6 Questions You Must Ask Before Planning Your Trip to Japan

2023 japan travel

On October 11, Japan will finally welcome independent travelers again after more than two years of stringent border restrictions. The country is also reinstating visa-free entry for visitors from over 60 countries. This news has sparked excitement among travelers eager to explore Japan’s rich culture and breathtaking landscapes once more. However, before you plan your trip, there are some important questions you need to ask to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

1. Do I need to pack a mask?

Yes, face masks have been a common sight in Japan even before the pandemic. People often wear masks year-round to protect themselves from air pollution and the spread of viruses, infections, and allergens. Although there is no official mask mandate in place, it is still recommended to wear one in crowded indoor environments or when using public transportation. Carrying a surgical-style disposable face mask in your bag or pocket is advisable in case you forget to pack one.

2. Have I checked which entry rules apply to me?

Japan has a color-coded classification entry scheme for countries, which will continue even after the easing of travel rules. Depending on your country of origin, different rules and requirements may apply. “Blue” countries, including the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia, Mexico, Thailand, and many EU nations, no longer require quarantine and have the option to provide proof of vaccination or negative test results. On the other hand, travelers from “yellow” and “red” countries may have additional entry requirements such as testing and quarantine. It is essential to review the complete list of countries and categories to understand the specific rules that apply to your situation.

3. Have I downloaded the MySOS app?

The MySOS app is a useful tool for travelers entering Japan. Available for both Android and iOS, the app allows you to record your vaccine and health information, making it easier to go through airport security checks. Additionally, if you are traveling with children, you can store their relevant information in the app as well.

4. Do I need to apply for a visa?

From October 11, visa-free travel will be reinstated for travelers from more than 68 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Singapore, and Thailand, among others. If your country is on the visa-waiver list, you can travel to Japan without a visa for stays of less than 90 days.

5. Should I reserve restaurants and museums in advance?

Japan is renowned for its exceptional cuisine and celebrated restaurants. Getting a table at popular restaurants in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka has always required advance reservations, and this practice has continued even during the pandemic. It is recommended to book your preferred restaurants in advance to avoid disappointment. Museums also have new entry systems in place, and it is advisable to check the museum’s website and secure your preferred date and time before your visit.

6. What new attractions can I add to my Japan itinerary?

Japan constantly offers exciting new attractions and experiences for travelers. Despite the pause caused by the pandemic, there are several upcoming attractions worth considering. One of the most anticipated openings is Ghibli Park, a theme park based on the works of animation legend Hayao Miyazaki. Opening in Aichi Prefecture on November 1, Ghibli Park immerses visitors in the dreamy world of Ghibli movies like My Neighbor Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle. Additionally, the Ishikawa Prefectural Library in Ishikawa offers a unique experience for book lovers and showcases cutting-edge architecture. If you are interested in history, the Jomon Prehistoric Sites in northern Japan provide insight into the indigenous Jomon people’s culture. Finally, the Nishi-Kyushu Line, Japan’s high-tech bullet train network, has launched a new route that connects the hot spring town of Takeo Onsen to Nagasaki, offering an efficient way to explore these destinations.

When planning your trip to Japan, it is important to consider these questions and factors to ensure a memorable and hassle-free experience. Japan’s rich culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality await you, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Start preparing for your journey and get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of Japan.

Attractions in Japan

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