Woman dressed in kimono at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto
Photo: Antoine Cantoro/Unsplash

Everything you need to know Japan's Go to Travel campaign

The travel subsidy offers up to 50 percent discounts on domestic trips – here's how to enjoy this great deal

By Kasey Furutani and Youka Nagase
Advertising

In this age of Covid-19 coronavirus, the world isn’t exactly our oyster. Although Japan’s sweeping entry ban is still in place, those of us already here are being encouraged to explore our own backyard and see everything the country has to offer.

To promote domestic travel and to help boost local businesses, the Japanese government has set up the Go to Travel campaign, which provides subsidies of up to 50 percent on your costs for transportation, hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and shopping, all within Japan. 

Tokyo was readded to the campaign on October 1, so those travelling to and from Tokyo are now eligible for the discounts. 

Most of the information on the Go to Travel campaign is in Japanese, so we’ve compiled all the key details on this remarkable travel deal. 

These details are subject to change – this is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. 

Recommended: How to go out safely in Tokyo, or anywhere for that matter 

Go to Travel campaign FAQs

Arashiyama bamboo grove Kyoto
Arashiyama bamboo grove Kyoto
Photo: Walter Mario Stein/Unsplash

What is Go to Travel?

The Go to Travel campaign is a Japanese government subsidy encouraging domestic travel to help boost the economy. It also aims to bring business back to local tourism and hospitality operators, many of whom were forced to close during the coronavirus state of emergency.

When does the Go to Travel campaign start?

The campaign will kick off on July 22. From July 22 to September 31, travellers will receive an initial 35 percent discount on their travel expenses. From October 1 onwards, travellers will receive the 35 percent discount plus an extra 15 percent discount in the form of vouchers that can be used at their destination, for a total 50 percent off the cost of their trip. 

The campaign is expected to end in January 31, although it's possible it could end earlier. 

Advertising

What kinds of trips are eligible?

The discount only applies to domestic trips and can only be claimed up to a set limit. For day trips, the maximum eligible spend is ¥10,000 per day, while for overnight and longer trips, the maximum is ¥20,000 per night. Until the coupons are distributed on October 1, the maximum spend is ¥7,000 per day and ¥14,000 per night respectively.

Trips costing more than these amounts are still eligible for the Go to Travel scheme, but discounts will only apply up to those limits.

Where can I get the discount?

To receive the discount, you’ll need to book your trip with businesses that are registered with the campaign. You can find a list of participating businesses on the official Go to Travel website (Japanese only).  

Most major Japanese travel agencies are included in the promotion and, once it's integrated with their booking systems, you’ll pay the discounted price when booking directly through the agency. 

You can also book your trip through Booking.com which provides multilingual resources. 

Advertising

Are airfares included?

If booked through a travel agency, then yes, your airfare is included. The deal does not apply to any transportation you’ve booked directly. 

Where can I use the coupons?

Go to Travel will release a list of participating businesses and locations. This will include souvenir shops, restaurants, tourist attractions and activities. Coupons are non-refundable and you cannot receive change when you pay with the coupons. They’ll be distributed in physical and electronic form, and you’ll receive them via your travel agencies or at your hotel. 

Advertising

Do guest houses, dormitories, hostels, capsule hotels, bungalows, tents, cottages count?

If they are registered for the campaign, then yes, stays at these types of accommodation are eligible for the discount.

Prepare for your trip

Advertising
Recommended

    You may also like

      Advertising