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When Will Japan Open Borders?


Shitennoji Temple | Image Courtesy of peter-rabbit / Flickr

Japan has officially allowed interprefecture travels again since last June 19, lifting its last remaining advisory recommending against visiting other prefectures amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Since June 12, the number of COVID-19 cases has stayed below 1,000, prompting the government to lift temporary travel restrictions domestically.


Domestic Travel Now Open


Just last June 19, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that coronavirus-related restrictions are now over, at least for domestic travels. It means inter-prefecture travels are now permitted without further interference from the government. Along with this news is the lifting of the ban on mass events, which is now allowed up to 1,000 people to gather.


Most establishments, tourist facilities, and public services are now back to serve citizens. Japan Localized, for instance, has reopened its free walking tour in Kyoto and Tokyo. However, you can’t expect full operation for now as the tourism industry has just started to bounce back slowly.


Related: Osaka Coronavirus Update: Is It Safe to Travel in Osaka?


If you are interested in visiting some places in the city, here’s a list of the attractions in Osaka that are now open to tourists:

  • Osaka Castle

  • National Bunkaru Theater

  • Shitennoji Temple

  • Osaka Museum of History

  • Osaka Science Museum

  • National Museum of Art

  • Umeda Sky Building

  • Abeno Harukas

  • Osaka Aquarium

  • Universal Studios Japan

  • Grand Front Osaka

A national domestic tourism campaign is expected to start in early August.


Japan Open Borders


You might be wondering when will Japan open borders to foreign travelers as it’s easing travel restrictions domestically.


Well, Prime Minister has some good news for travelers coming from New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand, and Australia as the temporary entry ban for these countries had been lifted since June last 19.


However, only citizens from these countries on business travel are allowed to enter Japan. They will be allowed on two conditions — they have to test negative for the novel coronavirus, and they must use a smartphone app to track their locations.


Related: Social Distancing Guidelines in Japan


What about foreign travelers who have stayed in these four countries while the global pandemic ravaged the world? Unfortunately, they won’t be allowed entry to Japan.


The silver lining is — travelers from other countries are likely to be allowed entry to Japan in the next couple of months if this systematic move to allow a limited number of foreign travelers from the four aforementioned countries prove successful. Until then, visa exemptions are still suspended. But note that tourists from countries with a high number of coronavirus cases like the United States and China might be the last in the queue.


Nevertheless, hopes are high that Japan will hasten the process as it’s close to beating the novel coronavirus with only less than 1,000 active cases in the past few weeks.


Related: 5 Less Crowded Tourist Attractions in Osaka

For updates, you can follow our Osaka free walking tour Facebook page, Osaka Localized Walking Tours.

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