Many travellers have been eagerly awaiting the total reopening of Japan’s borders for the needs of tourism with bated breath. With every announcement, the nation has been inching in direction of opening its borders in a painfully gradual method.
On September 7, Japan will take one other main step in direction of opening its borders for tourism.
Whereas this doesn’t fairly mark the total reopening of this much-loved vacation spot, it does imply that Canadian travellers can now embark on impartial, unaccompanied journey to Japan for the primary time for the reason that begin of the pandemic.
Japan Journey Restrictions
As of September 7, impartial vacationers will be capable to enter Japan for the aim of tourism so long as they’ve booked a package deal tour with a Japanese journey company.
Previous to this date, some vacationers have been allowed to enter the nation for tourism, however solely on intently guarded package deal excursions. With the upcoming modifications, vacationers will not need to be accompanied all through their keep in Japan.
After all, vacationers must fulfil different entry obligations, together with displaying proof of vaccination (together with a 3rd booster dose), possessing a legitimate visa (that should be utilized for previous to entry), and filling out just a few paperwork.
Moreover, the nation is growing the each day arrival cap to 50,000 on September 7, which is up from the 20,000 each day cap imposed in June. This transfer will permit extra foreigners into arguably essentially the most sought-after nation to go to after the world closed down greater than two years in the past.
How Can Canadians Enter Japan?
Till now, enterprise travellers and worldwide college students have been allowed to enter Japan by air, probably by means of the nationwide capital of Tokyo. Since June 10, overseas vacationers have additionally been permitted entry to Japan, however solely on guided excursions.
The uptake of the excursions has been moderately low, which doesn’t come as a lot of a shock.
As of September 7, travellers coming from Canada should current the next:
- Proof of vaccination upon coming into Japan
- A sound Japan visa, which requires a package deal tour bought from an accredited journey company in Japan
- A accomplished well being questionnaire
Eligible Canadian travellers might submit their visa functions electronically through the consulates of Japan in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, or Montreal. Visa functions can take 3–5 enterprise days to course of.
Find out how to E book an Unguided Bundle Tour to Enter Japan
Previous to reserving making use of for a visa, Canadians might want to e-book an unguided package deal tour to fulfil the brand new entry necessities.
The definition of an “unguided package deal tour” is pretty unfastened, and contains conditions during which people merely e-book their very own flights and inns and submit the “tour” itinerary to a Japanese journey company in an effort to course of a vacationer visa.
This course of is pretty simple, though it nonetheless requires you to leap over just a few hurdles within the course of. The principle issue right here is that you want to have a “Certificates for Completion of Registration to the ERFS system” once you make your visa utility.
The ERFS is the “Entrants, Returnees Comply with-up System”, which makes it simpler for the federal government to trace anybody who falls sick with COVID-19 throughout their keep in Japan.
Step one is to seek out an accredited journey company who is allowed to promote unguided package deal excursions. Some companies that we’ve discovered embody:
For a payment of ¥30,000 ($280 CAD), Japan Information Company can provide an unguided package deal tour that fulfils the Japanese authorities’s necessities. You’ll obtain help to your visa utility, together with data required for the ERFS certificates, which incorporates:
- A signed and stamped letter from the journey company stating the title, contact quantity, dates of journey, period of keep, names & addresses of lodging in Japan
- Particulars of your tour itinerary, together with your each day resort’s title and deal with
- A certificates of completion of registration within the ERFS
With this data, you may proceed together with your visa utility. When you’ve acquired the visa, you’re all set to journey to Japan on an unguided package deal tour.
My Expertise Getting a Japan e-Visa for Tourism
With a view of travelling to Japan as quickly as borders are open, I made a decision to use for a Japan vacationer visa with an ERFS issued by means of Japan Information Company this week.
The worth of the service was ¥20,000 ($188 CAD) on the time that I had bought the package deal, though it has since risen to ¥30,000 ($280 CAD).
When buying the unguided tour package deal, Japan Information Company asks to your flight and resort particulars.
These basically symbolize the “particulars” of your unguided tour, which solely contains your flight and resort. Japan Information Company even goes as far as to say that any of those particulars could be modified afterward, as they’re presumably solely used for registration to the ERFS system.
Inside 12 hours of my buy, Japan Information Company was in a position to difficulty my ERFS doc. The affirmation e mail clearly states that “Issei Fujiwara of JGA Inc.” is appearing because the journey company that’s offering me with my unguided tour package deal:
The ERFS doc seems to be as follows:
The following step was to submit an utility for a Japan vacationer visa. Canadian and US residents might submit an e-visa by means of the Japan authorities web site, whereas residents of different international locations might want to submit a visa utility in-person at their native consulates.
To begin the e-visa utility, you’ll must first register for an account. When you’ve logged in, click on on “New registration” to start a brand new e-visa utility.
You’ll then be guided by means of a number of steps of the visa utility. You’ll wish to embody “Tourism” as the aim of go to, and the remainder of the fields are pretty simple (names, images, addresses, passport numbers, lodging and flight particulars, and so forth.)
On the final display, you’ll be requested to submit the “Certificates of Completion of Registration to the ERFS system”. Add the PDF doc that you simply acquired out of your Japanese journey company right here.
As soon as that’s finished, you may submit your e-visa utility. You’ll obtain an e mail affirmation of receipt inside an hour or so.
And though the Japan e-visa web site states that the processing time could be 3–5 enterprise days, I occurred to obtain my newly-minted Japan vacationer e-visa inside the very subsequent day – 15 hours later, to be exact.
Certainly, logging again into the e-visa web site, I used to be in a position to pull up my “Discover of Visa Issuance” – the coveted immigration doc that will probably be checked previous to my Japan-bound flight!
Present Well being Necessities in Japan
March 18, 2022 marked the date that Japan’s state of emergency was lifted in all 18 remaining prefectures, that means that COVID circumstances have dropped sufficiently low sufficient that life can return to semi-normal.
Eating places are absolutely open as soon as once more, as are film theatres, museums, cultural occasions, and usually some other vacationer points of interest. In actual fact, that is the primary time since October 2021 which are no gathering or enterprise hour restrictions on eating places and bars in Japan.
Curiously sufficient, there aren’t any vaccination necessities for any of the above, nor will there be any vaccination checks.
There are nonetheless some minor restrictions in place, reminiscent of “non-certified eating places” solely with the ability to seat as much as 4 individuals per desk, however that shouldn’t have a big effect in your journey.
Masks are required in all indoor areas in addition to all outside the place you “might encounter different individuals”, which mainly means they’re required on a regular basis. Regardless of issues being a bit completely different with restrictions at house, don’t neglect to maximise your baggage allowance with adequate face masks.
Find out how to Get to Japan
To East Asia, Aeroplan naturally involves thoughts with its improbable price of 75,000 factors one-way in enterprise class, so long as the general routing falls at or beneath 7,500 miles in distance flown — which incorporates all direct flights from North America.
West Coast residents specifically will profit from Aeroplan’s improbable candy spot of solely 55,000 factors one-way for a direct flight from Vancouver or Calgary to Tokyo.
Air Canada flights can nonetheless be priced exorbitantly beneath dynamic pricing, so utilizing your eUpgrades with the “Latitude Perspective” technique is the optimum technique to improve right into a enterprise class seat.
For individuals who dabble within the US bank card sport, you may e-book a one-way journey in ANA First Class for simply 55,000 Virgin Atlantic miles from the West Coast and 60,000 Virgin Atlantic miles from the East Coast.
That is arguably the very best candy spot that at present exists on the market, and there’s nothing fairly like bottomless Hibiki 21 whiskey and Japanese nice eating within the sky to have fun Japan’s long-awaited reopening.
With Alaska Mileage Plan, it’s also possible to fly direct on on Japan Airways for 60,000 miles in enterprise class and 70,000 miles in First Class, one other wonderful candy spot to purpose for in your first educational or industrial go to to Japan within the post-pandemic period.
Japan Airways First Class award area is kind of plentiful 14 days previous to the date of departure.
After what looks like an eternity of being closed off to the world, Japan is one step nearer to be being absolutely open once more.
Have your proof of vaccination, unguided package deal tour, vacationer visa, and numerous types and statements able to current for entry in to Japan.
We’ll proceed to replace this text as Japan’s restrictions ease even additional. One factor’s for certain: anticipate flights to Japan to be packed when the nation lastly absolutely reopens for tourism with no visa restrictions, so now could also be the very best time to expertise Japan with comparatively few guests but.