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.
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.
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.
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:
- COCOA (COVID-19 Contact App): Google Play / Apple App Store
- OEL: Google Play / Apple App Store
- MHLW Questionnaire app (this is a website, but it can be installed as a web app)
- Google Maps (or equivalent)
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.
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.
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:
- Tokyo Tower
- Tokyo Disneyland
- Tokyo Imperial Palace
- Tokyo Skytree
- Edo Open Air Museum
- Shinjuku Gyoen
- Koishikawa Korakuen
- Kiyosumi Garden
- National Museum
- Ryoanji Temple
- Nijo Castle
- Kyoto Imperial Palace
- Toji Temple
- Ninnaji Temple
- Tofukuji Temple
- Toei Eigamura
- Sento Palace
- Kyoto National Museum
- Osaka Castle
- Osaka Umeda Sky Building
- Shitennoji Temple
- Shitennoji Temple
- Osaka Museum of History
- Todaiji Temple
- Kofukuji Temple
- Horyuji Temple
- Toshodaiji Temple
- Isuien Garden
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