Coronavirus: What You Need to Know
Traveling to Japan during the Coronavirus pandemic?
Here are some useful links to make sure you can find all the information you need about travel to Japan during the COVID-19 situation.
Updated: 31st July 2020.
Following the evolving situation of the global health crisis, the measures taken by each country has changed a lot in recent months. 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.
- Have you ordered from Japan Experience? Have you received a credit note for a future trip with Japan Experience? Read our article: Coronavirus - How to cancel your order and postpone your trip?
Is it safe to travel to Japan?
We strongly advise travelers regularly check the latest travel recommendations:
- Japan National Tourism Organization
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan
- World Health Organization Travel Advice
- Australian Government Smart Traveller
- Government of Canada Travel Advice
- New Zealand Government Safe Travel
- UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Advice
- US Travel Department of State Travel Advice
We also strongly advise following the prevention recommendations of the local authorities. The Japanese Ministry of Health has a hotline that can also answer questions in English (phone: 03-3595-2257).
WHEN CAN WE TRAVEL TO JAPAN?
The desire to travel is always present and we have received many requests to plan and organize a stay in Japan in 2020 or early 2021.
The question is, when will tourists be able to visit Japan?
As an island nation, Japan plays the card of great caution by keeping its borders closed to a hundred countries where there have been many Covid 19 cases.
While it is currently impossible for nationals from many countries to travel to Japan, it is possible to envisage a gradual reopening of Japanese borders from the end of 2020 or 2021.
For Japan Experience's customers, we recommend waiting for an official announcement from the Japanese government for news on when they reopen their borders before considering any travel postponement or using the credit note you received from us.
- Did you receive a credit note for a furture trip to Japan with Japan Experience? Read our article: Coronavirus - How to cancel your order and postpone your trip?
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION IN JAPAN?
On the 19th of July, the Japanese authorities reported a total of 25,422 coronavirus cases. This number includes 985 COVID related deaths and 19,758 recoveries. Tokyo remains the most affected city, followed by Osaka, Kanagawa and Hokkaido Island.
It is no longer possible to enter Japanese territory for nationals of more than 100 countries, including Europe and the United States. Travelers (including those from one of the countries where entry bans do not apply) who will arrive in Japan on a flight via one of these countries or regions will be refused entry into Japanese territory.
For more information on the border enforcement measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF CORONAVIRUS FOR YOUR TRIP TO JAPAN?
Since the 27th of March, the Japanese government has decreed a total ban on Japanese territory for any non-Japanese person who has stayed in a country severely affected by the coronavirus, in the 14 days preceding their arrival. Here is the list of countries affected by this ban on the 5th of May, 2020: Japan National Tourism Organization website
At the moment, it is no longer possible for many countries to travel to Japan. If you planned to travel to Japan in the coming weeks, we strongly advise you to contact the organizations with which you have made your reservations in order to determine together how to postpone your trip for the end of 2020 or the year 2021.
Were you going to Japan with Japan Experience? Here's how to cancel your order for Japan Rail Pass or other products and get a credit or refund: How to cancel your trip to Japan?
But if you are planning a trip for later in the year, we advise you to wait to see the evolution of the situation before deciding whether or not to cancel your trip. We recommend that you exercise increased vigilance and keep yourself informed of the situation.
WHAT MEASURES ARE BEING TAKEN IN JAPAN?
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 the 26th of February, 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 the 26th of February and this for at least two weeks.
Certain Japanese habits work in their favor, such as wearing a surgical mask. It is not unusual for the Japanese to wear masks as soon as they are sick, in times of flu or even during hay fever season. In Japan, people tend to wear masks out of courtesy to those around them. This habit, anchored in manners, greatly helps to block the spread of Covid-19.
As of July 30, 2020, Japan is no longer in a state of health emergency and the number of Covid-19 cases remains relatively low even though we are currently witnessing a slight acceleration of the epidemic in the territory. This increase is mainly within the Tokyo area and official measures are being taken to counter this trend.
ARE THERE ANY JAPANESE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS CLOSED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS?
As a precautionary measure and in response to the Japanese authorities' recommendations, some sight and attractions announced closures in early March 2020. Many have since reopened to the public and are following government guidelines.
- For the complete list of closures please check on the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) website
At the same time, events involving large gatherings, such as summer festivals or sporting events, are canceled, postponed or organized behind closed doors or in small groups.
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.
To find all the essential information in an emergency, the JNTO has created a dedicated page on the subject of health for travelers in Japan: find the medical institution suited to your needs, explanations on their use, a link with insurance companies accessible to visitors: visit here!
We advise older adults and people with chronic illnesses, who may be at a greater risk of catching Covid-19, to speak with a health professional before traveling.
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
Comments Read comments from our travellers
Because of the COVID-19 situation around the globe, I had cancel my trip to Japan. On your website, it says that I can receive refund on the unused travel voucher. I previously emailed about the JRpass refund to you. I have yet received a by information regarding it. Would you, please, let me know how and when I can receive my refund.
For information on your refund please contact our customer service team with your order number and they will be able to assist you with any information. You can send us an email or call us, you can find details here: https://www.japan-experience.com/contact
For information on the refunds and credit notes please contact our customer service team with your order number and they will be able to assist you with any information. You can make an inquiry online here: https://www.japan-experience.com/contact