Japan reopens its doors to tourists as COVID curbs lifted
Japan reopens to tourists after two-and-a-half years of tough COVID-19 restrictions.
Japan has reopened its doors to tourists after two-and-a-half years of tough COVID-19 restrictions, with officials hoping an influx of travellers enticed by a weak yen will boost the economy.
From Tuesday, visa-free entry resumed for travellers from 68 countries and territories.
Tourists must still present either proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test taken three days before departure.
Japan slammed its borders shut early in the pandemic, at one point even barring foreign residents from returning, and has only recently begun cautiously reopening.
In June, it began allowing tourists to visit in groups accompanied by guides, a requirement that was further relaxed to include self-guided package tours.
In 2019, a record 31.9 million foreign visitors came to Japan, putting the country on track for its goal of 40 million by 2020, when Tokyo was supposed to host the Summer Olympics.
But in 2021, the figure plummeted to just 250,000.