Japan Opens Border to Tourists: Book Your Travel Package!
PLEASE NOTE – as of October 11 2022, Japan will remove its cap on daily arrivals and reinstate ‘visa-free’ travel for eligible passport-holders who have evidence of at least 3 COVID-19 vaccinations or provide a negative COVID-19 test result prior to their departure for Japan. This effectively means that the border will open to independent traveller from those eligible countries as of that date, who are no longer required to book their travel through a travel agent. All other passport-holders are however required to do so and the information below remains relevant.
As of September 7 2022, Japan is again open to tourists booking their travel via registered travel agents. Snow Monkey Resorts is standing-by to do just that and get you on that long-awaited flight to Japan! On this page you will find the following information:
The good news is that Japan’s border is open to international tourists so long as they have had at least three COVID-19 vaccinations or undergo a PCR test prior to travel, agree to follow COVID protocols including social distancing and wearing face masks in confined spaces and importantly, book their travel package – including flights and all accommodation – through a registered travel agent in Japan. While visitors still need to go through a travel agent to book their travel to Japan, the new policy means that once here, visitors have almost as much independence as they would under ‘normal’ circumstances so long as they stick to their itinerary and do not need to be accompanied by a guide. Snow Monkey Resorts is a registered travel agent and No.1-rated tour and charter operator. As a registered travel agent, we can arrange your travel to Japan – read on for details.
TRAVELLING TO JAPAN: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Japan’s border is now open to tourists so long as their travel is arranged through a travel agent, they meet a couple of requirements, and follow some basic COVID-19 protocols. While this does not equate to the border being fully open to independent travellers, it’s effectively one step short of that and a very positive development. You can now travel to Japan as a tourist as long as you:
1 / Book your travel including flights and all accommodation through a registered travel agent in Japan.
2 / Apply for and be granted a visa allowing you to travel to Japan for tourism purposes.
3 / Provide evidence that you have had at least three COVID-19 vaccinations or undergo a PCR test prior to travel.
4 / Purchase travel insurance which includes coverage of COVID-related illness, etc. for the duration of your stay in Japan.
5 / Upon arrival in Japan, follow your itinerary and basic COVID-19 protocols and be contactable should the need arise.
It is worth noting that this information applies specifically to non-Japanese citizens looking to travel to Japan for tourism purposes. It may be possible to enter the country for other purposes without needing to follow these requirements. For more information, see our ‘Who Can Travel to Japan & What’s Required?’ page.
BOOKING YOUR TRAVEL WITH SNOW MONKEY RESORTS
In order to travel, you need to arrange your travel package via a travel agent registered in Japan. To qualify your travel package MUST AT LEAST INCLUDE YOUR FLIGHTS AND ALL ACCOMMODATION with the option of adding other inclusions such as guided tours, restaurants, ski and snowboard rental etc. Anything else, you can arrange for yourself and you are not required to be accompanied by a guide. When booking via an agent, they will register your details into the government’s ‘Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System’ (ERFS) and once you have paid for your travel package, you will be issued with a ‘Certificate for Completion of Registration’. You will need to submit that certificate – in combination with other documents – to the responsible Japanese embassy or consulate in your country in order to have a visa granted. Upon arrival in Japan, you are required to follow your agreed itinerary but otherwise you have freedom of movement and will be unaccompanied. While the option exists, there is no requirement to be accompanied by a guide.
Snow Monkey Resorts is a registered travel agent and can arrange your travel for you. We can book your flights, accommodation and issue you with the certificate you need to apply for your visa. We recommend that you allow at least 4 weeks from your initial contact with us until your intended date of travel. Use the button below to get in touch and START PLANNING YOUR VISIT NOW!
WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU
Given the large number of enquiries we are receiving, we will appreciate if you can provide as much information as possible in order to respond to you as quickly as possible. If possible, please provide the following information:
1 / Your preferred arrival and departures dates
2 / Your flight budget per person and any airline preferences you might have
3 / The cities / areas you wish to visit and (if known) your preferred itinerary
4 / Your hotel budget per person, per night
5 / Any specific hotel you wish to stay at
6 / Any other requirements you have
If you do not have all of this information and need us to assist in putting an itinerary together for you, that is totally fine but it will likely result in longer process in putting a package together for you. Basically, please provide as much information as possible. Use the button below to get in touch and START PLANNING YOUR VISIT NOW!
APPLYING FOR YOUR VISA
Once you have booked and paid for your travel package and been issued with a certificate by us, you can apply for your visa via the responsible Japanese embassy or consulate in your country. Please refer to the website of the responsible embassy / consulate in your country regarding the application process, required documents and any applicable fees that may apply. At this time, the stated processing time at Japanese embassies and consulates is 5 to 7 business days however expect this time frame to length should the embassies / consulates receive a large number of applications. Once your visa has been issued, you are able to travel to Japan.
COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS
There is no requirement to be vaccinated to enter Japan however if you are, it will likely make the entry process easier. Japan currently operates a three-tiered system for entrants that dictates whether they are required to undergo a PCR test prior to travel or upon arrival and whether they are likely to need to quarantine once they get here. Any traveller entering from a ‘Blue / Low Risk’ country and can provide evidence of at least three vaccinations will not be required to undergo a PCR test prior to travel. They are also not required to quarantine once they arrive. You do not need to provide any evidence or information about your vaccination history to book a travel package however the embassy or consulate processing your visa application and airline that you travel with have their own requirements and may ask for additional information or evidence.
TRAVEL INSURANCE & OTHER REQUIREMENTS
In order to travel to Japan you are required to have travel insurance for the duration of your stay which includes cover for COVID-19 and related matters. It is important to note that should you become unwell while in Japan and required to isolate in a hotel, you will be required to cover any related costs. You will also be required to follow certain COVID-19 protocols while in Japan. The following government pamphlets provide information about the basic rules you will be asked to follow, starting with rules around wearing a face mask and followed general guidance about behaviour in public spaces, while at restaurants, bars and hotels, on transport, shopping and sightseeing. You can open all relevant pamphlets by clicking on the image below:
You will be required to remain contactable while in Japan via phone, email or SMS. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in cancellation of your visa and / or removal from Japan. You will be provided with an explanation of these requirements prior to booking your travel package.
FAQs: CAN I TRAVEL TO JAPAN AS A TOURIST?
With the easing of travel restrictions, lots of questions popping-up. Some we can answer while others remain a little unclear. We’ll continue to add to these questions as more information comes to hand:
I am from a ‘visa-free’ eligible country. Do I need to arrange a travel package and visa to enter Japan?
As of October 11 2022, travellers from ‘visa-free’ eligible countries will no longer be required to follow this procedure and can arrange their own travel to Japan. It’s important to note that you must provide evidence of at least 3 COVID-19 vaccinations or undergo a COVID-19 test with a negative result within 72 hours of travel to Japan. For all other passport-holders, the information above remains relevant and you must arrange a travel package through a registered agent in Japan and then apply for a visa.
Can I book my travel through Snow Monkey Resorts?
Yes. We are a registered travel in Japan and can package your flights and accommodation for you. Once you have booked and paid for your package, we will issue you with the required certificate to lodge your visa application. Click through to our inquiry form or click on the button below to send us a message. We’ll get back to you asap!
What does my travel package need to include?
In order to travel to Japan for tourism purposes at this time, your travel package must be arranged and certified by a registered travel agent. The minimum inclusions in your package are flights to and from Japan and all accommodation. You can choose to add additional inclusions such as guided tours, transport, ski rental, etc. should you wish to, but the absolute minimum requirement is that you book your flights and all accommodation via an agent.
How long will the process take?
We recommend allowing at least 4 weeks from your first contact with us until your intended travel date. We will endeavour to respond to you as quickly as possible however it may take up to 1 week to finalise your travel package with us due to large number of enquiries we are receiving. Within 24 hours of completing payment, we should be able to issue you with the certificate required to lodge your visa application. The current global processing time for visas through Japanese embassies / consulates as listed as 5 to 7 days however given the likely demand, you can expect that time frame to length. With that in mind, we recommend allowing a total of 4 weeks for the process of arranging your travel and visa.
Will you arrange my visa?
No. Other than provide you with the certificate required to lodge your visa application, we cannot provide any other assistance. Please refer to your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for any questions regarding visa processing, required documents and payments.
If I book a travel package, will I need to be accompanied by a guide?
No. While we can arrange guided tours as part of your package, there is no requirement to be accompanied by a guide during your visit.
Will any restrictions be placed on my movement while in Japan?
It appears that visitors will be able to move freely around Japan so long as they arrive and depart on their scheduled flights and adhere by their agreed itinerary i.e. arrive and stay at their hotels, as booked by the travel agent, each night. We are unaware of any other restrictions on movement.
Do I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel to Japan as a tourist?
No. While travellers who can provide evidence of at least 3 COVID-19 vaccinations are not required to undergo a PCR test prior to departure, those who have not been adequately vaccinated can still travel by undergoing a test within 72 hours of departure. For more information about this, please refer to your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate.
Do I need to take-out travel insurance?
Yes. You are required to hold valid travel insurance for the duration of your stay in Japan which includes cover for COVID-19 related illness. It is worth noting, that should you fall unwell with COVID-19 while in Japan, you will likely be required to isolate in a hotel or other designated facility. This could result in an extension to your stay and need to rearrange flights. Costs related to such matters would need to be covered by the traveller therefore we recommend taking-out insurance that provides cover for such developments.
Do I need to wear a face mask while in Japan? What other protocols will I be expected to follow?
Any entrant to Japan is expected to follow the local protocols designed at stemming the transmission of COVID-19 including wearing face masks in confined spaces, regularly sanitizing your hands and social distancing when possible. The government has issued English language pamphlets explaining these measures – as attached above.
I have already booked my flights and accommodation in Japan. Can Snow Monkey Resorts sponsor my visit / provide me with the certificate to apply for my visa?
In order to do so, your flights and accommodation will need to be booked through us. We are still trying to get clarification on how this can be done for existing bookings. If you would like to discuss this option with us, please send us the details of your existing bookings and we’ll get back to you.
What if I need to cancel my visit or the border opens fully before I travel? Will I receive a refund?
The cancellation policy applying to your travel package will be provided prior to making payment. The conditions around cancellation may vary depending on the airline and hotels you are choosing to include. Should you need to cancel or the border opens fully to independent to travel prior to your travel, you will be subject to the agreed cancellation policy for your travel package.
What’s preventing me from booking my trip by myself?
While you can book your flights and accommodation independently, you would not be able to receive the certificate required to apply for a visa. When booking via a travel agent, they will register your details into the government’s ‘Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System’ (ERFS) and once you have paid for your travel package, you will be issued with a ‘Certificate for Completion of Registration’. In the absence of that registration and certificate a visa will not be granted and you would not be able to board the flight or enter Japan.
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JAPAN
Our ‘Plan Your Visit’ page has everything you need to know about visiting Japan – from tips on the best time to travel, times to avoid, entering and exiting the country, money matters, staying connected, accommodation, staying safe and healthy and plenty more to ensure that you get the most out of your time here.