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Japan (definitely not) opening to tourism in April 2021 on a trial basis


chadbag

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I wonder about opening for tourism though. Okay you can't get Olympic tickets, but can you just visit Japan?

 

I'm not pretty much resigned to not being able to travel in May. Maybe September, I find that's a good time to visit. Decent amount of daylight and weather.

 

Just trying not to lose my marbles until then. The UK is one of the worst affected countries in the world and it's taking a toll. I'm not looking forward to the next decade of paying for these mistakes either.

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katoftw
29 minutes ago, mojo said:

I wonder about opening for tourism though. Okay you can't get Olympic tickets, but can you just visit Japan?

Nothing has changed. No visitors allowed still.

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disturbman

Why would they open the country to tourists and not allow foreigners to attend the Games?

If you are having difficulty to deal with the current situation, it might be good to talk to somebody, a professional or a friend. Set yourself a distant goal. Or find things to do that make you feel good. It's more important than ever to take care of oneself.

 

The situation will change. The impossibility to travel is just temporary. Everybody warned us at the beginning that it would probably take two years before we regained somewhat normal lives. Brexit will probably have more long-lasting consequences for the UK than this pandemic.

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railsquid

Much as I would like to travel (haven't left Japan for three years, and haven't been outside the Kanto area during that period either; was planning on doing a lot of catchup travel last year... haha), I much prefer the current situation which has allowed for a modicum of normal life here over a hurried reopening in both directions, especially now these mutant variants are in play (hearing a lot about the "British" variant at the moment).

 

In other news: COVID-19 numbers in Tokyo area creeping up, health minister says

 

On 3/11/2021 at 7:57 PM, katem said:

 

The Czech Republic started doing this back in January, based on experience from Israel. Pfizer then shortened the deliveries, stating that number of doses is contracted, not number of vials. 🤷‍♀️

 

Seems this is not being pursued as a general policy: Japan decides not to procure insulin syringes for COVID-19 vaccinations

 

I'm  sure I read somewhere today about an announcement that 100,000,000 doses (or enough doses for 100,000,000 people, not sure which) will be procured by July.

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Yavianice

Seeing that Estonia and Georgia (the country) allow visitors that have been vaccinated (and can show sufficient proof of this) to enter their country without any kind of quarantine requirements, I am hopeful that in the near future other countries will quickly adopt a similar exemption.

 

But what we all really need is a proper vaccination passport that's standardized and internationally recognized, and not prone to fraud, which is still controversial for stupid reasons in the EU (and I'm sure other countries also). I think until (western) countries really band together to get implement such a passport, we won't really see large scale travel to e.g. Japan unless COVID suddenly vanishes overnight (when enough people get vaccinated e.g. Biden is trying to declare July 4th 2021 as "independence day from COVID").

 

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On 3/12/2021 at 10:53 AM, disturbman said:

Why would they open the country to tourists and not allow foreigners to attend the Games?

If you are having difficulty to deal with the current situation, it might be good to talk to somebody, a professional or a friend. Set yourself a distant goal. Or find things to do that make you feel good. It's more important than ever to take care of oneself.

 

The situation will change. The impossibility to travel is just temporary. Everybody warned us at the beginning that it would probably take two years before we regained somewhat normal lives. Brexit will probably have more long-lasting consequences for the UK than this pandemic.

 

I suppose the games will have everyone packed in, so the risk of spreading the virus is higher. Also they will be well into their vaccination programme by then. Testing will be easier for Japanese nationals with a Japanese address too - you can't even get a Yodobashi Camera point card without an address in Japan!

 

The UK is on a very bad path at the moment. The pandemic has hit us really hard, one of the worst in the world. With brexit on top the future looks very bleak and it's hard to be positive about anything. While Japan has problems, of course, compared to here...

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railsquid
32 minutes ago, mojo said:

 

I suppose the games will have everyone packed in, so the risk of spreading the virus is higher.

 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and postulate that people will not in fact be packed in. Though at this point I doubt they'd sell enough tickets to fill more than a fraction of seats at most events anyway.

 

48 minutes ago, mojo said:

 

you can't even get a Yodobashi Camera point card without an address in Japan!

 

 

Speaking as someone possessing Yodobashi and Biccamera cards from before I was resident in Japan, there's nothing stopping you using an arbitrary address, it's not like they check it or even send anything there. Unless you try to order something online of course, which would be somewhat pointless if not living in Japan.

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1 hour ago, railsquid said:

 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and postulate that people will not in fact be packed in. Though at this point I doubt they'd sell enough tickets to fill more than a fraction of seats at most events anyway.

 

 

Speaking as someone possessing Yodobashi and Biccamera cards from before I was resident in Japan, there's nothing stopping you using an arbitrary address, it's not like they check it or even send anything there. Unless you try to order something online of course, which would be somewhat pointless if not living in Japan.

 

Hmm, I hadn't though of just lying on the form! Might be worth it, the discounts you get seem quite decent.

 

Have you seen the Sumo lately? It's at about 75% capacity and looks visually quite "packed". They did one tourney with no audience at all and it was rather strange to watch, and then started letting people back in but only on condition of them not shouting or throwing zabuton. Instead everyone claps now.

 

Speaking of which the March basho is starting tomorrow...

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railsquid
7 minutes ago, mojo said:

 

Hmm, I hadn't though of just lying on the form! Might be worth it, the discounts you get seem quite decent.

 

More technically, points to be redeemed against future purchases (usually but not always 10% of the advertised price). Not sure if it can be combined with duty-free purchases, I suspect not. OTOH would still be useful for ad-hoc purchases where it's not worth the hassle of doing the duty free thing.

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chadbag
16 hours ago, railsquid said:

 

More technically, points to be redeemed against future purchases (usually but not always 10% of the advertised price). Not sure if it can be combined with duty-free purchases, I suspect not. OTOH would still be useful for ad-hoc purchases where it's not worth the hassle of doing the duty free thing.

 

 

I used to be a points monger at Yodobashi.  Until they started doing the tax free thing in-store immediately.  Now I only do it for things you can't do duty free (which are basically "consumables", which include some stationery-type items and some make-up and stuff the wife wants).  Everything else I stand in line and do the tax-free stuff.

 

So there are a few items for where it is worth while, and as you also mentioned, small purchases that don't make sense to stand in line for.

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Yes, the Yodobashi card cannot be used with duty free purchases. Although i rarely buy from the physical shop anymore as my closest in Hakata has massively reduced on their model railway stock. It’s fine if you’re looking for starter sets or shinkansens but very limited for much else.

 

I tend to just go to their website as they have free delivery and you still earn your 10% worth of points.  The stock is then shipped out of whichever store has stock. 

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I wonder if they will require a vaccine passport. I'm not very keen on those, not least because a lot of us won't be able to get one for a long time yet. Seems very unfair.

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disturbman

They already exist. You cannot travel to certain countries without proving you have been vaccinated against the yellow fever. I don't see the difference.

I'm not even sure I will need a new one. They can just add the vaccine label to the others.

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railsquid

I haven't heard anything about possible vaccine passports in conjunction with travel to Japan.

 

Note there was a post immediately prior to mojo's post which has been removed, as it contained inaccurate information from a new "member" who has since been flagged as not a bona-fide user.

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The vaccine passport has been around a long time, nice little yellow card you use to carry with your passport to show your vaccinations (although could have forged it no real great security) at entries at times, both to enter a new country and at times get home! Funny as I’ve not needed it for travel inna long time. One trip long ago got me 4 sticks at the vaccination clinic, I was lucky with just too sore arms and sleeping on my back a couple of nights.
 

jeff

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disturbman

When I had to prepare to go to Senegal I had to a get few new vaccines and some refreshers. One hit me pretty hard. Couldn’t properly sleep and had a horribly achy arm. Put me out for a few days both times.

 

My vaccine passport is fuller than my normal passport.

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yeah when I got the 4 at once the doc said you’ll be sleeping on your back for a few days! 
 

The worst was when the guy on the bench next to me in grad school decided to use some, then new, adenovirus vectors for his research and we had to get a little used vaccination for them. It required a good wound response for immunization so it was like the very old small pox wound vaccinations, but they didn’t have the less painful little star pickers so it was 15 jabs in the arm with an 18g needle in one spot to make a wound and then inject into that! The student health service doc was so excited to do it has he had never done one! Yeah right exciting, lemme give it to you doc... I made the dude who caused this to happen take us out to dinner afterwards.

 

jeff

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I find the COVID vaccine passport idea quite hard to accept.

 

It seems like it will create a lot of inequality. For example when applying for a job, if you are under 50 and still waiting to get your doses you might be excluded through no fault of your own. I can see it being a problem for people who genuinely can't get it for medical reasons too.

 

I also worry that once people have been vaccinated there will be pressure to take risks. Employers will want people to come into the office and mingle. The vaccines are only 90% effective so until the virus is mostly eliminated in the population there is still a risk, and frankly I don't want to put my health on the line for someone else to make a buck.

 

Personally I find it very frustrating that I'll be one of the ones waiting, probably till near the end of the year, for this. My mental health has suffered a lot over the last year and we are long away from over this yet. If they allowed you to travel with EITHER a vaccine passport or a negative test before, at the airport and on arrival then it would be much fairer.

 

Honestly the thought of seeing a load of boomers off on summer holidays and cruises while I'm stuck here in Brexit Britain gives me a headache just thinking about it.

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railsquid
3 hours ago, mojo said:

I find the COVID vaccine passport idea quite hard to accept.

 

It might happen whether you like it or not... Japan considers COVID-19 vaccination certificates for those traveling overseas.

 

Personally I suspect it'll the better part of a year (at least) until I can travel outside of Japan reasonably safely without too much hassle.

 

Cases in Tokyo have been above the previous week's number for the past 7 days now;  the first deaths attributed to a new variant have occurred, in Kanagawa. Also it seems the older daytime karaoke crowd are not doing themselves any favours. On the plus side an elderly essential worker has got his jab.

 

In Olympic news:

 

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I feels very different when you are stuck somewhere that is extremely bad. By comparison to us Japan is pretty normal, and I can understand the government wanting it to stay that way after what happened to us.

 

I hope Japans vaccination programme goes well. It must be very frustrating waiting for it to start. I'm a little surprised that they didn't try to push it through faster, or maybe it is fast by Japanese standards.

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I think its important to remember how privileged we are be able to travel normally.  While it is a big bummer not getting to visit your favorite places, having to wait a year (or less at this point) is a small price to pay to be part of the very few who are able to travel beyond their home town.  

 

 

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I agree it’s a very small price to pay and travel is a privilege. It’s been a hard year, but the light at the end of the tunnel is appearing, we just need to keep moving toward it at a safe pace, not run and cause yet another spike or spread variants faster. Also for us in the norther hemisphere spring is coming which will allow folks to get out doors again and safely see more people and more activities.

 

jeff

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I think we need to scale back the covid conversation here to just the situation as it affects travel to japan. We did not want a lot of more general covid discussion on the forum as this is not the place for those discussions and it backs into a lot of things that we avoid here. This one topic was the place some was permitted as it pertained to Japanese travel but it’s been spiraling out a bit too far from there. Let’s just keep it to what japan travel restrictions are at.

 

jeff

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