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Japan Travel 2022


Tony Galiani

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I have been checking travel sites as we are anxious to travel to Japan and there does seem to be a consensus that Japan is likely to reopen in 2022 (barring some other new issue).  But does anyone have any idea as to when?

Japan is in the top three of the G7 for vaccination rates so I guess that is all to the good.  But wondering when and with what restrictions Japan will open up.

 

I have been planning for the Sapporo Snow and Ice Festival and really want to go but wonder if February will be too soon.  And hoping that any restrictions (testing and such) won't be too difficult.

We have traveled a bit internationally this year with one successful trip (Greece); one trip where our negative test results were rejected (the person at the lab put the wrong time stamp on them making them about 7 hours over the required time limit which we missed) and have pending trips to Germany and Canada where we are already working on the requirements and are well into our pre-trip worrying.

 

For anyone going anywhere, it is really important to carefully go over the restrictions and whatever documentation you have to avoid unhappiness and even greater travel stress!

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

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I've stopped trying to predict anything when it comes to the Corona Crises. I won't believe in openings until I've seen them in effect.

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I get that.  I was initially optimistic things would improve relatively quickly - and was I ever wrong!  But hope springs eternal ....

 

Tony

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There hasn't been much discussion recently as governments have been more worried about elections than discussing re-openning borders for tourism.

 

Once the post election stuff is delt with. More discussions will follow.

 

International tourism isn't a big GDP income. So the government hasn't been in a rush to reorganise. But as surrounding countries reopen, Japan will also want a slice of the pie also and make adjustments to their border policies.

 

As above posted by others, we just have to wait an see what happens. One day it will all be closed. The next day an announcement happens and boom, the countdown to openning borders is on the clock with 14/28 days and running.

 

Personal opinion is that they open to two dose fully vaxxed travellers from nearby countries first. The usual negative pcr test 72 hours before and upon arrival. Then start progressively opening to other countries in the following months.

Edited by katoftw
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From "The Japan Times" this morning:

 

The three-day quarantine will only be granted to short-term business travelers and returning Japanese and foreign residents whose travel is backed by a company. Japan is currently accepting up to 3,500 travelers — both Japanese and foreign nationals — a day. The government is considering bumping up the daily maximum number to 5,000.

 

Basically, there is no news of normal tourists allowed to enter the country yet, which doesn't include the recent Olympic visitors, or music entertainment artists.

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Disappointing but I guess not really surprising.  Japan has been very cautious and that is not at all unreasonable.  I did see a recent headline where ANA was encouraging the government to reduce travel restrictions as the airline has been hit so hard by the pandemic.  I guess it will continue to be wait and see.  And, in my case, hope for a change that will allow me to get to the Snow and Ice Festival in February.

 

Next week we are - hopefully - off to Germany.  My wife has not seen her relatives for three years.  And I have not seen any Himbeer Kuchen in that time either!  My last German meal was Currywurst - in Knoxville, Tennessee of all places!

 

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

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Honestly, now that the disease has become endemic, imposing entry restrictions is not going to be a viable long-term strategy. COVID is not going  away.

 

Infection numbers are climbing quite fast in Germany at the moment and I don’t think they are going to be going down by next week. New restrictions might be coming.

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1 hour ago, disturbman said:

Infection numbers are climbing quite fast in Germany at the moment and I don’t think they are going to be going down by next week. New restrictions might be coming.

 

I have been watching that and sort of surprised that new restrictions have not been put in place yet.  We reached out to my wife's relatives to ask if they were okay with us visiting and they all said yes so we are still planning to go.  Though I would not be at all surprised if we got cancelled before we can go.  Or something changes with regard to entry testing or entry rules.  I have been very careful to make sure that the airport hotel and rental car and insurance coverage can all be cancelled very close to the date.  

 

Oh well, que sera sera.

Tony

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Allowing business and students in should be applauded. It is a step towards more freely open borders.

 

Any step however small is better than no steps at all. I see a lot of  complaints across the interwebs that it is not good enough. But it is the same model for reopenning that almost all countries are using that had closed borders.

Edited by katoftw
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One thing I forgot to note in my earlier post is that ZipAir, a JAL subsidiary, is starting service from LA to Narita with three flights a week in a 787.  So they must have some hope that there will be enough students and business people travelling to make the service work.  Especially as the fares I saw didn't strike me as particularly low for a "discount" airline.

Ciao,

Tony

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I've been getting mixed messages from JAL. No direct London to Tokyo flights, but as long as you can come in under the 5000/day limit you can go indirectly on their services. I guess they are doing it so that they can manage the 5000/day limit more easily.

 

At least I hope so, it would be a shame to lose direct flights from London.

 

Speaking to friends in Japan who are in the tourism/hotel industry, they seem a little more upbeat now and are hoping that the government relaxes restrictions soon. There is due to be an announcement on booster shots soon, which should help with that. The feeling seems to be that restrictions will be lifted before the spring holiday/festival season, to avoid a sudden rush if they are removed around the sakura season or summer time. Of course it is all dependent on infection rates remaining low.

 

A friend told me that the government is going to start doing trial runs with small numbers of tourists who will be carefully monitored and traced, like a hundred or so. Most likely from other countries with low infection rates. That should happen in the next month or two. I did see an English news article about it but can't find it now.

 

Looking on the job sites I see some ads are now accepting applicants from outside Japan again, although many still say you must already be resident.

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Well, travel dreams are on hold but I have been watching quite a few Japan travel videos particularly Kuga's Travel and Solo Travel Japan.  This is an ANA video I came across.

I usually fly Delta but have been hoping to fly ANA for some time now and this just reinforces that hope.

Enjoy,

Tony Galiani

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ANA is definitely a step up in service from U.S. airlines.

 

A reminder popped up recently on social media for a trip to Japan we took 9 years ago. We flew ANA from Seattle to Narita on their new-at-that-time 787 Dreamliner.

Edited by maihama eki
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They are running short of suitable quarantine hotels in the Tokyo area and are sending people all over the place; some poor fellow arrived at Narita and got sent to a hotel in Fukuoka (source e.g. here).

 

On the plus side, the national daily infection numbers continue to be in the low three figure range.

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Nice place!!

 

But wait, shouldn’t this go under the:

 

Where did they send you for quarantine today? (Standard and 1067mm gauge)

 

thread

 

I would’ve protested and said to only put me on the N700S.

Edited by Kamome
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Somehow I don't think they're handing out train tickets with the directive "avoid contact with anyone during the 10 or so hours it will take to get from Narita to your nice cramped hotel room in wherever".

 

In the news tomorrow: how arrivals at Fukuoka are being sent to quarantine hotels in Chiba.

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How did he cross the country and reach Fukuoka? They paid for a taxi, a police car or a military convoy?

Edited by disturbman
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I think maybe you are a bit harsh on the Japanese bureaucracy now. With all the hordes of foreigners arriving at this time, it's only natural for every hotel room in Tokyo to get booked. And once you've filled up all the hotels on Honshu, Fukuoka is the next logical step, right?

 

 

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5 hours ago, disturbman said:

How did he cross the country and reach Fukuoka? They paid for a taxi, a police car or a military convoy?

 

Hmm, good question... groups of people at an airport who need to be sent somewhere close to another airport in preferably as short a time as possible and in a controlled manner while minimizing contact with other people... I wonder what method of transport could be available ...

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