a guided tour group is not the only requirement. Visitors are also required to purchase medical insurance and wear masks in all public places, including outside. You must also take a COVID-19 PCR test (or an antigen test) within 72 hours before departure and present proof of this when boarding.
“Tour guides should frequently remind tour participants of necessary infection prevention measures, including wearing and removing masks, at each stage of the tour,” says the Japan Tourism Agency. “Even outdoors, the wearing of masks should continue in situations where people are conversing in close proximity,” they added.
While Japan offered visa-free entry to visitors from around 68 countries, the rules have now changed which means that everyone visiting will now require a visa.
For some of us, this is great news! For others, it seems sensible to wait a little longer until restrictions have been fully relaxed. Whether you want to pay your respect to the city of Hiroshima, explore the bustling city of Kyoto or be amazed at the magnificence of Mount Fuji, Japan promises unbeatable experiences.
This major step towards normality is great news as it gives us hope that Japan will reopen to all in the near future!
Main Image – Saro Sagano, Unsplash