When Can I Travel to Japan?
Updated: Aug 17, 2020
I know — you’ve been meaning to travel to Japan soon. But given the global COVID-19 situation, though it’s already slowing down, you are confused about whether or not it’s safe to travel in Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, and other parts of the county right now or anytime soon.
First of all, foreign nationals from over 100 countries are not allowed entry to Japan for leisurely travel for the time being. These countries include China, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom, among so many others. Check out the full list of countries here.
So the trillion-yen question here is — when can you travel to Japan?
To be honest — there’s no exact date as to when the temporary travel restrictions in Japan will be lifted for foreign tourists.
Current COVID-19 Situation in Japan
At this time, a large number of people in Japan have fully recovered from the virus and are no longer needing treatment. In fact, Bloomberg reported that Japan may have just beaten the virus after the dwindling number of cases for weeks now. On May 25, Japan fully lifted its state of emergency, and life in Tokyo and other places are now back to new normal.
Among the Group of Seven developed nations, Japan has the fewest deaths well below 1,000 since May. In short, Japan has now flattened the curve.
Most tourist attractions and facilities in Japan — museums, schools, gyms, bars, parks, and cinemas — have now been opened after months of temporary closure since the coronavirus struck the country in February.
Some walking tours -- like Kyoto Localized and Tokyo Localized -- are now accepting bookings from domestic travelers for dates starting June 19, 2020. However, schedule is limited.
Related: COVID Safe Tours in Japan
Business Travel for Some Countries
As Japan is slowly healing from the harsh impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has laid out its plans to boost its tourism sector and welcome foreign visitors again in the near future.
One of its plans is to open some limited business travel from select countries. These include:
This might start with students, and then tourists. But as we ease the travel restrictions, this might mean allowing a limited number of travelers coming in, say 250 travelers per day.
Related: Less Crowded Places in Kyoto Amid Coronavirus
When Could Temporary Travel Restrictions for Foreign Travelers Be Lifted?
But why is it that the government won’t fully lift the temporary travel restrictions for foreign visitors?
Like many other countries, Japan is taking it slow to open its borders to non-Japanese people. Japanese citizens can now freely travel around the country but with due diligence. Bars have been opened. Parks have been opened. Tourist spots have been opened.
However, citizens are reminded to observe social distancing in public places, wear face masks at all times, and wash hands regularly and thoroughly. Citizens are reminded to bear in mind the 3Cs — closed-in spaces, crowd, and conversation.
Avoid confined spaces with poor ventilation.
Avoid crowded places and events.
Keep a distance when talking with other people.
Related: How to Stay Safe in Japan Amid Coronavirus
Here at Kyoto Localized, we believe that Japan may open to foreign travelers anytime soon — most likely in the next few months. We are surely updating you with the government’s plans for the travel industry soon.
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