When Will Japan Open for Tourists?
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
Japan is slowly opening its borders to select people from select countries. But when will Japan reopen borders for tourists?
Is Japan Open for Tourism?
International tourists are not yet allowed to enter the country.
At the moment, Japan is open to domestic tourists only, including foreign residents, exchange students, and people who have been in the country since the lockdown started in April.
Tourist attractions and public facilities in the country are also operational at half capacity to accommodate local citizens and domestic tourists alike.
But of course, safety measures are encouraged everywhere. People are urged to observe physical distancing, always wear a face mask, and skip crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.
Government Efforts to Revive Tourism
The Japanese government is encouraging domestic travelers to cross borders in hopes to prop up tourism. This is part of its Go To Travel campaign that started in July.
As an incentive, Japanese residents are offered a 50% travel cost discount using government-issued coupons until early 2021.
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The government allotted 1.35 trillion yen to promote domestic tourism.
Given the Go To Travel campaign, it’s clear that the government badly wants to revive the tourism industry.
So it won’t even be surprising that international tourists will be allowed soon.
When Will Japan Allow Tourists?
Domestic tourists can freely roam around most parts of the country. It’s different for international tourists, however, as Japan still shuts its borders for most countries.
Even so, the government has been working hard to come up with bilateral agreements with several countries for easing travel restrictions.
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Singapore and Japan, for example, announced on Friday, September 11 that they will open a “reciprocal green lane” to accommodate travelers between the two countries, which is expected to kick off on September 18.
However, the bilateral agreement will only facilitate essential business travels for now, not leisurely travels.
Japan has also discussed lifting travel restrictions for some countries and regions like Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Laos.
When Will Japan Reopen Borders?
Honestly, there’s no exact answer to this question. Looking at the government’s efforts, it badly wants to reopen its borders but also has to take safety into consideration first.
Reopening borders will come in stages, that’s why Japan is giving priority to foreign residents, international talents, and exchange students from select countries. International tourists will follow soon.
Japan might open its borders in early 2021, weeks, or months before the Tokyo Olympics. If a coronavirus vaccine will be discovered, we can expect Japan to open as soon as it can.
For now, we can only hope for the best.