Time after time, Japan ranks at the top of travel bucket lists for Americans with wanderlust. But a new announcement from the Japanese government just make it a little harder to get to the island country from the States.
Japan just reopened this month for international tourism (for the first time since its initial lockdown in 2020), but strict requirements have been put in place, including a cap on the number of entries from a small number of countries. In addition, Americans seeking to travel to Japan will now need a visa to enter the country, as reported by Afar. Spur of the moment travel won't be possible since Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that 'Due to the impact caused by the Covid pandemic, the visa approval procedure may take longer than usual' as part of the announcement.
Even once you have visa in hand, travel to Japan won't be breezy. There are also stringent regulations once you land. For instance, travelers must obtain special medical insurance to cover expenses related to the novel coronavirus, wear a mask at all times, sanitize hands, and travel with a tour guide. That's right – you are not meant to explore on your own, other than if you are coming for certain reasons such as attending a wedding or funeral or visiting a sick friend. You are not allowed to share food in a restaurant or talk to others in a public bath.
And although we are fierce lovers of travel, we do note that according to the most recent update to the US Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs's website, Japan still has a travel advisory level of 3, meaning 'reconsider travel,' both for its high levels of Covid-19 and for its Covid-related entry restrictions.