The Prime Minister of Japan announced on Thursday that the country will reopen to foreign tourists in October.

One of the last countries with strict COVID-19 bans is Japan.

There have been supervised group tours to Japan for the past few months, but the restrictions on travel discouraged many people from booking trips. Japan will resume visa waivers if the plan to reopen is fully implemented.

The reopening of the Japanese government has not yet been made public. Travelers are advised to wait for specific details from the Japanese Consulate before booking a trip, given previous announcements of plans to reopen for tourism.

Read on to find out more about the announcement and what it means for your trip to Japan.

Japan reopening details

The Prime Minister said in New York that individual tourists will soon be welcomed to Japan without visas.


The Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Japanese Consulate in Chicago didn't give any further information about the visa program. Given that Friday is a national holiday in Japan, the consulate in Chicago didn't expect to hear anything about the visa rule change until September 26.

The visa website for the Embassy of Japan in the U.S. has not yet been updated with updated visa information, as well as the information page for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan.

Tourists from the U.S. and most other countries will be able to visit Japan for up to 90 days without a visa.

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According to a report by The Japan Times, travelers may need to provide proof of vaccine or a negative test to enter the country.

The Prime Minister said that the cap on visitors to Japan would be lifted as of October 11.

Japan has reopened for tour groups.

How to plan a Japan trip now

Miyajima, Hirosihima, Honshu, Japan  TRAUMLIK FABRIK/GETTY IMAGES

There will be a huge increase in flights, lodging, and tour reservations if unrestricted visa-free tourism returns to Japan in October. When we have confirmation of Japan's return to normal tourism practices, you need to make arrangements as soon as possible.

Even though signing up for a group tour is no longer necessary for entry to Japan, many visitors combine a group tour with a few days on either end of the visit for individual travel. The easing of Japan's travel restrictions will allow tours to have more access to people, places and activities that might have been restricted during the Pandemic.

Try to confirm your plans as soon as possible if you are interested in having a guide.

Some tour companies will be offering attractive "return to Japan" deals. People who have had tours canceled due to visa restrictions will have priority for tour space with these operators.

The program director for Asia for the MT Sobek tour operator was happy to hear about the announcement. We've been waiting for this for a while. Japan was a good place for us to go before Caval-19.

The dollar will make travel to Japan more affordable for Americans. The recent exchange rate was the lowest in 24 years.

The launch of a travel discount program within Japan was announced by the prime minister. The discounts may be available for foreign visitors. The Japan National Tourism Organization has the latest information on discount programs.

Points and miles can be used to travel to Japan.

Bottom line

There will be a surge of demand for travel to Japan if it reopens to tourists without visas. Keep an eye out for attractive package deals from tour operators who want to rebuild their businesses.

Before making any reservations, be sure to confirm the visa details with the Japanese Embassy or the Consulate website.