Japan is now signficantly relaxing its COVID-19 entry restrictions. If you are thinking about traveling to Japan, you can check this regularly updated page and find out what you need to visit the country.

Below you’ll find information about the reinstatement of visa exemptions, vaccine and quarantine requirements, and other coronavirus measures in Japan.

Can I Travel to Japan Now?

Yes, Japan has opened its borders to international tourist travel for the first time in over 2 years.

From June 2022, Japan allowed international tourists to visit if they had a visa and were traveling as part of a group on a package tour.

However, in September 2022 Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that individual tourists can visit Japan from October 11.

Kishida also said that all visa exemptions will be reinstated from the same date. This means that citizens of around 70 countries, including the United States and all European Union nations, can once again visit Japan for 90 days without a visa.

While the number of daily foreign arrivals is currently limited to 50,000 per day, Japan will also remove the entry cap entirely starting October 11.

The news of Japan’s full reopening for tourism has been met with great enthuasiam from Japapense tourism industry operators, including the country’s 2 top airlines.

“”We are extremely happy to see the long-awaited easing of restrictions,” said Shinichi Inoue, president of All Nippon Airways. “We will increase flights from the end of October to welcome customers from abroad.”

Current COVID-19 Regulations in Japan

Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Japan are reviewed and updated regularly.

Japan lifted the state of emergency for all prefectures in October 2021. Restrictions have been eased sigficantly and restaurants, tourist attractions, and transportation are now operating, although with safety measures including mask use and social distancing.

More information can be found below.

Public transportation restrictions within Japan

Public transport, including trains, is operating in Japan. Travelers are advised to refer to Japanese train status updates issued by each individual operator to check if a service they plan to use remains affected by temporary Shinkansen COVID-19 restrictions:

JR Central
JR East
JR West
JR Hokkaido

It should be noted that physical distancing requirements and obligatory use of face masks remain in place on most public transportation services in Japan.

Tourists, business travelers and students can travel to Japan

Foreign business travelers and students have been able to enter Japan since December 2021. Tourists can now enter Japan as part of a package tour, and individual tourists can visit from October 11, 2022.

All travelers should ensure they have a valid relevant visa for Japan and other necessary documentation to enter the country. From October 11, visa waiver nationals will once again be able to visit without a visa for up to 90 days.

Rules for tourists

Tourists can now travel to Japan. At present, they must book a place on a package tour. However, Individual tourists can visit from October 11.

Requirements for tourist entry depend on the country the traveler is visiting from. Countries have been divided into 3 categories (red, yellow and blue) depending on their assessed risk for COVID-19.

However, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno has said that roughly 80% of tourist arrivals will be able to enter the country without undergoing testing on arrival or quarantine. 

While in Japan, tourists will be asked to wear a mask at all times. Although mask use is not obligatory outdoors in Japan, it is still recommended in crowds or when having a conversation at close quarters.

Rules for business travelers

To travel to Japan for work purposes, foreign nationals must be working for an organization located in Japan.

Business travelers need to complete several forms and get approval before heading to Japan. They need to submit the following documents before going to Japan:

Application form
Written pledge to follow COVID-19 rules
Plan of activities in Japan
List of all travelers on the business trip

Rules for students

Foreign students and technical trainees can also travel to Japan in 2022.

Students and trainees need to prepare the following documents for their trip:

Application form
Letter from an institution in Japan, including documents about the educational or training program
Written pledge to follow COVID-19 rules

Like business travelers, students and trainees need a negative COVID-19 test result. However, a test result will is not required if the traveler has been vaccinated 3 times.

Japan travel restrictions and entry requirements

Japan still has a few precautions in place to combat the spread of COVID-19.

If you are eligible to travel to Japan now, you need to take some additional steps, as explained below.

COVID-19 documents for traveling to Japan

Passengers need to have a COVID-19 test to travel to Japan. Requirements:

PCR COVID-19 test
Maximum 72 hours before boarding the flight
Certificate in English
Negative test result

Travelers who have been vaccinated 3 times are exempt from the pre-departure testing.

A written pledge stating you will follow the quarantine and self-isolation rules is required. Travelers also need to complete an online health questionnaire to obtain a QR code.

Quarantine measures when traveling to Japan

Quarantine rules for Japan depend on the traveler’s vaccination status.

Fully vaccinated travelers with a booster shot

Travelers are considered fully vaccinated if they have received the booster shot at least 14 days before departure.

Fully vaccinated travelers from some countries are exempt from quarantine. Visitors should check the latest list of designated countries.

Travelers who are not fully vaccinated

Tourist travelers from cetain countries, including the United States, do not require COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival regardless of thier vaccination status. However, pre-arrival testing is still required.

Travelers from other countries who do not qualify as fully vaccinated (this includes people with 2 doses, but no booster) may still be subject to a test and quarantine on arrival. It is important to check the designation for your country of origin before departure.

Quarantine for students and business travelers

Quarantine for student and business visa holders who are fully vaccinated with a booster jab is 3 days for most countries.

Students and business travelers from countries where COVID-19 has been controlled may be exempt from quarantine.

Countries and regions banned to enter Japan

Travel bans for foreign tourists have now been lifted for Japan. Travelers can now visit Japan for tourism as part of a package tour group. Individual tourists who have booked through a travel agency are expected to be allowed entry when the daily entry cap is listed.

Furthermore, Japan has now lowered its travel advisory to level 1 – the lowest level- to over 70 countries. The list now includes 14 European nations including France, Germany, and Italy.

Entry bans for Japanese residents returning from countries of variant concern have been lifted.

COVID-19 Vaccinations Accepted for Entry to Japan

In order to avoid testing on arrival or quarantine in Japan, travelers must present negative COVID test or a a valid vaccination certificate in paper or digital form to gain entry. The certificate must be in either English or Japanese, or accompanied by an English or Japanese translation.

Vaccines accepted by the government of Japan are:

COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna/Moderna
Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine/Janssen
COVAXIN/Bharat Biotech

The certificate must show that the traveler has received 3 doses of an accepted vaccine or combination of vaccines. One dose of Janssen is considered equivalent to two doses.

National Japanese travel advisories

Check the up-to-date travel advisories for Japan regarding COVID-19 from your country below:

New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States

Japanese COVID-19 health and safety advice

Japan’s Health Ministry has stated that the two most effective ways to curb the spread of coronavirus are to frequently wash hands and use a face mask when out in public:

You should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Face masks must be worn in public. The mask should cover your mouth, nose and chin, and be disposed of after a single-use.

The US CDC has also advised any travelers to Japan to follow some other basic safety measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19:

Avoid close contact with anyone displaying suspected symptoms of COVID-19.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you have fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, stay home and seek medical care by calling in advance.
Monitor your health and practice social distancing for 14 days after returning to your country of residence.

The CDC defines Social distancing as avoiding group gatherings and crowded places and maintaining approximately 2 meters of distance from others when possible.

For the latest travel advisory and information about restrictions, please visit the Japan National Tourism Organization’s site.

The Japan National Tourism Organization has also set up a coronavirus hotline for tourist information available in 3 languages: English, Chinese, or Korean:

From within Japan: 050 3816 2787
If overseas: +81 50 3816 2787

The post Japan travel restrictions and COVID-19 travel ban advisory appeared first on Japan Rail Pass Travel Blog | JRailPass.

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