Japan Travel Restrictions 2021

Japan Travel Restrictions 2021

By Chris QuanUpdated Sep. 24, 2021

Japan’s borders are still closed to foreign tourists. Only certain travelers can enter Japan. Quarantines are required.

The 2020 (postponed to 2021) Tokyo Olympic Games will be held from July 23 to August 8, but it will accept no overseas spectators. According to current sources, the Olympic Games may accept a small amount of local audiences.

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What's the COVID Situation in Japan?

As of June 16, Japan has recorded 779,262 cases and 14,284 deaths.

Japan was experiencing its third wave of the pandemic in April. 10 prefectures announced emergency measures including Aichi, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Kyoto, Okinawa, Okayama, Osaka, and Tokyo.

On June 17, the Japanese government announced the lifting of the declaration of emergency in nine of the prefectures, excepting Okinawa.

Seven prefectures (Hokkaido, Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto and Fukuoka) will start implementing key measures to prevent the spread of the epidemic from June 21 to July 11.

COVID Vaccinations in Japan

As of June 16, more than 20 million people in Japan have received one vaccination shot. Another 7.62 million people have completed their second vaccination shot.

The Japanese government is pushing for the official issuance of "vaccine passports" to COVID-19 vaccinees, hoping to be issue around mid-to-late July. If successful, it will be good news for international travel.

Officially known as the COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate, the certificate will state your name, passport number and date of vaccination in both Japanese and English, according to government sources.

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Will the Tokyo Olympic Games Still Be Held?

According to current news, the Tokyo Olympic Games will be held as scheduled, from July 23 to August 8. Although there is much public opposition in Japan.

The opening ceremony will begin at 8pm local time on Friday, July 23 (7am EDT on July 23). A small amount of spectators may be allowed at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, according to current news. The number of spectators at the Olympic Games will have a limitation.

Tokyo Olympics 2021 Schedule

The schedule is tentative. Changes may follow.

Events Dates
 Swimming July 24 (Saturday) – August 1 (Sunday)
 Diving July 25 (Sunday) – July 28 (Wednesday)
July 30 (Friday) – August 7 (Saturday)
 Artistic Swimming August 2 (Monday) – August 4 (Wednesday)
August 6 (Friday) – August 7 (Saturday)
 Water Polo July 24 (Saturday) – August 8 (Sunday)
 Marathon Swimming August 4 (Wednesday) – August 5 (Thursday)
 Archery July 23 (Friday) – July 31 (Saturday)
 Track & Field / Marathon July 30 (Friday) – August 8 (Sunday)
 Race Walk July 30 (Friday)
August 6 (Friday) – August 7 (Saturday)
 Badminton July 24 (Saturday) – August 2 (Monday)
 Baseball July 28 (Wednesday) – August 5 (Thursday)
August 7 (Saturday)
 Softball July 21 (Wednesday) – July 22 (Tuesday)
July 24 (Saturday) – July 27 (Tuesday)
 3×3 Basketball July 24 (Saturday) – July 28 (Wednesday)
 Basketball July 25 (Sunday) – August 8 (Sunday)
 Boxing July 24 (Saturday) – August 1 (Sunday)
August 3 (Tuesday) – August 8 (Sunday)
 Slalom July 25 (Sunday) – July 30 (Friday)
 Sprint August 2 (Monday) – August 7 (Saturday)
 BMX Freestyle July 31 (Saturday) – August 1 (Sunday)
 BMX Racing July 29 (Thursday) – July 30 (Friday)
 Mountain Bike July 26 (Monday) – July 29 (Tuesday)
 Road Bike July 26 (Saturday) – July 25 (Sunday)
July 28 (Wednesday)
 Track Bike August 2 (Monday) – August 8 (Sunday)
 Equestrian (Dressage) July 24 (Saturday) – July 25 (Sunday)
July 27 (Tuesday) – July 28 (Wednesday)
 Equestrian (Eventing) July 30 (Friday) – August 2 (Monday)
 Equestrian (Jumping) August 3 (Tuesday) – August 7 (Saturday)
 Fencing July 24 (Saturday) – August 1 (Sunday)
 Football July 21 (Wednesday) – July 22 (Thursday)
July 24 (Saturday) – July 25 (Sunday)
July 27 (Tuesday) – July 28 (Wednesday)
July 30 (Friday) – July 31 (Saturday)
August 2 (Monday) – August 3 (Tuesday)
August 5 (Thursday) – August 7 (Saturday)
 Golf July 29 (Thursday) – August 1 (Sunday)
August 4 (Wednesday) – August 7 (Saturday)
 Gymnastics (Artistic) July 24 (Saturday) – July 29 (Thursday)
August 1 (Sunday) – August 3 (Tuesday)
 Gymnastics (Rhythmic) August 6 (Friday) – August 8 (Sunday)
 Gymnastics (Trampoline) July 30 (Friday) – July 31 (Saturday)
 Handball July 24 (Saturday) – August 8 (Sunday)
 Hockey July 24 (Saturday) – August 6 (Friday)
 Judo July 24 (Saturday) – July 31 (Saturday)
 Karate August 5 (Thursday) – August 7 (Saturday)
 Modern Pentathlon August 5 (Thursday) – August 7 (Saturday)
 Rowing July 23 (Friday) – July 30 (Friday)
 Rugby July 26 (Monday) – July 31 (Saturday)
 Sailing July 25 (Sunday) – August 4 (Wednesday)
 Shoot (Rifle and Pistol) July 24 (Saturday) – July 25 (Sunday)
July 27 (Tuesday)
July 29 (Thursday) – August 2 (Monday)
 Shoot (Shotgun) July 25 (Sunday) – July 26 (Monday)
July 28 (Wednesday) – July 29 (Thursday)
July 31 (Saturday)
 Skateboarding (Park) August 4 (Wednesday) – August 5 (Thursday)
 Skateboarding (Street) July 25 (Sunday) – July 26 (Monday)
 Sport Climbing August 3 (Tuesday) – August 6 (Friday)
 Surfing July 25 (Sunday) – August 1 (Sunday)
 Table Tennis July 24 (Saturday) – July 30 (Friday)
August 1 (Sunday) – August 6 (Friday)
 Taekwondo July 24 (Saturday) – July 27 (Tuesday)
 Tennis July 24 (Saturday) – August 1 (Sunday)
 Triathlon July 26 (Monday) – July 27 (Tuesday)
July 31 (Saturday)
 Beach Volleyball July 24 (Saturday) – August 7 (Saturday)
 Volleyball July 24 (Saturday) – August 8 (Sunday)

Who Can Enter Japan?

At present, foreign nationals are prohibited from entering Japan as tourists. People traveling for study, work, reunion, or emergency humanitarian reasons may enter. All foreign nationals who don’t already have a visa and wish to enter Japan need to apply for a visa, except for those with a Re-entry Permit. 

Preparations for Entering Japan

All persons must have proof of a negative result for COVID-19 issued no more than 72 hours prior to departure using a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

All international arrivals are required to have or install five different apps on their phones to retain their location data and provide it to health centers or other institutions, if requested.

To save your time and hassle on arrival, you’d better install all these apps before departure:

If you are not sure how to install them, you can finish the installation when you arrive at an airport. There will be staff there to give guidance.

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What to Do after Arrival in Japan

You may receive three forms on arrival: a health questionnaire, a Health Card (another paper questionnaire), and a pledge document. In some cases you may receive them on the plane.

On the questionnaire papers, you will be required to write down where you will do the self-isolation, physical testing, and so on.

The pledge document is for you to confirm that you will follow the quarantine rules with a signature. If you break the pledge, your visa may be revoked.

After completing these forms, you will be taken to a testing site for a nucleic acid test, and then you’ll need to wait for the result.

Quarantining in Japan

After getting a negative result at the airport, you can go through customs, collect your luggage, and head to your place of quarantine. Make sure you have arranged suitable transport to your quarantine accommodation. You cannot use public transportation.

All Japanese nationals and foreign nationals entering Japan are required to do self-isolation (at home or in a hotel) for 14 days. During the quarantine time, you cannot use public transportation.

If you are arriving from designated countries/regions with the coronavirus delta variant, you will be required to quarantine for 3–10 days at specific facilities designated by the chief of the quarantine station and do nucleic acid tests. Those who have negative results in these tests may leave the facility, and are then requested to self-quarantine at home or in a hotel for the remainder of the 14 days after entering Japan.

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Domestic Tourism in Japan

Japanese domestic tourists and foreign nationals now in Japan can travel around Japan. Most tourist attractions in Japan are reopened. Below is a list of some major tourist attractions that are open:

In Tokyo

  • Tokyo Tower
  • Tokyo Disneyland
  • Tokyo Imperial Palace
  • Tokyo Skytree
  • Edo Open Air Museum
  • Shinjuku Gyoen
  • Koishikawa Korakuen
  • Kiyosumi Garden
  • National Museum

In Kyoto

  • Sanjusangendo
  • Ryoanji Temple
  • Nijo Castle
  • Kyoto Imperial Palace
  • Toji Temple
  • Ninnaji Temple
  • Tofukuji Temple
  • Toei Eigamura
  • Sento Palace
  • Kyoto National Museum

In Osaka

  • Osaka Castle
  • Osaka Umeda Sky Building
  • Shitennoji Temple
  • Shitennoji Temple
  • Osaka Museum of History

In Nara

  • Todaiji Temple
  • Kofukuji Temple
  • Horyuji Temple
  • Toshodaiji Temple
  • Isuien Garden

Plan Your Japan Trip with Us

It is important to us that you feel comfortable and safe during your visit, and we will respect any requests or decisions you make regarding your travels.

All our tours can be customized. We are confident we can create an ideal Japan trip for you based on your group size, time, budget, interests, preferences, and other requirements. Contact us.

Why Travel with Asia Highlights

  • Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
  • Worry-free planning: Every step of your trip, you will be looked after by your 1:1 travel consultant based in Asia.
  • No-risk booking: We refund as much as we can and adapt flexibly to unexpected changes.
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