Japan Reopens for Tourism on October 11

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It’s time to re-immerse yourself in the fascinating Japanese culture full of rich history. Time to rediscover world-class culinary favorites in top-tier dining establishments. Time to rewrite your dream trip to Japan back onto your calendar because it’s reopening for tourism!

On September 22, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida flew to New York City to announce that Japan will reopen its international borders on October 11. As one of the biggest news in travel for the fall, United Airlines is gearing up with new routes between the US and Japan.

Japan Travel Updates

Over the past few months, Japan has gradually eased tourism restrictions for foreign travel. The news of Japan reopening for tourism signals updates in its current travel policies.

1. Visa-free travel returns to Japan

Before the announcement, foreign travelers visiting Japan needed to apply for a tourist visa—even if they were a part of the 68 visa-free countries. However, travelers from the US and other listed countries will return to normal travel and receive a tourist visa upon arrival. 

2. Tourist cap lifted

Japan imposed strict limits on the number of tourists it allowed across its borders daily. Those permitted to travel to Japan are capped at 50,000 tourists per day (as of announcement)—actual visitors were significantly less due to restrictions.

The tourist cap will be lifted entirely on October 11 to support the expected surge in air travel to Japan.

3. More travel freedom

The announcement to reopen for tourism is also easing restrictions on what you can do during your visit. As Japan reopens in stages, it first required travelers to participate in a group tour or book through qualified agencies. The current policy remains that you can be a part of a “self-guided tour.’ However, these tours also must be booked through registered agencies.

On October 11, you will have complete freedom to experience Japan as you please. Book with the agency of your choice, or make your own travel plans by booking your flight directly.

What do you need to visit when Japan reopens?

The ease of traveling to Japan will soon be like the pre-pandemic era. But in this new normal of traveling to Japan, there are a couple of policies to comply with the local Japanese travel regulations.

  1. All travelers must have at least three (3) doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Travelers who are not vaccinated or do not meet the required vaccine shots must have a negative PCR test taken in the last 72 hours before travel.
  2. Bring your mask. Be sure to follow regulations regarding face masks during your stay. Japan does not require face masks. However, local establishments like hotels, restaurants, and attractions may have different policies.

The announcement of Japan reopening is exciting news but is still developing—stay updated for any changes.

Direct Flights to Tokyo

United Airlines announced reopening flights to Japan. Travelers from the US can now book direct flights to Tokyo from United hubs—Newark (NYC), Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston.

Want a free trip to Japan? Take advantage of special credit card sign-up bonuses to earn enough miles to cover your trip!

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