Japan Will Reopen to Tourists This Week With Strict Regulations — What to Know Before You Book

·2-min read
Bright neon lights in and crowded streets in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Bright neon lights in and crowded streets in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

International travelers will finally be able to begin planning trips to Japan.

Following a trial run last month, the Japanese government has decided to reopen its borders for the first time in over two years to leisure travelers and will require all entering to comply with several rules, according to Reuters.

Beginning June 10, tourists on assigned package tours will be allowed into the country as the first phase of the reopening. According to the Japanese Tourism Agency, all guests on the tours will be supervised by travel agency guides to ensure mask-wearing at all times, including when outdoors and social distancing is not possible. Japan will also monitor incoming travelers and cap the number at 20,000 entrants per day, which includes residents.

In addition to the required tour bookings and mask-wearing, all tourists will be required to take out private medical insurance as well.

"Japan doesn't have a timeline for a resumption of full-scale, independent tourism, and the easing could be reversed if COVID-19 worsens", the Japanese Government said to Reuters.

Before the announcement of the phased border reopening, Japan hosted a "trial run" for tourists with small groups of triple-vaccinated travelers, mostly travel agents, from the U.S., Australia, Thailand, and Singapore. All test travelers had to be part of a tour and were monitored for mask-wearing.

Reuters reported in late May, that of the about 50 travelers that came into Japan in May as part of the trial run, one member tested positive for COVID-19, and three others were asymptomatic. That trip was promptly canceled after the infection.

Business and student-related travel had resumed in Japan before the announcement of the leisure travel trial according to CNN, however, some travelers may be subject to quarantine on arrival.

Currently, U.S. citizens of all ages looking to travel to Japan will need to receive a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the departure of the international leg of the trip, according to the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan. Travelers will also likely need to complete documentation in Japan.

Throughout this year, other countries in Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, and India, have opened their borders to American travelers.

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