The government will reclassify COVID to "Category 5", making it the lowest on the alert scale of 5 and treated the same as the seasonal flu. The change will be effective May 8th, after the "Golden Week" holidays finish. The recommendation to wear masks indoors will also be dropped, though many individuals may choose to continue wearing one based on recent survey results.
Jan 4, 2023
Starting Jan 8, all passengers who have stayed in China the last 7 days and taking a direct flight to Japan are required to have pre-boarding test AND get tested on-arrival at the airport quarantine station.
A new site called Visit Japan Web has been introduced where you input vaccination and other information prior to arrival. A QR code is issued which will speed up the entry process.
This replaces the MySOS app that was previously used.
Independent travel, pre-pandemic style finally returns. The only requirement will be you have gotten three vaccinations or have negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of boarding the flight.
Passport holders of 68 country/regions will no longer require a visa for short-term stays (The same as before the pandemic).
The daily limit on entries will be removed and there is no longer the requirement to book through the travel agency. The ERFS system is discontinued.
Information on the MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) page
Info about required vaccines on the MHLW (Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare) page
Although it's not mandatory, visitors are still advised to wear masks in public, especially indoors or when using public transport.
THE BELOW IS PAST INFORMATION. THESE RULES NO LONGER APPLY!
Daily cap raised to 50,000 per day. Pre-boarding testing no longer required for those who have gotten three vaccinations.
"Self-guided tours" are allowed starting today. A travel agent must still sponsor your visit, and they must make the flight/hotel arrangements for you.
Anyone wishing to make flight/hotel arrangements on their own will be required to book a tour through agency with a guide/conductor accompanying you. However some free days are now allowed.
Citizens of US and Canada can apply for a visa through the newly created JAPAN eVisa system.
There is no change in eligibility - tourists need to first make a booking through authorized travel agent in Japan and obtain the "ERFS certificate" before proceeding with the visa.
Tourists are now allowed within the daily limit of 20,000. However it is necessary to have tour guide/conductor accompany you. The visa exemption program continues to be suspended.
From June 1st, the daily limit will be raised to 20,000.
Visitors from about 100 countries including US/UK ("low-risk nations") will no longer be required to do the on-arrival testing or quarantine regardless of their vaccination status.
See the below for the breakdown of countries ("blue" countries are considered to be of low-risk)
Prime Minister Kishida said during his stay in London that further easing of the restrictions will be coming in June, without mentioning any specifics.
Effective April 8
The government will lift the foreigner entry ban for 106 countries including US, Canada, UK, Germany and France. However as visas will not be issued except for special circumstances, there is hardly any actual change taking place. The visa exemption program continues to be suspended.
The quarantine rules were also relaxed, and there is no longer a ban on the use of public transport. Whether or not you have received the booster shot (Pfizer/Moderna) determines the need to self-quarantine.
Details can be found here: