Last Update: 24 Sept 2022
On 22nd September, Prime Minister Kishida announced the next changes to Japan’s border entry guidelines:
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that Japan will continue to ease its border controls. Starting on October 11, 2022, Japan will resume visa-free travel and accepting individual tourists.
Japan will also lift the cap on daily arrivals, which is currently set at 50,000 per day. Kishida’s announcement did not include any other details about changes to pre-arrival testing or any other requirements that might be instituted for inbound individual tourists.
From 7 September, triple vaccinated travelers entering Japan will no longer be required to take a pre-departure PCR test, The daily entry caps have also been abolished and there is no longer a need to apply for a visa to enter Japan.
Below you can find more information on what this means to you as our guest and how we can provide you with a holiday package where you can experience Japan with us!
Who is currently allowed to travel to Japan?
Currently, entry to Japan is open to travellers from 128 ‘low risk’ countries. The Japanese government has separated all countries into ‘red’, ‘yellow’ and ‘blue’ categories, based on covid safety levels. The 128 “low risk” countries are categorized as “blue” (which include Australia, Britain, most of Europe, the US and Canada) and travellers from these areas do not need to quarantine or test upon arrival. To check if your country is in the list, please visit: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/covid-19/border_category.html
What is required to travel to Japan and what about visas?
According to the latest update from the Japanese Government (22nd September), in order to enter Japan tourists simply need to:
- Book your ski resort accommodation, lift passes and transfers with Ski Japan Travel.
- Have stayed in a Group Blue country for 14 days prior to arrival.
- Have a travel insurance plan that covers covid-related medical expenses and disruptions.
- Optional but recommended: Download the MySOS App to fast-track you through arrivals when you get to Japan. Using this app, you can upload documentation of things such as a negative covid test and vaccination certificates. The relevant documents must be uploaded to the MySoS app at least 6 hours before your flight’s departure. We recommend that this is done at least 2 or more days in advance in case of any technical issues, but pre-registration of your information is possible from 2 weeks prior to your arrival into Japan.
For more information on entering Japan, you can refer to the Japan National Tourism Organization’s (JNTO) website: General Checklist For Traveling to Japan
Do I need to be vaccinated to go to Japan?
There is no vaccination requirement if you belong to the low-risk/blue group of countries. If you have resided in a low-risk/blue group within 14 days of travel, you will still be required to return a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival.
Do I need to do a pre-departure Covid test?
From 7 September 2022 a negative pre departure PCR is no longer required providing you are fully vaccinated including booster (Vaccines by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Bharat Biotech and Novavax are recognized) and coming from a low risk (Group Blue) country. Full details can be viewed on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, click here.
Do I need to download any tracing apps in Japan?
Besides the MySOS App, which is designed as a Fast Track App, there is no requirement to download any apps to enter Japan.
What measures are in place when I arrive in Japan?
Japanese are travelling within their country and life in Japan is back to normal with restaurants and sights welcoming back visitors.
The Japanese government has established a set of etiquette guidelines for tourists and locals. You’ll quickly notice most people will be wearing masks and there will be no shortage of hand sanitizer in public places. Japan still uses markers on shop/ store floors to encourage social distancing and digital thermometers at entrances plus plenty of “please wear your masks signs” throughout the country.
Please see guidelines from the The Japan Tourism Agency in the infographic below and from this link.
Will I need to wear a mask in Japan?
Yes – mask wearing is still required to a certain degree although in Japan, all Covid “requirements” are actually advisory rather than set in law.
The Japanese government has slowly been easing restrictions on mask wearing, allowing more freedom to take masks off when outdoors or in places that have good ventilation, proper social distancing, or a general lack of conversation. You will notice that many people are choosing to continue wearing masks regardless of the rules.
While official rules have been changing, after two years of mask wearing many are still reluctant to take masks off in public settings. The current guidelines on wearing masks can be seen here.
What happens if I get Covid during the trip?
Should you contract coronavirus during your travels, you will have access to our 24/7 customer support team available to assist you. We have protocols in place to ensure that any testing, self-isolation, or doctor visits will be conducted to keep you and your group safe and ensure everyone’s trip is as smooth and safe as possible. We also highly recommend travel Insurance with medical cover.
There are several hotlines available to help travelers who need advice.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) multilingual hotline is staffed from 9 am to 9 pm (Japan Time) daily. Information is available in English, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese. Some language support is offered at different times.
The Japan Visitor Hotline is available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese 24 hours a day.