HONOLULU (KHON2) — Currently, foreigners are allowed into Japan but only on guided tours or for non-tourism purposes, such as business and education. Next week, the country will ease restrictions to raise the daily arrival cap to 50,000 and allow visitors to come on unguided package tours.

It’s welcome news for tourists who haven’t visited since 2020 when Japan placed an entry ban.

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BEGINNING SEPT. 7

Travelers with proof of vaccination and at least one booster shot may forego the requirement to submit a negative pre-departure COVID test result. If you’re unable to provide proof of three shots of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, you must submit a negative COVID test result taken within 72 hours prior to departure. Click here for more information.

Foreign tourists who aren’t part of a group tour will also be able to visit Japan, as long as they book flights and accommodation through a travel agency, according to Japanese media. This is to make sure the travel agency knows the whereabouts of the traveler and can be the contact person if the traveler gets sick.

The change will allow visitors more flexibility to travel. Japanese media report the only tourists who won’t be allowed in are those who want to stay in lodging not offered by travel agencies.

CURRENT BORDER MEASURES

Everyone must submit their COVID-19 negative pre-test result within 72 hours before departure and Questionnaire. Entry requirements depend on the classification of the country or region of your stay before arriving in Japan and your vaccination status.

The countries are organized into three groups classified by risk:

  • Blue (low risk): No arrival testing, quarantine or vaccination certificate required
  • Yellow (medium risk): If valid vaccination certificate provided, no arrival testing or quarantine required
  • Red (high risk): PCR test and quarantine required upon arrival

The U.S. is currently in the Blue category. Click here for more information.

Your vaccination certificate can be approved only if you received valid vaccines determined by the Japanese. Those who need to isolate must submit a written pledge for health follow-up.

Pre-registration of MySOS Web or MySOS App is required in order to enter Japan. Click here for details.

According to the U.S. Embassy, Visa-free travel remains suspended. U.S. citizen travelers wishing to visit Japan for short-term purposes must apply for a single-entry eVisa.

NOTE: Even with the eVisa system, tourism is only allowed in cases where group travelers are sponsored by a travel agent and/or are part of an authorized travel group located in Japan.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Drugs that are prohibited in Japan may surprise you! Many common medications and over-the-counter drugs, such as ones for depression, ADHD and allergies, are illegal in Japan, even if you have a valid prescription. You risk getting arrested if you bring these with you.

Some medications are legal but only in limited quantities or with advance permission from the Japanese Government. There are even rules for bringing personal cosmetics. Click here for details.

Masks are worn almost universally in Japan.

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Click here for U.S. citizens traveling to Japan. For Japan’s current border measures, click here.