Japan reopens in June: New travel rules explained + top deals
The doors are opening to Australians on 10 June, but before you start planning there are a few rules to be aware of.
Japan's road to reopening has been a slow one. But after 2 years without tourism and a tiny test of 50 visitors at the end of May, the nation is finally accepting visitors from 10 June.
However, there is 1 major travel rule in place: You must be on a packaged tour.
"We will resume accepting tourists on packaged tours with guides from the 10th of next month," said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. "Step by step we aim to accept [tourists] as we did in normal times, taking into consideration the status of infections."
All up, 98 countries will be allowed into Japan from 10 June. The rules for each are based on a colour system: Group Blue (low infection rate), Group Yellow (medium infection rate) and Group Red (high infection rate).
Australia falls under Group Blue.
Entry rules for Australians
Being low risk, Group Blue has the most relaxed rules for entry. To enter, you must:
- Book a fully escorted packaged tour
- Take a pre-departure PCR-test at most 72-hours before departure
Proof of vaccination, PCR testing on arrival and hotel quarantine will no longer be required as long as you pre-departure test is negative.
More information on guidelines will be announced on 7 June.
Other countries in Group Blue are New Zealand, China, South Korea, Singapore, the UK, USA and Thailand.
What if Australia bumps down groups? Well, at Group Yellow only unvaccinated travellers are required to produce a negative COVID-19 test on arrival and undergo 3 days of home quarantine.
At Group Red you'll need to do a PCR on arrival and undergo home quarantine.
There is currently a daily cap of 10,000 visitor arrivals. To coincide with the border reopening this will increase to 20,000 from 1 June.
Packaged tours of Japan
While you may have booked all the bibs and bobs for your holiday in Japan in the past, you will need to let someone else take the lead to travel to Japan now.
Which is not a bad thing as you may discover a hidden gem you never knew before.
These are a few of our favourite travel deals at the moment:
- 9-day Cherry Blossom Discovery of Japan cruise for $3,990 per person, including flights: Japan's cherry blossoms are famous around the world. Catch them in all their glory on this 9-day cruise around Japan in 2023. It includes a bonus 3-night stay in Tokyo to enjoy the city at your leisure.
- $365 off the Japan Unrivalled tour with Contiki: Save hundreds on Contiki's range of Japan tours including the 13-day Japan Unrivalled tour. It's down to $6,940 from $7,305 and includes breakfasts, some dinners and transport. It's available to book from August 2022.
- Up to 45% off Japan Tours with TourRadar: Choose from over 200 Japan tour packages at discounts of up to 45% off from brands including Travel Talk, Contiki, World Expeditions and G Adventures. Plus book specific dates for only $100 deposit.
- 16-night Luxury Wonders of Japan cruise for $6,990, including flights: On-board dining, entertainment and a bonus 1-night stay in Tokyo are included. Cruise sails in March 2024.
- 14-day beautiful Japan with Kyusu tour from $3,990 per person with My Holiday Centre: Catch the autumn colours in November 2022 and cash in on over $2,500 of value on this 14-day tour. It includes flights to Fukuoka, returning from Tokyo. Sample price is from Sydney.
If they aren't already included, flights can often be organised with your tour company when you book.
There is no date for when individuals can travel to Japan yet.
Your trip to Japan might be forming but before you hop on that plane you may want to consider your travel insurance options.
This can cover medical expenses, trip rearrangement and cancellation costs and quarantine costs if you or someone you're travelling with catches COVID-19.
Unfortunately, if Japan closes its borders your cancellation costs won't be covered. To ease the stress behind this, when booking your tour look out for flexible policies such as free rebookings or lifetime deposits.