The international terminal at Haneda Airport, July 2020
The international terminal at Haneda Airport, July 2020

Arriving in Tokyo during COVID-19

Last updated Jan 16, 2021

 

Disclaimer: Rules suddenly change, so please always seek the official information provided by the Japanese Government

 

Effective Midnight Jan 21

The business track program will be temporarily suspended. That means there is a virtual ban on travel to Japan for non-residents. Tokyo and 10 other prefectures are currently in a state of emergency until at least Feb 7th.

 

Use of public transportation not allowed

There are shuttle services providing limited services to hotels in the Narita area (if you landed at NRT) or to Kamata, Kawasaki and Shinagawa (from HND).

 

Additional services to the Akasaka area (Okura Tokyo, ANA Intercontinental, New Otani, Capitol Hotel) and the Shinjuku district (Hyatt Regency, Hilton Tokyo, Park Hyatt) will start December 16th.

 

From NRT/Narita Airport

Service to the Narita area only

https://www.forth.go.jp/keneki/narita/202009_hotel_bus.pdf(Japanese only)

There is a shuttle every hour between 9am and 11 pm.

 

For Akasaka and Shinjuku (Starting Dec 16)

https://www.limousinebus.co.jp/uploads/info/2020/12/cross_border_en.pdf

https://www.limousinebus.co.jp/deliver/reserve_detail/0c9f668dd1bb8baebf3ad7657f70b94e/en/

Three departures per day, 10am 6pm, 9pm

 

From HND/Naneda Airport

Services to the Kamata, Kawasaki, Shinagawa area only

https://www.forth.go.jp/keneki/tokyo/access/201028-01.pdf

 

For Akasaka and Shinjuku (Starting Dec 16)

https://www.limousinebus.co.jp/uploads/info/2020/12/cross_border_en.pdf

*See pages 3 and 4

Three departures per day, 10am 4:05pm, 7:45pm

 

If your reservation is not in the above mentioned areas, there is a need to arrange private transportation beforehand.

The MHLW (Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare) has a list of transport companies or travel agents capable of handling the transfer, though the information is mostly in Japanese only.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/newpage_00020.html

 

In general, the driver will be in the airport on the flight arrival and wait for the guest while the test results come out. In case the test results are positive, the cancellation charges will be waived.

 

The guest can communicate with the driver through WhatsApp, LINE or on the phone but their English capability  may differ widely depending on the driver or company. It may be necessary to hire a separate English interpreter if it is predetermined that communication would be an issue.

 

Where to stay during the 14 day quarantine

Airbnb is likely the best option available if your host does not have housing arrangements. Hotels have different policies though most will accept reservations provided guests can provide documents that tests came out negative.

If staying in an apartment, it might be worthwhile to check whether it is an area covered by Uber Eats. There are other food delivery services, but more difficult to use for non-Japanese speakers.  

 

No word on when tourists will be allowed in

 

So far the easing of the restrictions only apply for business travel, long-term residents and students looking to study in Japanese schools.

The Jiji Press agency reported in early October that the government is targeting April 2021 as the initial timing for bringing back international tourists. However the Asahi newspaper wrote in a December 6 article that the ban would only be lifted after the Olympics finish.

 


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