Beginning on 11 October 2022, Japan will no longer require international travellers to get visas to enter the country for tourism purposes.
Travellers from countries including Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom will be able to get a visa on arrival. The government will once again enable travellers without visas to enter the country.
Travellers who have received all three recommended vaccine doses are exempt from pre- or post-arrival testing; however, those who have not been vaccinated will still need to provide documentation of a negative test.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made the announcement at a press conference in New York. It is an attempt to fully open to international visitors in time for the ‘Koyo’ fall leaf season and helps a sagging Japanese economy.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara had previously stated that the administration would examine the current limits and lift them in the “not-too-distant future,” so this statement is no surprise.
Given the growing popularity of Japan among Australian tourists over the past decade, this announcement is excellent news. Australia’s outbound travel to Japan increased by 324 percent in the decade before the pandemic, with over 520,000 Australians expected to travel to Japan this year alone. Before the pandemic, the country was among our top 10 choices for international travel.
Skyscanner received a strong 27 percent increase in searches when the news broke. Further clarity on what the changes imply for Australians, according to Masahiro Yamazaki, a Tokyo-based specialist with Skyscanner, will assist in translating this strong travel intent into bookings.
According to Yamazaki, the key to restoring travellers’ faith is providing “clear, consistent information” on the newest adjustments and travel requirements.
Despite this, several Australia-based Japan enthusiasts have already made travel plans in anticipation of the brief news.
Due to Japan’s reopening to independent travellers in October, Australians will be able to take advantage of the country’s winter ski season this year. Niseko, on the northern island of Hokkaido, and Hakuba, on the southern island of Honshu, have long been favourites among Australian skiers and snowboarders due to their combination of impressive snow mountains and fascinating off-mountain culture.
One Australian dollar now buys about 95 Japanese yen, up from 65 yen before the outbreak. This is good news for Australians travelling to Japan. As a result, a trip to Japan is now much more affordable than it was in the past.
Flights from Sydney, Cairns, and the Gold Coast to Tokyo on Qantas and Jetstar have restarted. Additional flights from other cities are anticipated to be confirmed after Thursday’s announcement. There are also direct flights from Japan’s major cities to Australia’s Sydney and Melbourne, provided by ANA and JAL.