Japan expected to ease entry rules ‘any day’

By Linsey McNeill
23/08/2022
Home » Japan expected to ease entry rules ‘any day’

Japan is expected to ease entry restrictions to allow more than twice as many tourists to enter the country from next month, according to local media reports.

They say the Japanese Government is planning to end pre-departure PCR tests for fully vaccinated arrivals and allow 50,000 international arrivals a day, up from 20,000 now.

UK operators are also hoping Japan will lift the requirement for tourists to travel with a guide from an approved travel agency.

A further hurdle for visitor is that they must apply for a tourist visa before travelling, but since the country reopened its borders on 10 June, Japan specialist InsideJapan has still managed to run five small group tours.

“With guidelines in place, there was a little concern over customer experience and enjoyment of Japan, but feedback has been hugely positive,” said co-founder Simon King.

“Everyone has been blown away by the welcome they have received with ryokan guesthouse owners and restaurant owners laying on a little extra, keen to have international business back.”

He said sales for June and August have exceeded the same months in 2019, while in July they fell only slightly short of pre-pandemic levels.

“It is reassuring to see that demand for travel to Japan in 2022 and early 2023 is so strong,” he added. 

The Japan specialist has around 30 small group tours running between September and December covering most of the country.  “There is only a handful of Small Group Tour places left for 2022 and we want our trade partners to be aware that we can get their customers travelling,” said Simon. It is a special time to be in Japan and after over two years of no travel, we are delighted to be making these tours happen again.”  

He said he was hoping Japan will end the restriction on travelling with an approved guide which would allow InsideJapan to reintroduce its self-guided tours, adding: “The Japanese Government is expected to make further announcements any day now.”

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