Japan travel restrictions and COVID-19 advisory

tourists in Japan

COVID-19 entry restrictions are still in place in Japan. 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 visa suspensions, vaccine and quarantine requirements, and other coronavirus measures in Japan.

Can I Travel to Japan Now?

Yes, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has announced that Japan has opened its borders to international tourist travel from 98 countries for the first time in over 2 years.

The reopening follows a successful trial of allowing small groups of tourists from Australia, Singapore, Thailand, and the USA into the country in late May.

The move is intended to put Japan more in line with the other G7 countries such as the UK and US, which now allow quarantine-free travel for vaccinated visitors.

From June 10th, international tourist flights have been able to land at New Chitose airport in Hokkaido or Naha airport in Okinawa. Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have begun increasing international flights in anticipation of a near-normal summer for tourism in Japan.

At the moment, international tourists must be traveling as part of a group on a guided package tour booked through a travel agency.

However, this is just the first step of Japan’s reopening plan. “Step by step we will aim to accept tourists as we did in normal times, taking into consideration the status of infections”, Kishida said.

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 reducity capacity.

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:

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 of June 2022.

All travelers should ensure they have a valid relevant visa for Japan and other necessary documentation to enter the country.

Rules for tourists

Tourists can now travel to Japan, but they must book a place on a guided package tour and enter with a tour group. Individual tourists are still not permitted entry to Japan at this time.

All tourist arrivals are required to have mandatory medical insurance to cover any COVID-related expenses they may incur while in Japan.

Other 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 thier 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.

Those who do not comply with the mask requirement will not be penalized. However, they will not be allowed to take part in the tours.

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 and a completed health questionnaire.

Quarantine is reduced to 3 days for students and trainees with acceptable proof of vaccination. Those arriving from certain countries can avoid quarantine completely.

Japan travel restrictions and entry requirements

Japan still has a few precautions in place to combat the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, the country has now raised the number of arrivals permitted to 20,000 per day.

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

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.

Additionally, Japan has recently relaxed its travel warning against non-essential travel for over 34 countries including China, India, and South Korea. Flights between Tokyo and Seoul have now resumed for the first time since the COVID pandemic began.

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 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:

  • Comirnaty/Pfizer
  • Vaxzevria/AstraZeneca
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna/Moderna
  • Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine/Janssen
  • COVAXIN/Bharat Biotech
  • Nuvaxovid/Novavax

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:

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

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