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Travel update: when can I travel to Japan?

Japan is finally reopening to tourists. We’ve got all the information you need on visiting Japan and current travel restrictions

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

At long last, Japan is finally opening its borders fully to independent travellers starting Tuesday October 11. The border rules and restrictions may seem complicated, so we’re here to answer your questions. Here’s all the latest information you need to know, including who can come into Japan, visa exemptions, border restrictions, and rules you must comply when visiting Japan. We’ll keep this article updated as more information becomes available.

Who can travel to Japan?

Starting Tuesday October 11, Japan will drop its 50,000 entry cap and will allow independent tourists to visit Japan visa-free. Currently, citizens of 68 countries and regions will be allowed to enter Japan for a short-term visit (up to 90 days) without applying for a visa. You'll find the list here.

In the meantime, you can come into Japan if you are a foreign resident with a valid residence visa, business traveller, foreign student, or tourist who's booked their accommodation and flight via a travel agency.

What do I need to enter Japan?

Travellers who are fully vaccinated (that's including booster dose) do not need to take a pre-arrival Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure for Japan. 

Entry rules largely differ depending on the country or region you're travelling from. Japan has divided the countries and regions into three categories: red, yellow and blue (more on this later). Depending on your designated category, you may be asked for the following documents upon arrival:

  • Sign a Written Pledge (only for those required to quarantine)
  • Submit a questionnaire administered by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (you may submit this ahead of time through Fast Track)
  • Submit a Covid-19 vaccination certificate. (You don't have to be vaccinated to enter Japan, but arrivals from red and yellow countries or regions can reduce quarantine time by submitting this in advance. You can also submit this via Fast Track)

You can speed through some arrival procedures at the airport by using Fast Track – see our guide here.

For further details on entry requirements, visit the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Do I need to quarantine upon arrival in Japan?

As previously mentioned, travellers are split into three categories (red, yellow and blue) depending on the country or region they are coming from. These categories also determine the quarantine measures you must follow upon entry into Japan.

  • Red: travellers must quarantine for three days at a designated government facility – regardless of vaccination status and take a PCR test at the facility.
  • Yellow: travellers without a valid vaccination certificate must take a voluntary PCR test and quarantine for three days at home or quarantine for five days at home without taking a test. Those with a valid vaccination cert are exempt from testing and quarantine.
  • Blue: No testing and home quarantine – regardless of vaccination status.

For further details on which countries and regions are in each category, visit here.

What do I need to visit Japan on a guided group tour?

From October 11, foreign tourists no longer have to go through a travel agency to visit Japan. If you're visiting before October 11, tourists are allowed into Japan without joining a guided tour, but they must still apply for a visa and book their flights and accommodation via a travel agency. 

This article was published on July 14 and updated on September 26.

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