Photo: SoraNews24
travel

Traveling to Japan soon? New entry requirements you need to know about

21 Comments
By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

It’s been seven weeks since Japan reopened its borders to international tourists on Oct 11, but unlike a lot of other countries, there’s still a bit of rigmarole to get in.

Prior to Nov 1, visitors were required to enter personal details such as vaccination status into an app called MySOS, but that requirement was abolished, and has now been replaced with Visit Japan Web, a website designed to smooth out the immigration process.

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One of our reporters flew into Japan from Singapore the other day, and upon using the Visit Japan Web site, they noticed three major differences.

1. Family Members can be registered

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Previously, parents were unable to register their children’s details via the MySOS app as it had a one-account-per-person requirement. This meant anyone wanting to get into the country, including young children, had to own their own smartphone, with the app installed, otherwise they’d be in for a long wait to deal with the situation, holding up the line at immigration.

The new site solves this problem by allowing visitors to register up to 10 family members with one account, which makes it a lot easier for families to now enter the country.

2. Multiple schedules can be registered

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Previously, on the MySOS app, entrants had to register their details each time they travelled in and out of the country, but now you can enter all your trips in one go. This is a much welcome improvement to procedures, especially for travellers needing to take multiple trips around the region.

3. Password is hard mode

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Special characters like symbols aren’t always accepted for passwords in Japan, but in this case, it’s one of the requirements. Users need to create a password that’s 10 characters or longer, and include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

Though some travelers might find this annoying, especially as it makes it hard to remember the password later on if you don’t make a note of it somewhere, it’s actually an important development. As the above image shows, users are able to register their passport details on the site to “fast track” the immigration process, so having a strong password is vital to protecting your personal information.

While the above three points outline the main differences for travelers arriving in Japan now, the remaining requirements to enter the country are similar to before, in that travelers register other details on the site…

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▼ …and show QR codes to staff at quarantine, immigration and customs.

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When our reporter used the new Visit Japan Web Fast Track system, they said they entered the country at “unprecedented speed”, making their way through Quarantine, Immigration and Customs almost non-stop.

Reference: Visit Japan Web 

Insert images: SoraNews24, Visit Japan Web

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- The strongest passport in the world! Which nation’s citizens can freely visit the most countries?

-- Foreigners can now apply for visas to visit fiancés living in Japan

-- Japan to reopen to international tourists with new entry requirements

© SoraNews24

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
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And if you don't have a 'smart' phone?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Traveling to Japan soon? New entry requirements you need to know about

It took about 2.5 hours to register and get the blue approval for this, a few weeks ago.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

2.5hours to register? Then you're doing something wrong. 2 Minutes to create an account. 3-4 minutes to enter info - 5-6 minutes for the trip info. Did i at the weekend for a trip next week.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

If you don't have a smart phone, you simply do it the old way and wait much longer in lines to be checked.

The big time saver is getting your Covid vaccination or testing status verified.

Similar systems are being rolled out in other countries although Australia has stuffed theirs up and we are back to paper forms.

We entered Japan recently and it was very quick with no paperwork to fill out. There was still a queue to get the visitor sticker in our passports but it moved quickly.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The rest of the world is or has phased out all the quarantine/Covid stuff. I'm fully jabbed but I'm not sure whether the UK Covid app even works any more. My smartphone only works when I get my pocket WiFi unit on arrival, the other side of customs. The article ought to make it clear if it is possible to do it old school or you need all this on your phone to enter, Chinese style (thanks boriswood). Maybe next year, or 2024. Or maybe not. As far as I know, you don't need any state spyware apps to enter the UK, so feel free to visit. Just fill out the usual form on the plane.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What on earth is the point of it? Typical Japanese just making up pointless rules out of thin air that serve absolutely no purpose except to cause everyone of load of grief and inconvenience.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Typical Japanese just making up pointless rules out of thin air that serve absolutely no purpose except to cause everyone of load of grief and inconvenience.

Yup! That's Japan in a nutshell

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

theResidentToday  09:25 am JST

2.5hours to register? Then you're doing something wrong.

Nope--you read my comment wrong.

I'll provide the relevant portion (and italicize and bold the part you missed):

"It took about 2.5 hours to register and get the blue approval for this"

1 ( +5 / -4 )

My mum comes to Japan early next year - I think she might have just got a smartphone recently, but I'm pretty sure that she will have absolutely no clue about how to visit some website and register all her details as described. Sure, it would be a breeze for me or for most people who are even a little bit tech savvy, but for some people, especially older generations, none of it is the least bit intuitive.

Forcing people to stand in long lines for hours on end going through all of these immigration procedures is probably spreading COVID more than any of these measures are preventing it. But as long as someone can say, "Oh look, we are doing all of this to prevent the spread of COVID", then I guess that must be OK. As usual in Japan, it's all about making an appearance of "doing something" rather than implementing anything that is actually likely to be effective.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Does the 3 mile walk through Haneda upon arrival still remain?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Forcing people to stand in long lines for hours on end going through all of these immigration procedures is probably spreading COVID more than any of these measures are preventing it.

excellent point!

But as long as someone can say, "Oh look, we are doing all of this to prevent the spread of COVID", then I guess that must be OK. As usual in Japan, it's all about making an appearance of "doing something" rather than implementing anything that is actually likely to be effective.

Exactly. It's all about the Tatemae.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@MumbaiRocks!: No - I landed at Gate 110 the other day and we proceeded straight to Immigration. The round the airport scenic tour has fortunately ceased.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Does the 3 mile walk through Haneda upon arrival still remain?

Yes. And an extra machine to use after collecting your bags before entering the arrival hall. Inefficiency at its finest.

The airlines are still giving out the paper forms anyway.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

one more reason to not travel abroad if its not really necessary...

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@factchecker: No - the long walk is no longer happening. The machine after baggage claim is optional - if you WANT to have to speak a customs official then do it the old fashioned way and fill the yellow form in.

Check your facts.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@Eastman: and the other reasons?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Anybody know if permanent residents need to do this? A how many vaxes are needed for permanent residents who plan to return after short trips outside of Japan?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

On my 11/17 Delta flight from LA to Haneda half the passengers couldn’t get the blessed site’s blue approval stamp. I tried a dozen times beginning 24 hours before departure and still couldn’t get the ok even though I’ve had 4 vaccinations all done in Japan. The site was buggy as hell. After sweating bullets that I wouldn’t be let into the country, and stressed to the max, I made sure to give all the pink clad staff specialists at Haneda Immigration - and there were DOZENS of them - an ear full of good old Canuck gutter profanity. They were ever so polite and apologetic nonetheless (╹◡╹)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@tora: Everybody needs to do it. Citizens included. 3 or more shots - certificate showing in English and/or Japanese. I ha dno probelms with the previous SOS app, and I've just put two trips into the new site/app with no issues. Much better as allows for multiple trips. 'Blue Approval' came through in 20-30 minutes.

I recommend doing it before you leave Japan (assuming you've had 3 vax) no need to worry about it then and wasting time on your trip.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What if you don't have a cell phone? I know some people (mostly in their 80s) who do not have a cell phone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People complain they have to walk at the airport here. JFC.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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