Great news for those who want to visit Japan – the country has been gradually reopening from June 2022 and will be fully open starting October 11th 2022! And while there are still regulations as to who can travel to Japan and what they can do while there, the rules are much more lax than they were when the pandemic began.
Also Read: 7 Reasons Why Filipinos Should Work in Japan
Japan is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. It’s known for its beautiful landscapes, delicious food and friendly people. However, if you’re planning to visit Japan from the Philippines, you must understand the measures in place to ensure your safety while there. Here’s what you need to know:
Who is currently allowed to travel to Japan?
Travelers from over 90 low-risk countries can enter Japan for group tours or independent travel starting on October 11, 2022. For passport holders from other countries, such as the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, they can travel without a visa in advance without having to get one starting on October 11.
The Japanese government has categorized all countries into three categories based on their COVID safety levels: red, yellow, and blue. The low-risk countries, which include Australia, Canada, the US, and Britain, are labeled as blue. These individuals do not need to self-isolate upon entering Japan, and triple-vaccinated individuals do not need to get tested prior to their departure.
What is required to travel to Japan, and what about visas?
In October 2022, a visa will no longer be required for tourists from most countries to visit Japan. Instead of applying for a visa at an embassy or consulate, foreign visitors need only:
- Have stayed in a Group Blue country for 14 days prior to arrival.
- Optional but recommended: To make your arrival at the airport smoother, download and use the Mysos app. This way you can upload documentation of things such as a negative COVID test and vaccination certificates before you even get to Japan.
- You must upload the relevant documents to MySoS at least 6 hours before your flight’s departure.
- To ensure that your reservation is successful, it’s best to pre-register at least two (2) or more days before your trip. You can begin the registration process up to 2 weeks in advance if you like.
- Make sure your travel insurance plan covers you for any injuries or illnesses incurred during the trip.
For more information on entering Japan, refer to the checklist provided by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO): General Checklist For Traveling To Japan
Do I need to be vaccinated to go to Japan?
No vaccination is required to enter Japan. However, people who are triple vaccinated as of September 7, 2022, will not need to do a Covid test before they leave the country.
Under 18 years old, children traveling to Japan with their vaccinated parents or guardians will not need to bring vaccination certificates. They can also travel without negative Covid tests if they are accompanied by their parents or guardians.
Do I need to do a pre-departure Covid test?
Starting September 7th 2022, triple-vaccinated visitors no longer have to take a pre-departure test.
If you are not triple vaccinated, the pre-departure test is still required. You may seek further information regarding this requirement if you are still unsure of how to proceed.
Do I need to download any tracing apps in Japan?
Besides the Mysos App, which is designed as a Fast Track App, there is no requirement to download any apps to enter Japan.
The Mysos app works by providing you with a QR code, which is scanned at the airport by staff. This will allow them to access your information and verify your vaccination history. This ensures that your entry into Japan is quick and easy, without having to wait in line at immigration.
What measures are in place when I arrive in Japan?
The Japanese are traveling in their country and life is returning to normal, with restaurants and sights welcoming back visitors.
It is important for visitors to Japan and Japanese people alike to follow the country’s etiquette guidelines. Many Japanese wear face masks in public, and it’s not uncommon to see bottles of hand sanitizer tucked into pockets or purses.
In Japan, you will see markers on shop and store floors to encourage social distancing. Digital thermometers are at entrances of buildings along with the sign that asks people to wear a mask when they enter.
The Japan Tourism Agency has put together a nice set of graphics to illustrate the current travel etiquette guidelines:
Will I need to wear a mask in Japan?
Currently, the mask-wearing requirement is still in effect—but only as a recommendation rather than an actual law.
In May 2022, the Japanese government began to allow people to take off their masks more often. The decision was made because most of Japan’s large cities had excellent filtration systems and were safe for mask removal under certain conditions—such as when outdoors or in places with good ventilation, proper social distancing from strangers, etc.
The Japanese are known to wear masks in public if they have a cold or any other contagious illness, even before Covid happened. Since then, it has become customary to do so regardless of whether one is feeling sick—so much so that many people will still wear them when there’s no reason at all.
While official rules have changed, many people remain reluctant to take off their masks in public settings. The latest guidelines on wearing masks in Japan can be seen here.
Are there any restrictions on where tourists can travel?
Tourists can travel anywhere in Japan, but the government has advised visitors to avoid some areas because of damage from the earthquake and tsunami. These exclusion zones include northern Hokkaido and southern Kyushu—the two most distant islands.
We hope this article helped you understand how to travel to Japan from the Philippines. Of course, you need to take care of your personal travel requirements, but it’s not hard to plan a trip to Japan if you know where to go, especially now that there’s no visa requirement for traveling to Japan from the Philippines. Just make sure you check the latest travel advisories from the Japanese government before you go, and be sure to pack your passport.