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bill937ca

I have seen an article about cars with out of province license plates being harassed because they were travelling.  What would the reaction be to foreign travelers?

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Grant_T

My wife and I plan to travel to Japan once things open up again (we have airline credits to use too). But I think this will be a long way off. New Zealand is now out of lockdown but our borders are likely to be closed for a long time yet. 

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railsquid
10 hours ago, bill937ca said:

I have seen an article about cars with out of province license plates being harassed because they were travelling.  What would the reaction be to foreign travelers?

 

Most overseas visitors are unlikely to drive to Japan ;). But be prepared for dirty looks if wandering about without a facemask...

 

It will be interesting to see how New Zealand approaches the whole issue of non-essential travel - no point in going to a lot of cost and effort to wipe out infections then risk the whole cycle starting again. There was a study released in Japan a few days ago (couldn't find the source) that reckoned just 10 infected overseas arrivals, even if quarantined, would result in enough "leakage" to start up a new wave of infections.

 

 

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katoftw
Posted (edited)

I would agree with squiddy.

 

Think back to the happenings of Feburary when all this was going down.  I'd say it will be very similar to that.  Play by the rules and expectations of any country you visit, and you shouldn't have an issue.  Remember the train in Fukuoka having an emergency stop because someone coughed without a face mask?  Or the shops refusing entry for Chinese visitors.  I cannot seeing it being much different to that at the start, when the time comes that traveling is allowed again.  And then events like these exampled and attitudes towards illness will change as confidence that the illness has finally abated.

 

Then you'll have those, especially in the tourism industry that will push all that aside and welcome you with open arms, due to the loss of incomes for a prolonged period of time.  And then there will be a massive grey area in the middle of all that.

 

Yes New Zealand are lifting their own domestic restrictions.  But they wont be going anywhere any time soon.  You still need countries to allow you in if you wish to travel internationally, and you will still need airlines willing to fly you there.  Airlines although very, very, very willing to take your money and fly again.  They will only do so if they can fill up a plane.

 

I'd guess that closer regional countries will open up for international travel first.  eg NZ <-> AU, JPN <-> KOR etc etc.  Then known touristy countries like in S.E. Asia will open up to closer countries etc etc.  This should create some income through tourism.  Bali for example is already investigating way for getting Australian visitor back asap.

 

It will all be slow and cautious at the start.  But then it will snowball towards the end as every nation chases tourism dollars again.

 

At the moment, it is just a game of wait and see what happens.

Edited by katoftw

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railsquid

Talking of New Zealand: Konichiwa: Air New Zealand returning to Japan, albeit one flight a week and as the article states, still under the existing restrictions at both ends.

 

Meanwhile over in South Korea: New virus cases spike again, most traced to cluster infections in greater Seoul (by comparison Tokyo has been in low double-digits for the past few days, but bear in mind South Korea does a lot more testing).

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railsquid
Posted (edited)
On 6/1/2020 at 11:30 PM, railsquid said:

The Japanese government is currently considering relaxing restrictions for travel from the following four countries, which are seen to have their coronavirus well under control:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

but initially only for business travellers, and probably with strict conditions.

 

Source (Japanese): https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20200601/k10012453711000.html

 

 

Government planning to permit entry of up to 250 business travellers per day from Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia:

 

一日250人程度の入国許可へ ベトナムなど4カ国対象

 

This is still at the somewhat vague planning stage.

 

From the article, following conditions to apply:

- no use of public transport

- smartphone must record movement data

 

Per this other report, anyone entering under this scheme will be required to provide proof of a negative PCR test.

Edited by railsquid
add addtional condition

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chadbag

This is causing a problem right now.  My wife's mother has taken a turn for the worse with her cancer.  We are still not clear what will happen with her but things seem to be spreading again and causing problems with her other systems.  Obviously my wife would like to go see her mom one last time.   Right now that does not seem to be possible as basically no one from the US gets in.

 

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railsquid
5 hours ago, chadbag said:

This is causing a problem right now.  My wife's mother has taken a turn for the worse with her cancer.  We are still not clear what will happen with her but things seem to be spreading again and causing problems with her other systems.  Obviously my wife would like to go see her mom one last time.   Right now that does not seem to be possible as basically no one from the US gets in.

 

Assuming your wife is a Japanese citizen, she is permitted to reenter Japan, but would have to stay in a "location specified by the health authority" and refrain from using public transport or 14 days ("健康状態に異常のない方も含め、検疫所長の指定する場所(自宅など)で入国の次の日から起算して14 日間待機し、空港等からの移動も含め公共交通機関を使用しないこと"); see here: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/kenkou_iryou/covid19_qa_kanrenkigyou_00001.html#

 

Might be worth contacting the Japanese embassy/consulate.

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chadbag
Posted (edited)

@railsquid  Thanks.  She is not a Japanese citizen.  She was naturalized as a US citizen in 2008 (and before that was Japanese Korean -- born and raised in Japan but with Korean passport and Japanese permanent resident card at the time -- though she has no kind words for Korea and is fully Japanese culturally and emotionally -- both sisters and mother have been naturalized as Japanese citizens -- her grandparents came from Korea before the war).

 

She is going to call the Japanese embassy anyway and see what can be done.

 

Thanks

 

Edited by chadbag
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disturbman

Hope that gets sorted out. Administrations can be a bit unflexible.

Another issue might be the airline -- they take no chance on flying people that would be refused entry to a country -- and immigration at arrival. If she is allowed to travel, the best would be to have all proofs of her situation printed out with a document by the embassy or the relevant Japanese administration proving she has been given the right to enter the country.

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katoftw

Yeah good luck. Hopefully it gets sorted.

 

I thought though that they had some mechinisms in place to allow people to travel for special reasons like this.

 

Will need to quanitine for 14 days and not use public transport for 14 days. Etc.

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chadbag
Posted (edited)

If she can get a special dispensation to get in, she would have to quarantine 14 days at her "place of accommodation", no trains or public transportation, etc. for 14 days.  Her place of accommodation would be her sister's place anyway so that is not a big deal, as that is where her mother is staying.  (Her sister is an LPN and the brother-in-law/son-in-law is an MD).  The biggest problem, assuming she could get in, would be on returning to the US and needing to be quarantined 14 days and miss work.   Her boss is supportive though.

 

We got news last night that she is doing better.  A scan had indicated a narrowing in the colon and they thought possibly the cancer was pushing on it.  She was in the hospital (in patient) for the first round of a new chemo regimen (later rounds of the regimen can be done out patient as long as she appears to be bearing it OK).  But they went in yesterday and did a colonoscopy and there was no narrowing found.  The bowels were not moving like they should, possibly a side effect of some medication.   She will be going home again any day and hopefully with proper pain treatment she will be doing better.  Not quite as well as before but hopefully not as dire as it appeared over the weekend and earlier this week.

 

My wife has decided to arrange it at work so she doesn't work directly with Covid patients (she has only intermittently had to float over to the Covid ward to help) so that she lessens the exposure risk in case she does end up going to Japan to see her mom sometime later this summer.  As long as her mom has stabilized, she told me this afternoon, she wants to wait to see about going.  Hopefully things open up a bit more as the summer progresses.  As long as her mom stays relatively stabile all will be good.  We are hoping that things have opened up enough for December family travel to Japan, but we'll have to see how it works out.  We'd like to see her, and have her see the grandkids, one last time.  These are her only grandkids she has contact with (my sister in law has a son from a previous marriage, but as is typical Japanese custom, once she divorced, she has not had any contact with him 😞  ).

 

Thanks for all the kind thought and well wishing.  If I learn more about the travel aspect of getting her to Japan this summer I will post, in case it is helpful for others.  For now, she is in a waiting pattern to see if her mom stays stable, and not the downward spiral we feared a few days ago based on the scans and issues they thought they had seen.

 

 

Edited by chadbag
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Cat

@chadbag, Good health and good luck to you all!

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cteno4

Yes best wishes for your mil here! Back in the day you had to have a visa for japan the embassy was super helpful in sf! Same day appointment done and in and out in like 10 minutes! Never had such a fast and easy bureaucratic experience! Although the same day I did get my passport in person in at the federal building one hour! Although they did ask me like 6 times why I wanted the passport the same day. Those were the days!
 

Jeff

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disturbman

You have probably considering it but, depending on the conditions, I would be extremely careful in going to see someone undergoing chemotherapy as they will be at higher risk regarding Covid-19.

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chadbag
6 hours ago, disturbman said:

You have probably considering it but, depending on the conditions, I would be extremely careful in going to see someone undergoing chemotherapy as they will be at higher risk regarding Covid-19.

 

Yes.  The thought is if it is going south anyway and she is on her way out, then the personal contact is more important than the risk.  As long as she is stable, the risk is higher than the personal contact, as we don't know how much longer she would be with us, but probably a while, so don't take the risk.

 

This is one reason my wife is going to see if she can not get assigned Covid duty to float over the the Covid ward in the respiratory ICU.  Help minimize her own exposure.

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ED75-775
On 6/9/2020 at 11:33 AM, Grant_T said:

My wife and I plan to travel to Japan once things open up again (we have airline credits to use too). But I think this will be a long way off. New Zealand is now out of lockdown but our borders are likely to be closed for a long time yet. 

Same here! I have my credit, am keen to travel and although a family friend has kindly offered I could spend a day with him if I wanted to travel within the next three months - he is a Japanese citizen and is due to spend three months over there very shortly - I don't feel comfortable taking that risk. Plus I'd also be out of work for a while on top of that. Six weeks out of work for self-isolation at both ends and two weeks' travel: cue unhappy wallet and even unhappier management at work.

 

On 6/18/2020 at 10:33 AM, chadbag said:

Thanks for all the kind thought and well wishing.  If I learn more about the travel aspect of getting her to Japan this summer I will post, in case it is helpful for others.  For now, she is in a waiting pattern to see if her mom stays stable, and not the downward spiral we feared a few days ago based on the scans and issues they thought they had seen.

@chadbag best of luck! And stay safe. Please, do let us know how you get on in the end.

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TestudoToTetsudo

We had a trip to Japan planned for last month to give my Father's family (Dad is from Japan) an opportunity to meet our son who hasn't been to Japan yet, but also providing much opportunities for train riding.  Unfortunately, COVID canceled those plans, and we won't be able to quickly go again once travel technically resumes as both my parents and most of the relatives we want to see are senior citizens and thus in higher-risk categories.  We don't want to be the first ones to return.

 

So my son (3.5 years old) has rapidly developed a passion for the Shinkansen and watches videos of them at every opportunity; last night he literally ran through the house pretending he was a Shinkansen and bounced up and down as I showed him some of the railfan compilations set to Ambitious Japan which one can find on YouTube.  Today he declared he "wanted to ride ALL the Shinkansen."

 

 

So I sit here dreaming of the trip we will be able to take a little further down the road.  While I originally planned to complete the Shinkansen network during our Kanto/Kansai based trip (which for me required Shin-Tosu to Kagoshima-Chuo, Morioka to Shin Hakodate-Hokuto and the Yamagata Shinkansen), if my son is serious about wanting to ride 100% of the Shinkansen network I'm not going to complain!!!  Gives my wife more time to sightsee in between family events (she is likely to bring her best friend with us so they'd want to do the touristy sites I've already been to).   My son is much better behaved on mass transit here in the US than he is at home, is glued to the window most of the time, and his few times on a public conveyance in the last two weeks (his first times since February as my home state of Maryland's Covid numbers are steadily improving), he has been excellent with wearing a mask.

 

So let's see, father/son quest to ride the entire Shinkansen network based on a Tokyo and Kyoto trip would entail hmmm....

 

Tokyo - Niigata - Tokyo quick half day trip on the Toki (by the way, what's running on the Toki nowadays?  I recall Max was retired?).  Meet relatives for dinner.

Tokyo - Morioka - Akita - Morioka - Shin Hakodate-Hokuto - Tokyo looooong day trip, try to ensure that my son can watch the coupling/uncoupling of Shinkansen on the platform at Morioka.  He can nap on board.

Tokyo - Shinjo - Tokyo most-of-the-day trip (We often meet relatives for dinner in Tokyo, so this could be the daytime activity before that).  Can either double back on Yamagata Shinkansen or take a local train back to the Tohoku Shinkansen and Yamabiko back to Tokyo.

(I've already done the Inaho, so looping Tokyo-Niigata-Akita-Tokyo isn't a priority for me).

 

Travel Tokyo to Kyoto on the Tokaido Shinkansen with maybe a stopover at Hamamatsu to watch very frequent Nozomi at speed and if we have more time go to the museum (we'd go to the Saitama one separately).

Kyoto - Shin-Osaka - Kagoshima - Shin-Osaka - Kyoto loooooooong day trip, love the 2-2 reserved seats on the Sakura Shinkansen which will make this comfortable :-).

Return to Tokyo from Kyoto by way of the Thunderbird and Hokuriku Shinkansen, since my son has made it clear he thinks "The Blue Shinkansen" (E7/W7) is his favorite.

 

Seems workable if we have a two week trip and were planning to travel between Tokyo and Kyoto anyway (so two of those trips were "built in").  Shinjo, Hakodate and Kagoshima I was already planning to do anyway, so in the end, if my son continues to be obsessed with Shinkansen and wants to ride the entire network, not much more of a lift to add the remaining routes eh?

 

On a related note, one of the biggest let-downs of the trip being canceled (besides relatives not meeting my son) was seeing what Tokyo would be like for my preschooler.  Walking through any Yamanote Line station from street level to the train with the bombardment of sights, sounds, etc.  Information overload for us grown ups is fun and exciting for kids.

 

Now I gotta figure out what other trains I want to ride.  I'm thinking the Azusa, need to think of a few others too.  Maybe try some of the Hybrid trains.  I've done a Joyful Train last time I was there (Resort Shirakami, 2 separate fleet types).  Not really into SLs since my interest is mostly the current network.  And there will be a lot of "train riding by osmosis" going to tourist and family things around Tokyo and Kyoto.

 

Fun to plan, thanks for listening to my rant!

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railsquid
9 minutes ago, TestudoToTetsudo said:

So my son (3.5 years old) has rapidly developed a passion for the Shinkansen and watches videos of them at every opportunity; last night he literally ran through the house pretending he was a Shinkansen and bounced up and down as I showed him some of the railfan compilations set to Ambitious Japan which one can find on YouTube.  Today he declared he "wanted to ride ALL the Shinkansen."

...

 

So let's see, father/son quest to ride the entire Shinkansen network based on a Tokyo and Kyoto trip would entail hmmm....

 

Tokyo - Niigata - Tokyo quick half day trip on the Toki (by the way, what's running on the Toki nowadays?  I recall Max was retired?).  Meet relatives for dinner.

Tokyo - Morioka - Akita - Morioka - Shin Hakodate-Hokuto - Tokyo looooong day trip, try to ensure that my son can watch the coupling/uncoupling of Shinkansen on the platform at Morioka.  He can nap on board.

Tokyo - Shinjo - Tokyo most-of-the-day trip (We often meet relatives for dinner in Tokyo, so this could be the daytime activity before that).  Can either double back on Yamagata Shinkansen or take a local train back to the Tohoku Shinkansen and Yamabiko back to Tokyo.

(I've already done the Inaho, so looping Tokyo-Niigata-Akita-Tokyo isn't a priority for me).

 

 

What's your son's boredom threshold like? Sitting inside the average Shinkansen for hours on end is not the most exciting of environments.

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chadbag
1 minute ago, railsquid said:

 

What's your son's boredom threshold like? Sitting inside the average Shinkansen for hours on end is not the most exciting of environments.

 

That is what phones with games/apps are for 🙂     (In a previous generation, the PS portable / Nintendo DX family fulfilled this purpose )

 

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railsquid
2 minutes ago, chadbag said:

 

That is what phones with games/apps are for 🙂     (In a previous generation, the PS portable / Nintendo DX family fulfilled this purpose )

 

 

Maybe, but sitting on Shinkansens for long periods over multiple days? It's a lot less exciting from the inside than it looks on the outside.

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chadbag
7 minutes ago, railsquid said:

 

Maybe, but sitting on Shinkansens for long periods over multiple days? It's a lot less exciting from the inside than it looks on the outside.

 

3.5 / 4 years old is a little young.  My son was probably in the 5-7 year old range when we started doing all day trips (often multiple in a row).  Leaving Amagasaki (Outside Osaka -- 30 min bus ride to Amagasaki station, to Osaka, to Shin-Osaka, get on Shinkansen and go)  at 6am and getting back at 9pm, with a trip to Tokyo, Nagasaki, etc during the day.   My son enjoyed the different train types and wanted to ride them and we used portable games during the ride (or slept 🙂 ) to while away the time.

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railsquid

Yup, mine is 5 and though I've been taking him on trains since he was about 2, I'd rather chew my own leg off than attempt the above itenary at 3 or 4.  Now he's 5 and can draw a map of Japan I can conceive of doing a Shinkansen trip to Hakodate this summer, though we might look at flying back for some variety.

 

YCMV ("your child may vary").

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chadbag

One thing you can do is just take a short hop on a specific type you want to ride.  The mini-Shinkansen start in Tokyo and go on the regular Shinkansen tracks until they branch off.  A 4 year old won't know the difference between riding an E6 on the main line vs the "branch" line,  My son and I took an E4 a stop or three -- same with E7 and E2/E3 etc.  To say we'd been on one.

 

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railsquid

Yeah, I'd guess "ride ALL the Shinkansen."" means go on all the different types, not the entire network. Like Chadbag says, a couple of trips up and down the Shinkansen north of Tokyo should get most E-types quite easily, and Fukushima is reasonably close for watching uncoupling operations. The Railway Museum in Saitama has an excellent vantage point for watching the Shinkansen traffic.

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