Tokyo At Meguro Canal

Can we all just take a moment and realize what an insane time we’re living in? Ok, deep breath. Better times are coming, and if you’ve been desperately missing the place that despite covid-19, managed to launch a zipline into Godzilla’s mouth in 2020, there’s still a lot of positivity for travel next year.

Reports suggest Japan is still on track to welcome international visitors from late spring, and plans to be fully ready to welcome all international visitors for the Summer Olympic Games.

Tokyo At Meguro Canal

Japan To Welcome Visitors In 2021

Japan has been closed to most outside visitors since the early spring of 2020, and hasn’t budged, with the exception of regional business travel bubbles. Read as: you probably can’t go right now. However, with vaccines hitting the street, plans remain on track to welcome visitors again by late spring of 2021.

Reports earlier in the year suggested the country was aiming to welcome a trial of initial visitors in April, and now an exciting new report from Nikkei Asia suggests a full tourism reboot ahead of the Olympic Games, which are scheduled to be held from July 23rd through August 8th, 2021. Technology, of course, is said to be at the center of safety plans.

Nikkei’s reporting indicates government officials are ironing out plans, which currently would not require visitors to be vaccinated for covid-19 to enter the country, but rather just to test negative via a PCR test before departure, and to download a track and trace app.

Vaccines will not be mandatory, and visitors who submit proof of a negative coronavirus test and agree to use apps to facilitate contact tracing can skip the two-week quarantine. Use of public transportation will remain unrestricted as well.

Nikkei Asian Review

Over 1 million visitors are expected, and at least 1 million tickets for the games have already been purchased by travelers outside of Japan. All visitors will be asked to use the Cocoa app to upload pre-flight test results and to voluntarily check into venues, but will not be GPS monitored.

a person walking on a wet street
Image by Masashi Wakui from Pixabay

Will there be full crowds? Reports suggest Japan will wait until late spring to make a final announcement on crowd measures, based on the current science and state of the pandemic at that point. Too many unknowns exist between now and then, with the rollout of vaccinations, and subsequent successes.

Japan is an absolutely enthralling travel destination, and if all goes well, plans for autumn and winter of 2021 trips to Japan should hold true. There are few things as beautiful as fall foliage in Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo or anywhere you go. Here’s a first time guide to Tokyo, a 48 hour guide for Osaka and why the sushi really is worth it.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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