Japan’s Prime Minister announced yesterday that the cap of international arrivals would be raised to 50,000 as of September 7, 2022, when the predeparture PCR-RT test requirement is removed from triple vaccinated.
The prime minister also announced that there would be changes coming to guided tours, which have been a disaster (roughly 8,000 entered using them in June & July), allowing individual visitors to arrive on non-guided tours with the help of local travel agencies.
The details of these non-guided tour requirements were not disclosed yesterday and still officially have not been.
There is some more information today about these tours on Japan Today that refers to a ministry employee:
as long as they book flights and accommodation through a travel agency, a government official in charge said Thursday.
“The key is to have a sponsor in Japan, like a travel agency, and that they know the whereabouts of the traveler on a given day. They will also offer information on Japan’s social distancing rules and be the contact person if travelers get sick.”
“The revision caters to customers’ needs for greater freedom in travel,” the official said. “We hope more foreign tourists will come to Japan.”
So, in essence, you would need to buy an entire package from a local agency that would then issue ERFS that you need to apply for a tourist visa.
Japan has temporarily removed the visa waiver entry from all countries, and you need a visa. US and Canadian citizens can apply for one online after having all the papers together. Others need to visit a local Japanese consulate or Embassy, and many don’t have open appointments for months.
Previous Japan Coverage:
- Japan Increases Daily Arrivals Cap To 50,000 & Soon Allows Tourists On Non Guided Tours
- Japan Drops Pre-Departure PCR-RT Test Requirement September 7, 2022
- Japan Plans To Remove Covid-19 Test Requirement, Raise Daily Arrivals Cap To 50,000 & Tours Without Guides?
- Japan Opens eVISA Applications For Citizens Of The US & Canada On August 18, 2022
- Japan Tourism Trial Disaster, Tight Entry Requirements Continue & Long Term Goals
- Japan Tour Canceled After Thai Visitor Tests Positive For Covid
- Japan Allows International Visitors On Package Tours From June 10, 2022
- Japan Doubles Arrivals Cap & Testing Changes June 1, 2022
- Japan Tourism Trial Disappointment
- Japan Begins Tourism Trial In May For Fully Vaccinated From United States, Australia, Thailand & Singapore
Most of Asia reopened quickly earlier this year, and the only holdouts are the Chinas (Mainland, Hong Kong, Macao & Taiwan) and Japan.
These organized non-guided tours may attract a small number of “visitors” that know the country, need to get back, and are willing to put up with the unnecessary red tape + extra expenses.
We can go back and see how (un)successful Thailand’s and Indonesia’s tourist reopen were until they removed all obstacles. Far fewer “tourists” were entering Thailand using the sandbox or Bali’s “warm-up vacation,” as countries had hoped for.
Obviously, Japan is not dependent on international visitors to the extent as Indonesia (Bali) and Thailand are. The goal, however, is to double/triple the number of incoming tourists by the end of this decade.
We have closely followed when countries in Asia open, as they tend to be of interest to many.
I am also on my way to Asia-Pacific later this week and could perhaps even enter Japan in October if conditions are acceptable. As a matter of fact, I purchased a refundable award ticket yesterday to keep my options open.
We should learn the official requirements of these unguided tours soon, and let’s hope they roll out the electronic visas to more nationals (currently only US & Canada).