Unguided tours of Japan partially clarified
The Prime Minister of Japan announced yesterday that the cap on international arrivals will be increased to 50,000 from September 7, 2022, when the PCR-RT test requirement before departure will be removed for triple vaccination.
The Prime Minister also announced that changes would be made to guided tours, which have been a disaster (around 8,000 people entered using them in June and July), allowing individual visitors to arrive on unguided tours with l assistance from local travel agencies.
The details of these self-guided tour requirements were not released yesterday and still have not been officially released.
Today there is more information about these visits on Japan today which refers to an employee of the department:
as long as they book flights and accommodation through a travel agency, a government official said on Thursday.
“The key is to have a sponsor in Japan, such as a travel agency, and that they know where the traveler is on any given day. They will also offer information on social distancing rules in Japan and be the go-to person. contact if travelers fall ill.
“The overhaul responds to customer needs for greater travel freedom,” the official said. “We hope more foreign tourists will come to Japan.”
So in essence you will need to purchase a full package from a local agency who will then issue the ERFS you need to apply for a tourist visa.
Japan has temporarily removed visa exemption from all countries and you need a visa. US and Canadian citizens can apply online after gathering all the documents. Others have to go to a local Japanese consulate or embassy, and many don’t have open appointments for months.
Previous coverage of Japan:
- Japan raises daily arrivals cap to 50,000 and soon allows tourists to take unguided tours
- Japan drops PCR-RT test requirement before departure September 7, 2022
- Japan plans to scrap Covid-19 testing requirement, raise cap on daily arrivals to 50,000 and self-guided tours?
- Japan opens eVISA applications for US and Canadian citizens on August 18, 2022
- Japan tourism trial disaster, strict entry requirements and long-term goals
- Japan tour canceled after Thai visitor tests positive for Covid
- Japan allows international visitors on package tours from June 10, 2022
- Japan doubles arrival cap and test changes June 1, 2022
- Japan Tourism Lawsuit Disappointment
- Japan begins tourism trial in May for fully vaccinated people from the United States, Australia, Thailand and Singapore
Most of Asia reopened rapidly earlier this year, and the only holdouts are China (mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) and Japan.
These unguided organized tours can attract a small number of “visitors” who know the country, need to come back and are willing to bear the unnecessary paperwork + extra expense.
We can go back and see how (un)successful the tourism reopening of Thailand and Indonesia was until they removed all the barriers. Far fewer “tourists” were entering Thailand using the Bali sandbox or “warm-up vacation” as countries had hoped.
Obviously, Japan is not as dependent on international visitors as Indonesia (Bali) and Thailand. The goal, however, is to double/triple the number of incoming tourists by the end of this decade.
We have closely followed the opening of Asian countries, because they tend to interest a lot of people.
I am also on my way to Asia-Pacific later this week and may even be able to enter Japan in October if conditions are acceptable. In fact, I bought a refundable award ticket yesterday to keep my options open.
We should know the official requirements for these self-guided tours soon, and hope they roll out e-visas to more nationals (currently only in the US and Canada).