On October 11, 2022, Japan reopened its borders to independent travelers, bringing the country one step closer to tourism as usual. With this change, many are eager to travel to Japan. But what to expect, and what are Japan’s mask rules?

This article will introduce New Travel Etiquette for Visitors, a set of guidelines developed by the Japan Tourism Agency. This information will help you know what to expect and how you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind.

main image: PIXTA

What is the situation in Japan for foreign tourists?

(Image: PIXTA)

The number of new Covid-19 cases in Japan, which had been on a downward trend until around June of this year, surged from late July to August, reaching a record high in what has been deemed Japan’s seventh wave.

This wave currently seems to be diminishing. Since September, the number of cases has seen a steady decline.

Given this situation, Japan’s border measures and many related restrictions have considerably eased since midnight on October 11.

The main changes related to foreign visitors are as follows:
・Removal of the daily entry cap on foreign visitors.
・New entry for short-term and long-term stays for sightseeing is allowed.
・Removal of the ban on the entry of independent travelers. The measure limiting entry to package tours has been lifted as well.
・Lifting of the ban on visa-free travel for short-term stays.
・No Covid testing is required upon entry. However, either a certificate of vaccination (3 doses) with a vaccine on the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use List or a negative test certificate from a Covid test taken within 72 hours before departure to Japan is required.

Is Japan Open? Latest on Japan Travel Restrictions: Entry, Events & More (Updated 10/2022)

What is necessary for a sightseeing trip in Japan?

With the acceptance of foreign tourists, in June 2022, the “Guidelines for Accepting Overseas Tourists” were established for travel agencies. These sought to ensure that measures were taken to prevent infection. As individual infection prevention measures, the leaflets and posters below were used to alert the public.

Leaflet on individual infection prevention measures (Japan Tourism Agency)

Meanwhile, the Japan Tourism Agency and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare have issued a New Travel Etiquette for Visitors and COVID-19 Mask Use in Community Settings for visitors to keep in mind when traveling safely in Japan from a traveler’s perspective.

What does “New Travel Etiquette for Visitors” actually entail?

The “New Travel Etiquette for Visitors” is a guide for travelers to travel safely while avoiding the risk of contracting Covid. It focuses on specific precautions outlined for each aspect of traveling (movement, meals, accommodations, tourist facilities, shopping).

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