Japan will soon be welcoming tourists back for the first time since the pandemic began…but only 50 of them.
Japan Will Reopen Borders – But Only 50 Tourists (Total) Will Be Allowed
In a move that can only be described as odd, Japan will begin welcoming tourist groups again this month, but capping the number of tourists at 50 (that’s total – not per day or per group). All travelers must be vaccinated and boosted and each tour group will be capped at four travelers. Tourists will be drawn from:
- United States
(These are deemed “priority markets” by Japan)
The Japanese T0urism Agency explains:
[T]he limited visits will be used to test coronavirus measures, including infection prevention and emergency response. Information will be sent to travel agencies, hotels and other travel businesses. Visitors must be accompanied by a tour guide and can only go to areas where there is not a state of emergency and government officials have agreed to welcome them.
I’m really unclear how such a small sample size will be instructive in helping Japan verify if its coronavirus measures in place are sufficient. I’m also skeptical that Japan will open its borders to tourism next month, as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida indicated while visiting London earlier this month.
If you were hoping to get to Japan next month as a tourist, I would certainly have a back-up plan ready. Japan has dropped from 8,000,000 foreign visitors in the period between January – March 2019 to just 100,000 during the same period in 2022. With foreign tourism an important part of the Japanese economy, hopefully this experiment will pave the way for a reopening of the country, but Japan has consistently demonstrated a more cautious approach to its borders during the pandemic.