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Can I Travel To Japan Now? March 2022

Foreign business people and students can now enter Japan with minimal or no quarantine as long as you have a proper visa (you must apply in advance). Tourists are still barred from entry, but we are hoping for good news soon. Here are all the details on travel restrictions, flights, and entry procedures.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple with cherries in full bloom: f11 photo /

Situation Summary

Last update: March 14, 2022 (this page is updated every Monday)

  • Foreign business travelers and students can enter Japan as long as they have the proper visa (you must apply in advance and you’ll need a sponsor in Japan).
  • Quarantine for business travelers and students will be three days for some and eliminated for those from countries where Covid is controlled (including the United States).
  • Tourists are still barred from entry but we hope to hear some good news soon.
  • The Omicron wave has peaked and is now rapidly declining in Japan.
  • We will update this page weekly on Mondays, Japan time.
  • Japan is still closed to tourists now, but will reopen in the future. Now is the time to start planning a trip to Japan. Contact Chris Rowthorn to start planning.
  • Want to be alerted as soon as Japan announces reopening? Scroll down and sign up for our newsletter.

Odds of Japan Reopening to Tourism (personal opinion/explanation below):

  • March 2022: 5%
  • April 2022: 35%
  • May 2022: 60%
  • July 2022: 85%
Commentary by Chris

Starting March 1, foreign business travelers and students can enter Japan, provided they have the proper visa (you must apply in advance at a Japanese embassy or consulate – you will need a sponsor in Japan). Quarantine for these travelers, as long as they are boosted, will be three days for most countries and eliminated for those coming from countries where Covid has been controlled. At present, this latter group of countries includes the United States, Australia and Thailand.

As far as we can tell, travelers who have not received a Covid vaccine will have to quarantine for three days and can be released upon negative text. It appears that it will be possible to do this quarantine at a hotel.

The government has announced a simplified online application procedure for Japanese sponsors of business and student visa applicants. So, this procedure should be greatly speeded up on March 1.

There has been no announcement regarding tourists but Prime Minister Kishida recently said: "We hope to gradually increase international travel while taking into consideration the infection situation at home and abroad." Thus, we expect to hear something regarding tourists in the next few weeks.

The main question for Japan travel is this: Based on the above changes, will Japan react fast enough to get the country open to tourists by the late March cherry blossom season? As you can see above, I’m giving a March opening a 5% chance and an April opening a 35% chance. If we don’t hear some really positive news from the Japanese government in the next few weeks, it might be wise to plan for an opening in May or June. Whatever you do, I’d suggest that you be prepared to be flexible. Check cancellation and rescheduling fees and have a Plan B in mind.

Latest Japan Coronavirus News

Is Japan Open for Travel Now?

Starting March 1, foreign business travelers and students can enter Japan provided they have the proper visa (apply in advance at the nearest Japan embassy or consulate – you will need a sponsor in Japan). Tourists cannot presently enter but we hope to hear an announcement soon about when they will be able to enter.

Please check the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs site (MOFA) for the latest details. Because that page is quite confusing, you may also want to call the Japanese embassy or consulate nearest you.

Alternatively, the United States Embassy in Tokyo has the clearest information on the specifics of the new entry policy here (scroll down to "Entry and Exit Requirements").

What Will You Need to Enter Japan When It Reopens?

Although Japan has not formally announced how and when they will reopen to tourists, we can guess about what a reopening will look like based on how they’ve been reopening to foreign residents and business people. Based on this information, you can start to make some sensible preparations for the time when Japan does actually open its doors again. Here are some key points:

  • A negative COVID test will likely be necessary within 72 hours of boarding your flight to Japan. You’ll almost certainly be asked to show proof of this when you check in for your flight, and you’ll have to show it to Japanese immigration upon arrival. At this point, there are two acceptable tests: the PCR test and the CLEIA quantitative antigen test. You might start researching where you can get such a test on this timetable, including airports where such testing services are available.
  • The Japanese government websites are confusing and self-contradictory regarding COVID-related issues. See the US Embassy in Tokyo’s site listed above for the clearest and most up-to-date details.
  • If worst comes to worst, you want to be sure that your travel insurance policy. World Nomads policies do cover COVID treatment. For more details, visit our travel insurance page.

We will continue to monitor developments around opening closely. As soon as Japan announces the details, we will publish them here. We aim to give full details on entry requirements, application procedures, and actual experiences with entering Japan, so check back frequently.

Flights to Japan Currently Operating

Here are cities with direct flights to Japan and the airlines that operate them. Most flights go to Tokyo (Narita or Haneda), but some flights also go to Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto). Most Kansai flights come from Asia, but we’ve heard that United Airlines is restarting their San Francisco-Kansai flight at the end of March. Most flights here are not daily, but a few times a week.

Japan Airlines planes at Narita International Airport: EQRoy /

North America
  • Vancouver: Air Canada, ANA, Japan Airlines, American Airlines
  • San Francisco: United, American, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • Los Angeles: United, American, ANA, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines
  • Chicago: United, American, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • Dallas/Fort Worth: American, Japan Airlines
  • New York: United, American, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • London: British Airways, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • Paris: Air France, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • Frankfurt: Lufthansa, ANA, Japan Airlines, Finnair, British Airways
  • Helsinki: Finnair, British Airways, Japan Airlines
  • Istanbul: Turkish Airlines, ANA
  • Sydney: Qantas, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • Bangkok: Thai, Bangkok Airways, ZIPAIR, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • KL: Malaysia, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • HCMC: Viet Jet Air, Vietname, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • Hong Kong: Cathay, Hong Kong Express, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • Taipei: China Airlines, EVA, Scoot, Starlux, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • Singapore: Singapore Airlines, ANA, Japan Airlines
  • Seoul: Korean Air, Asiana, Ethiopian, ANA, Japan Airlines
Here are links to Japanese airlines COVID-19 countermeasures pages:

Hotels Emphasizing Safety and Hygiene in Japan

Almost all hotels in Japan are taking extreme precautions to make their properties as safe as possible. Other forms of accommodation are also taking extensive safety measures. Click the links below for the details on their COVID countermeasures.

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo guest room


Japan Coronavirus Information

At the time of writing, Japan has been experiencing around 49,000 new cases a day, according to the Japan COVID-19 Tracker. Japan has had around total 45,000 cases per million people. The Omicron wave has peaked and cases are falling rapidly.

Here is a useful link for the latest coronavirus numbers on Japan:

People wearing masks in Kobe: Hinochika /

Tips for Safe Travel in Japan

Here are some useful tips to ensure a safe trip during these unusual times.

  • Masks are available at drug stores, supermarkets and some department stores. You can also pick them up at airports in Japan. If you can’t find them, you can simply ask someone: "masuku arimasu-ka?" (Do you have masks?) or show them this: マスクを探しています。
  • Hand sanitizer is available at most places that sell masks (see above).
  • If you want as much distance around you as possible on trains, consider green cars, especially on the shinkansen.
  • Many restaurants in Japan offer private rooms, which are called "koshitsu." Your hotel concierge can help you locate such restaurants and reserve them for you.
  • Consider visiting popular destinations early in the morning or just before they close in the late afternoon. Or, consider visiting off-the-beaten-track destinations.
  • Avoid crowded areas. Here are some tips on how to avoid the crowds in Kyoto.

Kyoto in cherry blossom season: f11 photo /

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