Japan Travel Requirements in 2024: Everything You Need to Know

japan travel 2023 covid

We understand that planning a trip to Japan in 2024 can be overwhelming, especially with the ever-changing travel restrictions and guidelines. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the Japan travel requirements and make informed decisions that will allow you to travel confidently, safely, and responsibly in this new post-pandemic world.

Current Travel Restrictions in Japan

As of January 28, 2024, Japan has implemented travel restrictions and guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. It’s important to note that travel restrictions can vary depending on your citizenship. In this article, we will focus on the rules that affect U.S. citizens.

Official Japan Travel Restrictions and Requirements

Japan is currently open for tourism for independent travelers, including those from the United States. Visa-free travel has been resumed for selected countries, making it easier for U.S. passport holders to visit Japan. Travelers with U.S. passports can stay in Japan visa-free for up to three months.

However, there are still guidelines and protocols that travelers are asked to follow. These include wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and adhering to dining etiquette, among others. These measures are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of both visitors and residents.

It’s important to note that as of April 2023, a proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is no longer required for all travelers arriving in Japan. This update has made the entry process smoother and more convenient for travelers.

To facilitate the arrival process, it is highly recommended to submit your information online through the Visit Japan Web platform before your travel. This will help expedite the immigration and customs procedures upon arrival.

Steps for Traveling to Japan in 2024

To ensure a smooth arrival in Japan, there are certain steps that travelers can take in advance. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Register at Visit Japan Web

Although the Fast Track/Quarantine procedures are no longer mandatory, it is still advisable to pre-register through the Visit Japan Web site. This will allow you to provide your personal details, arrival date, and flight information ahead of time. It is recommended to complete the registration at least 6 hours before your flight to Japan.

Step 2: Submit your Covid Documents (NO LONGER REQUIRED)

Previously, travelers were required to submit their COVID-19 documents in advance. However, as of now, this step is no longer necessary.

Step 3: Register for Immigration QR Code

Returning to the Visit Japan Web site, select the “Disembarkation Card for Foreigner” module. This step is required for landing in Japan. You will be asked to provide details about your length of stay and answer a few questions about any criminal background in Japan. Once completed, you will receive a QR code that you should take a screenshot of and save it to your phone. This QR code will be used during the immigration process.

Step 4: Register for Customs QR Code

On the Visit Japan Web site, select the “Preparation for Customs Declaration” module. This registration will allow you to go through an electronic declaration gate at the customs checkpoint. Similar to the immigration QR code, you will receive a customs QR code that you should save to your phone. This QR code will be used during the customs process.

Step 5: Sign up for Travel Insurance

It is highly recommended to obtain travel insurance that covers medical costs related to COVID-19 in Japan. This will provide you with peace of mind and financial protection in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Quarantine Rules and Health Care in Japan

Currently, travelers are not required to quarantine upon arrival in Japan, provided that they are not suspected of having COVID-19. However, it’s important to note that quarantine rules for testing positive may no longer be enforced. This is good news for travelers as it allows for more flexibility and freedom to explore the country without the need for isolation.

In terms of health care, Japan has a well-established and easily accessible healthcare system. Foreign visitors can access healthcare, although the cost may be slightly higher compared to local residents. It’s advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical costs in case you contract COVID-19 during your stay in Japan.

What to Expect When Visiting Japan

As Japan slowly reopens to travelers, it’s important to set realistic expectations for your trip. Some popular attractions and famous sites, especially in Kyoto and Tokyo, can be crowded with longer-than-expected lines. Restaurants in Japan tend to be small and have limited seating capacity, accommodating only up to ten people or fewer. This can sometimes make the dining experience feel cramped. However, with an open mind and flexibility, there should be no major issues while traveling around Japan.

On-the-Ground Perspectives

To provide you with a more comprehensive view of what it’s like to travel to Japan in 2024, we’ve gathered insights from local residents and travelers who have recently visited the country. These first-hand experiences will give you a sense of the current situation and what to expect during your trip.

  • Jackie Szeto of Life of Doing, an American traveler who visited Japan in September 2023, shares that major attractions, restaurants, and trains in Tokyo and Kyoto can be crowded. However, visiting less touristy destinations like Nikko provides a nice change of pace with fewer crowds.
  • Sophie Pham of Delightful Travel Notes, a traveler who visited Japan in May 2023, highlights that attractions and food venues were fully open, with no social distancing measures or mandatory mask rules. However, some restaurant servers, locals, and taxi drivers still chose to wear masks. It’s recommended to make dinner reservations in advance, especially for popular restaurants.
  • Michelle, from Intentional Travelers, describes their two-day layover experience in Japan in March 2023. They found the online procedures and QR codes a bit confusing but highly recommended completing them in advance to expedite arrival.
  • Joel, a US traveler who visited Japan in February 2023, observed that mask-wearing is prevalent among the Japanese population. He also mentioned the importance of providing return flight information when checking in at the ticketing counter.
  • Lizzie of Wanderlust & Life, a UK traveler, visited Tokyo in January 2023. She felt that Japan was happy to welcome tourists again, and most people were following mask-wearing norms. Sanitizers were readily available, and there were no contact tracing or COVID pass requirements.
  • Darryl H., a New Zealand traveler, shared his experience in November 2022. He mentioned the prevalence of masks, sanitizers, and plastic partitions in restaurants. He also noticed super-high priority given to cleanliness in public places.

These personal accounts provide valuable insights into the current situation in Japan and offer a glimpse into the experiences of recent visitors.

Japan’s Response to the Pandemic

Japan has managed the COVID-19 situation relatively well compared to many other countries. The country experienced a dormant tourism business for several years, but in 2022, Japan began easing restrictions and reopening its doors to travelers. As of now, around 80% of the population has been vaccinated, and tourism is gradually recovering. However, it’s important to note that staffing shortages still persist in some areas.

For the most up-to-date information on the current COVID-19 situation in Japan, including the total number of positive cases, testing information, and more, please refer to the Japan Ministry of Health site.


Traveling to Japan in 2024 is an exciting prospect, but it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest travel requirements and guidelines. By following the steps outlined in this guide and considering the insights and experiences shared by travelers and residents, you can plan your trip confidently and responsibly. Remember to check official sources for the most up-to-date information and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions can change frequently, and it is essential to verify information through official sources such as the State Department and CDC. The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only, and readers are responsible for making their own informed decisions based on their specific situations.

Note: This article was written based on the original content provided, with some paraphrasing and additional details added to enhance the reader’s understanding of the topic. The goal was to create a unique, engaging, and informative article that meets the audience’s expectations.

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