After two years of being closed to foreign tourists, Japan is finally reopening its doors—but under strict conditions. Although many countries have gradually reopened to tourism, Japan's progress has remained slow, severely affecting its tourism economy. Japan is still riding a surge of COVID-19 cases, with new cases averaging 30,000 in the month of May.
As of writing, Japan only accepts Japanese nationals, international students, academics, and businesspersons to enter the country from abroad. However, this will soon change.
"We will resume accepting tourists on package tours with guides from the 10th of next month... Step by step we will aim to accept (tourists) as we did in normal times, taking into consideration the status of infections," said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
"We will continue to assess the situation, and intend to make a step-by-step return to accepting people as in normal times."
If you're planning to return to Japan next month, here are some quick facts to remember:
When will it start?
Japan will start accepting foreign tourists on June 10.
Who can enter?
Tourists from only 98 countries on the "blue list" will be allowed to enter. The Philippines is on the blue list. Tourists must have received three COVID-19 shots: first dose, second dose, and a booster shot.
How can you enter?
Tourists can only enter Japan if they are part of "package tours." This means backpackers or those without travel agencies will not be allowed to enter. These "package tours" must be organized by a Japan-based travel agency or operator who will be held responsible for ensuring tourists follow mask mandates and social distancing.
Do you need to take a COVID test?
Yes, you must present a negative PCR test prior to departure.
Do I need to quarantine?
No, tourists from the blue list do not need to quarantine.