After almost three years of unwieldy, somewhat opaque restrictions, Japan has finally announced that from October 11 it will once again welcome independent tourists – the long-delayed reopening supporters of Michelin stars tsukemenWorld class skiing and distillery trips have been waiting.
In a news conference at the New York Stock Exchange earlier this Thursday (via Nike Asia) Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that the country will “relax control measures to be on par with the US, as well as resume visa-free and individual travel.”
The recent rolling back of pandemic-era regulations means tourists are now free to plan their own itineraries – a crucial change from the previous rule, which saw international visitors only visit as part of a guided tour arranged with a specific trip Agency.
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In addition, the Japanese government will implement a visa-free regime for nationals of 196 countries (including Australia) by October 11 – at the level of pre-pandemic numbers. Officials have confirmed the daily limit on travelers from abroad, currently capped at 50,000, will be scrapped.
This development comes at an opportune time as neighboring countries like Taiwan and Hong Kong SAR shift to a less stringent model of travel-related COVID prevention. Visitors arriving from mid-October have plenty to look forward to, including the opening of the world’s first Ghibli theme park and the start of the traditional koyo (Autumn Foliage) – A picture perfect setting against which to experience some of the most beautiful autumn views in the country.
Learn more about Japan’s reopening below.