September 12 – Japan would ease COVID-19 restrictions in November
The Japanese government plans to ease restrictions around November when Covid-19 drugs will be more accessible for the population.
Under the new scheme, businesses would be permitted to serve alcohol and remain open after 8:00 p.m.
Additionally, fully vaccinated people would be allowed inter-prefectural travel again.
For now, the State of emergency will be extended through Sept. 30 in Tokyo and nearby cities.
Source: Nippon TV News
August 14 – Japan to issue vaccine passports for outbound travel, but continues to be closed for inbound tourism.
Japan has started issuing vaccine passports for international travel. The plan is to streamline international travel for Japanese people but it does not mean that they will accept inbound travel yet.
To date, Japan has agreements with Italy, Austria, Sri Lanka, Slovakia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Vincent, Thailand (Phuket, Samui, Pha Ngan, Tao, only), Germany, Turkey, Papua New Guinea, Bulgaria, Belize, Poland, Hong Kong, Honduras, Lithuania and South Korea.
The country is struggling to be accepted by other nations because most countries are not willing to allow Japanese visitors without any reciprocity.
To contain the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Japan has suspended all travel bubbles with all countries and regions. This restriction also includes travel for business purposes.
COVID-19 situation in Japan
As of September 11, Japan has seen 1,623,019 cases of COVID-19 and 16,690 people have lost their lives to the virus. The government is imposing different local measures in order to stop the spread of infections.
The pandemic has hit Japan in different devastating ways. Not only it has killed thousands of Japanese people, but also it forced the postponement of the 2020 Olympics to 2021 and without spectators.
What to do in Japan during pandemic
Domestic travel has been largely unimpeded in the country ensuring that Japanese citizens continue visiting their own tourism sites.
This means that many attractions have begun to reopen for tours.
Below is a list of the most popular tourist attractions open in Tokyo and their current state of business.
Tokyo Tower (reopened)
Tokyo Government Building observation decks (reopened)
Toyosu Market (reopened)
Kyu Shiba Rikyu (reopened)
Tokyo Disneyland (reopened)
Tokyo DisneySea (reopened)
Guided tours of the Imperial Palace (reopened)
Imperial East Gardens (reopened)
Hama Rikyu (reopened)
Edo Open Air Museum (reopened)
Shinjuku Gyoen (reopened)
Koishikawa Korakuen (reopened)
Koishikawa Botanical Garden (reopened)
Kiyosumi Garden (reopened)
Institute for Nature Study (reopened)
Sumida Hokusai Museum (reopened)
Tokyo National Museum (reopened)
Tokyo Skytree (reopened)
Sumida Aquarium (reopened)
Edo-Tokyo Museum (reopened)
Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.
Japan reopening for tourism: Updates Archives
August 28 – Japan expands state of emergency through Sept. 12 as Delta cases increase – No reopening in sight
Japanese officials have expanded its state of emergency to Aichi, Gifu, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Mie, Miyagi, Okayama, and Shiga prefectures from Aug. 27 to Sept. 12 to fight the uncontrollable COVID-19 cases overwhelming the health system.
“Critical cases have spiked suddenly and the medical system is in an extremely dire state,” said Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura at a panel of experts.
Some 90% of ICU beds are now occupied with coronavirus patients in Tokyo.
Considering these numbers, the government is reluctant to provide a border reopening date.
May 10 – Japan is reportedly working on Vaccine passports to reopen international borders
Japanese authorities are reportedly working on a vaccine passport app. This app will be connected to the Japan Vaccination Record System and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. It will keep record not only of travelers’ vaccination certificates but also of negative COVID-19 tests so unvaccinated travelers don’t feel discriminated against.
This means Japan is also working on a reopening plan to allow international visitors. So far, the country is open for essential travel only and this exception does not even include all countries.
Japanese Minister Taro Kono said that if other countries have already started using vaccine passports to reopen travel, “so Japan will have to consider it too.”
Japan has had to make a tough decision not only for the world but also for its own economy. The government has officially decided not to extend their invitations to this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games to foreign visitors.
Officials say the country is obligated to protect the Japanese population from a bigger spread of the coronavirus and its new variants.
The Olympic Committee and two other organizations will be announcing this decision to the international community possibly next week.