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It’s official: Japan is open to travel!

Japan is finally open to independent travellers – and has now lifted even more border restrictions

James Manning
Written by
James Manning

For two-and-a-half years, travel to Japan has been pretty tough. Few countries around the world have been so cautious about reopening their borders to tourism after the cataclysmic shutdowns of 2020. But we’re over the moon to announce that travel to Japan has now returned to something that looks a lot like the old normal. Here’s what you need to know.

What are the latest Japan travel restrictions?

Following Japan’s decision last month to drop pre-departure testing, the Japanese government is now allowing travellers to visit Japan without booking a guided tour or using a travel agency.  

In other words, a free-roaming backpacking trip around Japan is now on the cards! The country has also dropped its daily cap of 50,000 arrivals and its list of permitted countries, with visitors from all countries and regions now being accepted. Here’s a full list of all the countries and regions eligible for visa-free travel to Japan

Visa-free travel has also been reinstated for travellers from dozens of countries (see which ones here), though there are still several border measures in place. If you’ve received three vaccine doses, you don’t need to take a pre-travel Covid test. However, if you’ve received any fewer jabs than three, you’ll need to show a negative test taken within 72 hours of departure for Japan. 

The Japanese government is now looking to capitalise on huge demand from travellers to visit without booking through an agency, especially as the weak yen means that travel to Japan is currently cheaper than it has been for many years. 

While Japan is keeping in place its quarantine system for arrivals from a list of at-risk countries, no countries are actually currently on that list. So, it seems the country is finally on the road to properly welcoming travellers again – and that’s something that we can all get very excited about.

Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Get planning with our guide to Japan’s 15 best hotels.

Plus: you’ll soon be able to spend six weeks in Thailand, visa-free.

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