“We have been waiting for more than two years and with so much anticipation for this moment, it feels like it has finally arrived” ー Masaharu Matsuoka.

Arielle Busetto and Shaun Fernando, JAPAN Forward

Foreign tourists visiting Japan will wear masks, purchase private health insurance, and be accompanied throughout their stay, the Japanese government announced on June 7.

It is a sign that Japan is reopening slowly after two years of COVID-19 restrictions.

Only visitors on package tours are allowed in during the first phase, which begins from June 10, the Japan Tourism Agency said. There is currently a cap of 20,000 people allowed to enter the country per day for all categories of people, such as Japanese nationals, foreign residents, students, and business visitors. From June 10, incoming tourists are included in that figure.

The last time tourists were allowed to enter Japan was in March 2020.

Under the new guidelines, visitors are once again welcome, but with conditions. They must use the services of travel agencies registered in Japan. Those agencies are responsible for processing their visas and guaranteeing their travel, according to a new sixteen-page guideline handbook.

Some Key Points

Masks: The new guidance calls for participants to be frequently reminded of the necessary sanitation precautions, such as wearing masks and removing them only when they are not required throughout the tour.

Masks are deemed unnecessary when locations are not crowded, while bathing in spas, or when participating in outdoor activities. In situations where people converse in close proximity, however, masks should be worn even outdoors.

Medical insurance: Travelers are required to take out medical insurance to cover any costs of treatment or care in the event they contract COVID-19.

In addition, they are to be chaperoned by tour guides throughout their trip. Guides are required to keep an itinerary to track close contacts in case of infections.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.