In an effort to restore mass tourism to Japan, which was one of the final major holdouts during the pandemic, Covid-19 restrictions have been dissolved.
Japan will finally open its borders to independent tourists on October 11 after more than two years of tight border restrictions. A full reopening of the country is reported by The Japan Times and Nikkei Asia, and tourists will no longer need a visa to enter the country. As well as this, the daily entry cap will also be completely removed.
Taro Kono, the minister of digital affairs for Japan, tweeted Thursday that the country is loosening restrictions on foreign tourists due to its unique mix of vibrant urban culture and natural beauty.
Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister, said at a news conference in New York City, where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly meeting, “we will lift the ban on entry into Japan, lift the ban on individual travel, as well as lift the ban on visa-less travel.”
Kishida elaborated on the lifting of restrictions by saying, “We intend to launch a campaign that will offer domestic travel discounts and event discounts to Japanese residents on the same day, and hope that many citizens will take advantage of the offer to provide support to the hotel, travel and entertainment industries that have suffered enormous losses due to the pandemic.”
The reopening of Japan to international tourism was a gradual and cautious process. In June, the country began accepting tourists who are traveling as part of a guided package tour. Travel restrictions were eased earlier this month: tourists are no longer required to travel with a guide to Japan, but must still obtain a visa and book their flights and accommodations through a travel agency.
This full reopening, which takes effect on the 11th of October, is highly anticipated by international tourists who have been patiently waiting to visit the country. There is no doubt that this comes at a very good time, not only because of the weak yen, but also because the autumn season is traditionally a peak time for inbound travel.