Japan Is Fully Reopening to US Travelers This Fall

No travel agency required

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan
FilippoBacci / Getty Images

After more than two years of pandemic-related border restrictions, Japan has announced plans to fully reopen to international tourism this fall, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida shared in a press conference at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, Sept. 22.

According to Prime Minister Kishida, Japan "will relax control measures to be on par with the U.S." starting Oct. 11, with visas and travel agencies no longer a pre-requisite for entering.

Japan has been one of the last holdouts regarding border reopenings, implementing a cautious approach to bringing back international tourism. As recently as June 10, foreign tourists could only enter the country as part of a guided tour. The government eased those regulations two weeks ago, allowing non-escorted individuals to visit with the stipulation that they book flights and accommodation through a travel agency.

In the last couple of weeks, Japan raised the daily cap for arrivals from 20,000 to 50,000. However, that cap is said to be lifted on Oct. 11. Fully vaccinated visitors are no longer mandated to take a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure, either.

"There is nothing more thrilling in baseball than a comeback win. I am here today to tell you that, with the help of the Japanese people, we will revive and revitalize the Japanese economy," said Prime Minister Kishida.

As of now, there isn't official guidance from Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Embassy of Japan in the U.S. detailing the updated entry protocols, so you may want to wait for more information before purchasing that plane ticket. Should the visa policy return to what it was pre-COVID, U.S. travelers can spend up to 90 days in Japan without a visa.

Article Sources
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  1. Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet. "Speech by Prime Minister Kishida Fumio at the New York Stock Exchange." Sept. 22, 2022.

  2. Kyodo News. "Japan to Remove Daily Entry Cap on Oct. 11." September 23, 2022.

  3. U.S. Department of State. "Japan International Travel Information." Accessed Sept. 23, 2022.