Last updated

Coronavirus Outbreak

Japan reopened its borders to independent foreign travelers and reintroduced visa-free entry from October 11, 2022.

Current state of tourism: fully open to international tourism

Read about coronavirus manners in Japan.

Entering Japan

Travelers are now able to enter Japan almost like before the pandemic again, especially triple-vaccinated travelers. The situation is expected to completely normalize on May 8, 2023, when Japan is scheduled to downgrade the categorization of the virus.

The only requirement remaining until May 7, 2023 is a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to departure, except for those who can certify that they have received at least three shots of WHO-approved vaccines. Children below the age of 18 who travel together with triple-vaccinated parents/guardians are also exempt from the test. Note that Japan recognizes only certain testing and sample collection methods and that there are certain requirements regarding the vaccination certificate.

The only exception are travelers arriving by direct flights from China (not including Hong Kong and Macao), who are all required to take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test regardless of vaccination status, and may get selected randomly for testing on arrival at the airport.

When entering Japan, it is highly recommended to use Visit Japan Web to pre-register all required data and documents before your journey to allow for a fast-track entry into the country. Visit Japan Web handles not only corona-related information, but also the embarkation form needed by immigration and the customs declaration form.

Domestic situation

There are no restrictions on the activities of businesses and individuals, but the public is asked to take precautions against the virus. The wearing of masks, in particular, remains very common.

Closures and cancellations

Most tourist attractions in Japan were closed during the first infection wave in spring 2020, and some closed again during subsequent waves; however, almost all of them are now open again. Some events and festivals continued to be cancelled in 2022, but most are expected to be held in 2023.

2016 Kyushu Earthquake

Strong earthquakes hit Kyushu in April 2016. A few sightseeing spots are still affected. More details

Volcano Closures

No-entry zones are currently maintained at the following prominent volcanoes:

  • Sakurajima (Level 3 - do not approach the volcano)
    Do not climb the mountain. Does not affect transportation and tourism.
  • Aso (Level 2 - do not approach the crater)
    No-entry zone 1 km from crater. Closure of road and hiking trails.
  • Shinmoedake (Kirishima) (Level 1 - potential for increased activity)
    Closure of hiking trails.
  • Kusatsu-Shirane (Level 1 - potential for increased activity)
    Closure of hiking trails.