When Can I Travel to Japan? Borders Reopening in June 2022

While much of the world has now opened up – in some form or other – to international travelers, some countries have been much slower to lower entry restrictions and encourage the return of tourists.

Take Japan, for instance. Tourists have been barred from entering Japan for the best part of two years. While the country opened up in April to some overseas residents, business travelers and foreign students, tourists are still banned from obtaining visas.

However, that might not be the case for much longer. Last week Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the country is aiming to reopen to international tourists in June. Which means that your trip of a lifetime may be just a month away!

Kishida says Japan will be reopening in stages, with the government monitoring the impact of the recent Golden Week holiday (April 29 to May 5) before making a firm decision. The Japan Times has reported that the country may welcome small tour groups before opening its doors to general tourism.

Currently the rules for entering Japan are complicated – to say the least. There’s a cap of 10,000 arrivals per month, and only those from a list of 106 countries (see that list in full here) can enter.

Schools and companies have to sponsor individuals hoping to enter, and visitors must self-isolate on arrival. Currently, you need to have proof of a positive Covid test taken 72 hours before departure, a signed copy of this form (promising to comply with local Covid rules), and a completed online questionnaire. Once at the airport in Japan, you need to take another PCR test and download a health monitoring app.

The quarantine rules are slightly complicated, too. Everyone has to take a PCR test before leaving for Japan, and it must come back negative. If you’ve had three jabs, you’ll have to isolate at your accommodation for the first three days in the country, then take another test. If it’s negative, you’re all good; otherwise, you’ll have to stay there for another seven days. If you’re unvaccinated or have hader than three jabs, the rules are the same except you have to quarantine specifically in a hotel. Phew! We did say the rules are complicated.

In any case, while you might not be able to visit Japan as a tourist just yet, the rules are changing regularly. Keep an eye out for updates and start planning that trip of a lifetime.

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