Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

Date of publication :

Japan Travel Advice

There has been a lot of media coverage on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) over the last few weeks, so we understand that travelers are concerned. Here are some useful links and information.

Updated: 25th March 2020. 

TRAVELING TO JAPAN?

Following the evolving situation of the global health crisis, the measures taken by each country has changed a lot in recent days. In terms of international travel, we recommend you to follow the official recommendations of the governments of the countries in which you reside and where you wish to travel.

Japan Experience are here to answer any questions or concerns our customers have. For information on how to cancel your order you can find information on this here: https://www.japan-experience.com/update/coronavirus-how-to-cancel-your-order

NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS CASES IN JAPAN

On the 25th of March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that 1193 people have tested positive in Japan for the Covid-19. The population of Japan is 126.8 million, so the number of people who have tested positive is very low, therefore making the risk of transmission low.

The number of infected in Japan above does not include the 697 cases that tested positive and are in quarantine from the cruise ship the Diamond Princess, docked in Yokohama. Passengers who have completed the 14-day quarantine and tested negative for the virus have been allowed to leave and return home.

WHAT MEASURES ARE BEING TAKEN IN JAPAN

Like all airports around the world, the authorities in Japan are more cautious due to Covid-19. Temperature monitoring is taking place at airports throughout the country and there are tighter controls depending on where the travelers come from. Entry to the territory is refused to any non-Japanese national who has visited Wuhan or Hubei province in China or Daegu in South Korea in the last two weeks.

In addition, entry to the territory is refused to any non-Japanese national who have visited Wuhan, in the province of Hubei in China, in Daegu in South Korea, coming from certain regions of Italy (Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont and Marche) or coming from San-Marino in the previous 14 days. Visitors arriving in Japan from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and South Korea will be asked to first stay at designated facilities for 14 days. As the situation is changing it is best to contact your airline company for advice.

Japan is a very clean country. Today, the Japanese government and the population as a whole take the situation very seriously and are very cautious, shown by Japan's preventive closure of primary schools, colleges, and high schools until April or cancelation of sporting events.

On February 26, the Japanese government announced a list of basic measures to reduce the spread of the virus. They have advised people with mild cold symptoms to stay at home and avoid going to the hospital and the entire population to stay away from large gatherings. The government has also started to distribute a guide on how to best manage the situation.

Other precautions have been taken to prevent the spread of the virus. You will find hand sanitizer almost everywhere in Japan in self-service (stores, malls, restaurants, airports, stations, public toilets, office buildings, etc.). In addition, stair and escalator handrails and other surfaces such as door handle in stations, trains, and public spaces are very frequently cleaned and disinfected.

Companies have also taken exceptional precautions by encouraging their employees to work from home. For example, the large advertising agency Dentsu, after an employee tested positive for coronavirus, asked 5,000 of its employees working at its Tokyo head office to work from home since 26 February and this for at least two weeks.

ARE THERE ANY JAPANESE TOURIST SITES CLOSED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS?

As a precautionary measure and in response to the recommendations of the Japanese authorities, some attractions have announced temporary closures:

  • Ghibli Museum in Mikata is closed from 25 February to 28 April.
  • Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are closed until early April.
  • Universal Studios Japan in Osaka is closed from 29 February to 15 March.
  • Tokyo Olympic Museum is closed from 27 February to 16 March.
  • Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo is closed from 27 February to 12 March.
  • Harmonyland is closed from 27 February to 12 March.
  • TeamLab Planet and TeamLab Borderless in Tokyo is closed from 29 February, opening date to be announced.
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial is closed from 29 February to 15 March.
  • Shinjuku Metropolitan Government Building observatory is closed from 27 February to 16 March.
  • National museums of Tokyo, Nara, Kyoto, and Fukuoka, closed from 27 February to 15 March.
  • Tokyo National Museum of Nature and Science is closed from 29 February to 15 March.
  • Tokyo National Arts Center is closed from 29 February to 15 March.
  • Edo-Tokyo Museum is closed from 29 February to 15 March.
  • Osaka Castle is closed from 29 February to 15 March.
  • 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa is closed from 29 February to 15 March.
  • Chichu Art Museum, Benesse House and Ando Museum in Naoshima is closed from 3 March to 16 March.
  • Shiroi Koibito Theme Park in Sapporo is closed from 29 February to 15 March.

Please note that the reopening dates may be extended further depending on the advice of Japanese authorities.

These announcements follow the decision of the Tokyo metropolitan government to request to cancel or postpone major upcoming events to avoid large gatherings, such as celebrations around the Emperor's birthday or large sporting events. There are more attractions listed by region here: https://www.japan.travel/en/news/coronavirus/#anchor

However, public transport is operating as normal and restaurants and stores are open as usual.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD TRAVELERS TAKE WHEN TRAVELING IN JAPAN?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has some protective measures for the public and travelers to follow. This advice is similar to avoiding other respiratory viral infections, such as the flu, and the common cold.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands or use sanitizer. Sanitizer is very commonly used in Japan and can be easily found.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of the tissue straight away.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

You can find more information and advice from the World Health Organization (WHO)

Do not forget to take out travel insurance for your trip to Japan. Medical expenses can be high if you become sick or injured and need to visit a hospital while in Japan. So do make sure that you take out insurance for your trip and check the policy will cover any disruptions due to Coronavirus.

TRAVEL ADVISORIES BY COUNTRY

We advise travelers to check the latest travel advisories from their country and check your travel insurance policy before travel.

JAPAN VISITOR HOTLINE

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) operates a traveler hotline all year round 24 hours a day. They can help with tourist information or assistance, including Covid-19.

This service is available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

  • From Japan: 050-3816-2787
  • From Overseas: +81-50-3816-2787

If you have any inquiries, you can contact Japan Experience by email (contact@japan-experience.com) or telephone. Our contact details for your nearest office can be found here.

Comments Read comments from our travellers

Respiratory Therapist

I had planned a trip since January trip was from April 22nd to the 28th will I be granted a visa at the airport I am coming from US and I have been tested negative for Covid19 as I work in health care so will they send me back to the US as I cant afford to stay 14 days in Japan?

Visa Information

Thank you for your comment. For information on visas and the options that are available to you it best to contact your nearest immigration office. They will be able to advise you on the options available. You can find a list of the offices here: http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/info/index.html#sec_01

Visiting Japan

Japan have put in place some entry bans for certain countries and regions as well as quarantine measures. You can find information on this on the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) website https://www.japan.travel/en/coronavirus/. If you need any further information or have any questions please contact JNTO directly using the details above.

Staying without a visa

Hi there, I am currently staying in Japan, my 90 day visa-free stay is about to be up, but my flights are suspended and I do not feel comfortable being in the US right now. What are my options? Is there a way to extend my allowed period of stay until this situation improves?

Cancellations

Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear you have had to cancel your trip to Japan. You can find more information on canceling your Japan Rail Pass or other products here: https://www.japan-experience.com/update/coronavirus-how-to-cancel-your-order. There is an option to receive a credit note instead, which is valid until the 15th of September 2021. If you would prefer to receive a refund, there is an administration fee that is applied; we suggest you contact your travel insurance company to determine if you can cover the cancellation fee. If you need any further information, please contact our customer service team. You can find our contact details here: https://www.japan-experience.com/contact.

Japanese

Im japanese and right now im in berlin for almost 1month due to my flight was cancelled.when i go back to japan will i be quarantine?

Enhanced screening and quarantine measures

For information on screening and quarantine measures that will be implemented for people traveling into Japan including Japanese nationals, the Japan National Tourism Organization has up to date information on the measures that are in place. You can find more information on this here: https://www.japan.travel/en/coronavirus/

refund for JR passes

Hello We are forced to cancel our Japan trip on March 24th due to US command of no travel abroad. We would like a full refund for our JR passes as we will not be able to travel to Japan in the next three years. We feel imposing a 15% fee for cancellation is unfair.

Mr

Your link on this page to Australian Smart Traveller states We now advise all Australians: do not travel overseas at this time. This is our highest advice level (level 4 of 4). If you are already overseas and wish to return to Australia, we recommend you do so as soon as possible by commercial means. In light of this advice other companies are wavering their cancellation fees.

Mr

Hi, Can you tell me what major tourist attractions are open at the moment in Tokyo. Most of the attractions we travelled to Japan / Tokyo to see are closed due to the corona virus :-(

Temporary closures in Japan

The Japan National Tourism Organization link the the article above has information on the current attractions that are closed. You can check it here: https://www.japan.travel/en/news/coronavirus/#anchor.

Mr

Hi, Will there be full refunds issued due to the outbreak? Thank you.

Refunds

If you need to cancel or postpone your trip to Japan, please contact us directly by email or by phone to find out how to get a refund.

Ms

Hello - Can we get a full refund without holding back the 15% fee as my family had to cancel the trip due to the Corona virus? What is the policy on this now? When I called last I was told that the policy was being looked at. Pl provide an update. Thanks.

Please Extend JR Pass activation period

Hello Team, In the view of the situation at Japan and all the advisories from different countries, you should either reduce the cancellation charges or give extension to the activation period for the JR Pass. Since you issue so many JR passes, it would make sense for you to appeal to Japan Railway company to provide such relief for tourists. Please do the needful because it really doesn't make much sense to travel to Japan at this time, since most of the tourist attractions are closed. Regards, Pramod Tiwari