Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

Date of publication :
Tokyo

Cherry blossoms in Tokyo

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: 18th November 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. 




IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO JAPAN?

We strongly advise travelers regularly check the latest travel recommendations:

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.

It is now impossible to travel to Japan for many nationals without a visa (this includes travel for tourist purposes). A visa can only be obtained from the Japanese Embassy for specific reasons (for example: work or education).

A gradual reopening of the country can be envisaged during the year 2021.

For Japan Experience's customers, we recommend waiting for an official announcement from the Japanese government on the reopening of Japan's borders before considering any travel postponement or using the credit note you received from us.

We will be updating this page with any developments in the situation. Japan Experience look forward to helping you plan your trip when the situation improves. 




WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION IN JAPAN?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) situation report, as of November 17, 116,677 cases have been identified within the Japan, resulting in 1,883 deaths. Tokyo remains the most affected city, followed by Osaka and Kanagawa. 

As of September 1, 2020, the Japanese government is allowing foreigners with residence status to return to or temporarily leave Japan.



WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF CORONAVIRUS FOR YOUR TRIP TO JAPAN?

If you had planned to travel to Japan in the coming weeks / months, 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.

The Japanese authorities have decided to partially and conditionally reopen their borders as of October 1, 2020.

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.

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

Jrpass

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.

Refund Enquiry

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

Refund

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

Refund after extension

Hi, I currently have a JR pass. I understand that I can request an extension of use by mailing the pass to one of your offices by July 31st, or cancel by July 31st for a 15% fee. If I take the extension until Sept 2021, will I have the opportunity to get a refund (minus 15%) within that window until Sept 2021? Thanks.

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