Today, the Prime Minister of Japan announced that the country would expand the trial that began this Tuesday and allow more foreign visitors to arrive on prearranged package tours from June 10, 2022.
Japan has been closed to all visitor arrivals now for 26 months, excluding business travelers and students allowed to enter on visas from late 2021.
Japan is also raising the daily international arrivals cap from 10,000 to 20,000 on June 1, including nationals of Japan returning from overseas.
The first international tourist group arrived in Japan on Tuesday, which included a total of 7 visitors, all of whom came from the United States.
It is still unclear how many tourists are allowed daily on these North Korea-style tours and from which countries.
Here’s an excerpt from the Japan Times:
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday that foreign tourists will be allowed to enter Japan on package tours from June 10, paving the way for the full resumption of inbound tourism, which has been suspended for more than two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will resume accepting tourists on package tours with guides from the 10th of next month,” Kishida said in Tokyo. “Step by step we will aim to accept (tourists) as we did in normal times, taking into consideration the status of infections.”
It is a long road for Japan’s reopening for individual travelers, and I would not expect this to take place before fall, and then we might already have another covid waive.
There is also an election taking place in Japan this July that complicates things.
I would not rush to buy tickets for Japan for any time this year until there is a clear indication and a firm timeline for full reopening.