Japan is open for tourists: what are the rules?

Alley with view of Yasaka Tower, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Alley with view of Yasaka Tower, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan.

Japan’s border is opening back up to foreign tourists. But it won’t be as simple as travelling to Japan was in pre-pandemic times.

Japan is still dealing with a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, so they are yet to completely scrap their pandemic protocols around international travellers entering the country. 

But from 7 September 2022, the Japanese border is open to tourists who have booked their visit through a travel agency, finally being welcomed back to the popular tourist destination with what are relatively open arms.

As part of booking your overseas trip through a travel agency, you’ll need to have pre-booked both your arrival and departure flights, as well as accommodation for each night of your stay.

According to Smartraveller, visas will still be required for tourists, which can be secured by having your travel agency sponsor your visa application. 

For Australian travellers with a valid vaccination certificate (meaning 3+ doses of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine), you won’t need to take a pre-departure PCR test in order to board your flight. However, your airline may still require you to test negative before you hop on board.

Japan travel checklist for September 2022

So, with travel to Japan back on the menu, here’s what you’ll need to organise before you go: 

  1. Make sure your passport is valid 
  2. Organise your Japan trip with a tour operator 
  3. Have your visa application for Japan sponsored by the tour operator 
  4. Book both your arrival and departure flights in advance 
  5. Book accommodation for each night of your stay 
  6. Look into a travel insurance policy to cover you in case something goes wrong 
  7. Check the local weather conditions and pack accordingly 
  8. Have a look through our Japan travel guide to get your FAQs answered and find out what you need to know before you go. 

Heading off on a trip somewhere? Make sure you have a browser through our travel insurance guides to stay in-the-know.