Japan eliminates all COVID-19 restrictions … that has nice ring to it.
Especially after all of those months of waiting in vain for the country to open (i.e. to reciprocate). And then seeing it open to badly planned tour groups.
And then this:
Yep, that was back in September 2022. I was able to get a visa to enter Japan before the tourism floodgates reopened the following month. Like with so many other countries, there were apps to fill out, papers to print out, and ludicrous surveys to answer (would you like to have COVID-19?).
Can’t complain about having been in Japan at time; Dotonbori in Osaka and Kenrokuen in Kanazawa were much more navigable, plus hotel deals were sweet.
My most recent visit to Japan was last month, but even by that point entry rules had been loosened. Visit Japan Web was the program to use to expedite immigration, customs, and most importantly, to see if you needed to quarantine. I don’t think it sped anything up immigration or customs-wise — after all, it really depends on when your flight lands — and I’d always get secondary for customs, anyway. But as soon as you disembarked from the plane, officials were checking to see if you had filled out the quarantine section of the program.
It’s important to note that you never had to fill out the immigration or customs stuff on Visit Japan Web, they were merely there to try and hasten the formalities once you landed.
Next month, that quarantine/testing/vaccination stuff will be no more.
Per Travelpulse, starting from 8 May, you won’t need to show proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 test, or vaccination certificate (to help you avoid taking that test). From that point on, we can finally say “Japan eliminates COVID-19 entry restrictions.”
Celebrate by taking a train somewhere, anywhere, or nowhere. Or, visit the birthplace of Japanese soy sauce. Or just appreciate that enough time had passed to allow pre-pandemic travel again to places like Tokyo, Kyoto, and the modern art island of Naoshima: