Japan is closed for tourism and plans to extend the state of emergency beyond May 31
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  • Post published:01/06/2021
  • Post last modified:01/06/2021

Japan is not open for tourism, only essential travel is allowed with strict restrictions and entry requirements.

All visitors must submit proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 92 before arrival and undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine at home.

Bad news for sports fans. Japan WILL NOT allow overseas spectators for the Olympic Games this year. 

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People walking in Osaka, Japan

May 26 – Japan weighing to extend the state of emergency beyond May 31

Japan is considering an extension of the state of emergency that imposes multiple COVID-19 restrictions such as business closures and night curfews. 

The extension would affect Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Aichi, Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Okayama, and Fukushima.

Japan has managed to control the spread of the virus but an increase in cases in 10 of the 47 prefectures has stressed the health system network. 

So far, the state of emergency is set to be lifted in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto on May 31, and on June 20 in Okinawa. But data shows that won’t probably happen. 

(Source: Japan-guide.com)

May 10 – Japan is reportedly working on Vaccine passports to reopen international borders

Japanese authorities are reportedly working on a vaccine passport app. This app will be connected to the Japan Vaccination Record System and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. It will keep record not only of travelers’ vaccination certificates but also of negative COVID-19 tests so unvaccinated travelers don’t feel discriminated against. 

This means Japan is also working on a reopening plan to allow international visitors. So far, the country is open for essential travel only and this exception does not even include all countries.

Japanese Minister Taro Kono said that if other countries have already started using vaccine passports to reopen travel, “so Japan will have to consider it too.”

April 23  – Japan to enforce more restrictions before the Olympic Games

While the world was waiting for Japan to announce some restriction lifting considering the Olympic games are around the corner, the government has done exactly the opposite. But knowing the Japanese culture, it makes total sense. 

With coronavirus infections increasing everywhere in Tokyo and Osaka, both governors of these cities have formally requested to reimpose a new state of emergency so they can strengthen restrictions especially in Osaka where the British variant has badly hit the Japanese population.

April 10 – New restrictions in Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa from April 12

Due to a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in these three major cities, Japan decided to reimpose the same severe restrictions the country experienced under the last state of emergency that ended 3 weeks ago. 

The new measures will be enforced from April 12 to May 11 in Tokyo and from April 12 to May 5 in Kyoto and Okinawa, said Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. 

From Monday, Japanese people won’t be allowed to visit bars and restaurants after 08:00pm and big events will be limited to 5,000 people among other restrictions. 

March 29 – New restrictions and new vaccination passport

Japan has decided to tighten even more its COVID-19 related restrictions. The health officials found some of the new highly contagious variants of coronavirus in more than 20 prefectures (50% of the country). This made the transportation Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba to impose additional entry border controls. As of today, only 2,000 foreign nationals are allowed to enter the country per day. 

Additionally, according to a Reuters’s report, the country will be issuing a digital vaccination certificate that will pair up with people’s mobile phones. The holders are supposed to use it to board a plane or check in to a hotel.

March 11 

Japan has had to make a tough decision not only for the world but also for its own economy. The government has officially decided not to extend their invitations to this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games to foreign visitors.

Officials say the country is obligated to protect the Japanese population from a bigger spread of the coronavirus and its new variants.

The Olympic Committee and two other organizations will be announcing this decision to the international community possibly next week.

February 12 

The Japanese government is set to approve Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine before Sunday, Feb. 14. 

Almost 400,000 doses have already arrived at Narita International Airport. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, expects that the vaccination rollout will begin next week.

How safe is Japan at the moment?

General Tourism Update - Japan

The CDC has recently placed Japan at Level 4 of risk (Very High Level of COVID-19). This is probably due to a recent rise in infection numbers, especially in Sapporo, Osaka, Tokyo and Nagoya

Who can visit Japan?

To contain the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Japan has suspended all travel bubbles with all countries and regions. This restriction also includes travel for business purposes.

Travel in Japan Procedures

COVID-19 situation in Japan

COVID-19 cases in Japan

As of May 26, Japan has seen 725,536 cases of COVID-19 and 12,497 people have lost their lives to the virus. The government is imposing different local measures in order to stop the spread of infections.

The pandemic has hit Japan in different devastating ways. Not only it has killed thousands of Japanese people but also it forced the postponement of the 2020 Olympics to 2021 and without spectators.

What to do in Japan during pandemic

Japan reopening borders

Domestic travel has been largely unimpeded in the country ensuring that Japanese citizens continue visiting their own tourism sites.

This means that many attractions have begun to reopen for tours.

This includes a wide array of Japan’s most popular sites, including the Tokyo Tower, Imperial East Gardens, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo National Museum, and more.

Below is a list of the most popular tourist attractions open in Tokyo and their current state of business.

  • Tokyo Tower (reopened)
  • Tokyo Government Building observation decks (reopened)
  • Toyosu Market (reopened)
  • Kyu Shiba Rikyu (reopened)
  • Tokyo Disneyland (reopened)
  • Tokyo DisneySea (reopened)
  • Guided tours of the Imperial Palace (reopened)
  • Imperial East Gardens (reopened)
  • Hama Rikyu (reopened)
  • Rikugien (reopened)
  • Edo Open Air Museum (reopened)
  • Shinjuku Gyoen (reopened)
  • Koishikawa Korakuen (reopened)
  • Koishikawa Botanical Garden (reopened)
  • Kiyosumi Garden (reopened)
  • Institute for Nature Study (reopened)
  • Sumida Hokusai Museum (reopened)
  • Tokyo National Museum (reopened)
  • Tokyo Skytree (reopened)
  • Sumida Aquarium (reopened)
  • Edo-Tokyo Museum (reopened)

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.

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