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Japan to fully re-open to tourism as of October 11

For those with a interest in travel to Japan, finally some good news: Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has announced the ending of virtually all COVID-related entry restrictions, removing the ban on independent travel, with no quarantine, no pre-arrival testing (as long as you're vaxxed), no visa required, and no cap on the number of tourists, effective October 11. Visitors will still need to show proof of vaccination (or a negative COVID test), but other than that, there will be no more measures that have kept virtually all foreign tourists out of the country since April 1, 2020.

The Japan Times: Japan to reopen to independent travelers and lift daily arrival cap, Kishida says

Japan has been one of the last major/G7 nations to retain multiple measures intended to block entry to the country by foreign travelers, and has been extremely slow (many would say shockingly slow) to open back up to foreign visitors. A few restrictions were loosened in June, allowing a limited number of those on accompanied, government-approved guided tours; special visas have also been required.

As has been widely rumored, today Kishida announced the full re-opening of Japan: individuals not on an organized tour will be allowed once again, travelers are free to go where they want, with no more "minders" or "approved itineraries," effectively allowing tourism as it was in pre-COVID times.

Japan's tourism industry has been badly hurt by the long restrictions, as one could imagine. The nation's economy has been battered too, with the Yen falling to the lowest levels against the dollar in 25 years. At 142 Yen to the dollar, Japan (traditionally an expensive place to visit) is a relative bargain for Americans and other visitors. The Japanese government is expecting a big economic boost from the influx of tourists.

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Thanks for this news, David. How i would love to go to Japan.