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Japan reopens to tourists with shuttered souvenir shops, hotel staff shortage

91 Comments
By Kantaro Komiya and Kentaro Sugiyama

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91 Comments

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I think the Japanese don't watch the news. We're in a recession, air tickets are through the roof and people can't pay their gas/electricity/food bills. Are they really expecting millions of tourists the line up to come to Japan?

12 ( +30 / -18 )

For tourists who have never been to Japan, any shop is a souvenir shop. Japan itself is new and interesting.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

They need to scrap the 3 shot vaccination and mySoS app requirement. It was a pain in the backside last month when I flew back here. The app is awful. When checking in, I even saw a Japanese lady next to me at the counter struggle with the app. She had no idea that it was needed to fly back to her own country!

11 ( +19 / -8 )

Many service workers found better working conditions and wages in other fields over the past two years, so luring them back may be difficult, said a consultant for tourism companies who asked not to be identified.

Added to that at the start of the pandemic many were unceremoniously laid off, reduced to zero hours, furloughed without pay and because of zero hour shift work were unable to secure unemployment compensation.

While the LDP was bailing out hotels and inns, subsidizing them for shortened hours, promoting GoTo travel and using the empty hotels as quarantine.

The governments pandemic response bailing out property holding LDP supporters and throwing workers under the bus in the crisis should be the shame of Japan.

10 ( +30 / -20 )

Hotels and resorts were hit hard during the pandemic, and many employees had no choice but to find other employment. One hotel I know of, was paying less than 1/3 of normal salary for employees, hoping they would stay on and ride it out. But people have bills to pay, and families to feed.

Now, leastwise down here, domestic tourism is almost back to pre-covid numbers with over 600,000 tourists a month, coming to the island. It is taking time for the industry to gear up again, and many associated industries are have a hard time keeping up with demand.

If hotels and other industries want to get employees back, they are going to have to pay higher wages to keep up with higher costs, which also means cost increases for the customer as well.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

Just saw a young person, on the Chuo line to Shinjuku, wearing TWO masks. One on top of the other!

And that affects you...how, exactly? He can wear fifty masks if he wants, its none of your business

Exactly.

It is ridiculous that people, who we presume have reached adulthood, still can’t understand this simple idea.

You wonder, and worry, how these people function in the adult world.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Narita Airport... remains eerily quiet,

I was there during the Obon summer holidays. Couldn't buy a coffee, water or medicine from the many shops, as all were shut down even though the place was heaving with tourists, many transiting from other countries. With the dimmed lights, it was like North Korea compared to the other full-service airports we went through.  

Yet another example or symbol of how Japan marches to its own drum, out of step with the rest of the world.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Restrictions are still pretty strict compared to other countries."

Absolutely!

Many foreign business travelers who visit our company complained a lot about this MySOS app.

to be vaccinated, a prerequisite for tourists entering Japan.

For business travelers there was no different in vaccinated or not.

All had to bring a 72 hours advanced negative PCR test.

But since september 7th, if you are 3x vaccinated you don't need the 72 hours in advance PCR test.

But the MySOS App still has the 72 hours PCR option.

So I don't know the rules for tourists. Is a 3x vaccination mandotory or is a 72 hours advanced PCR test still an option?

During the last few months we had many foreign business people at our company, vaccinated and unvaccinated.

And nobody had any problem to enter Japan.

But, I don't know if there is a different in the rules between business travelers and tourists.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

Video about entering the country.

https://youtu.be/CEudCg7Y66w

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Just saw a young person, on the Chuo line to Shinjuku, wearing TWO masks. One on top of the other!

And that affects you...how, exactly? He can wear fifty masks if he wants, its none of your business.

6 ( +17 / -11 )

Just saw a young person, on the Chuo line to Shinjuku, wearing TWO masks. One on top of the other!

And thats his/her choice. His/her body, his or her choice. Respect it.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Biggest sticking point right there. Most people stopped at two vax and I strongly doubt they will get a third just to go to Japan. Also the PCR requirement when all people can have Covid, vaccinated or not, is discriminatory and stupid.

So you’ll be staying at home then?

5 ( +15 / -10 )

Whether overseas visitors wear face masks and abide by other common infection controls in Japan is another concern. 

They will definitely not if I look at tourists group I have seen in Tokyo over the past few days. Not a single person was wearing them.

And it may be a godsend for Japan as it may help Japanese people to remove them. A lot of them want to do so but are frightened of the social pressure and the need to conform.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Biggest sticking point right there. Most people stopped at two vax and I strongly doubt they will get a third just to go to Japan. Also the PCR requirement when all people can have Covid, vaccinated or not, is discriminatory and stupid.

Why not? Getting the third shot is like...super easy. Then once its done you're good.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Welcome the foreigner!

4 ( +14 / -10 )

@theResident

There is no compulsory requirement for the SOS app.

Basically, there is.

https://www.japan.travel/en/practical-coronavirus-information/travelers/

However it is NOT tracking app ..

Basically, it is.

https://www.hco.mhlw.go.jp/faq/fasttrack-en.html

*The Health and Location Monitoring App (MySOS) is designed with full awareness of privacy protection, assurance of transparency, and the minimal collection of data required to handle health and location information.*

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@theResident of course there's a huge surge in bookings. J-fans have been in the starting blocks for 3 years now.

What will happen after this initial wave is anybody's guess. Mine is that the number of international tourists next year will land at between 30 and 50% of the 2019 level for a number of obvious reasons (economic crisis, compulsory vaccines, China, masks' wearing, ...).

Anyhow, 30 million tourists seemed like too much already so why not shoot for less, even more now with all these staffing problems.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

As Japan throws open its doors to visitors after more than two years of pandemic isolation, hopes for a tourism boom face tough headwinds amid shuttered shops and a shortage of hospitality workers.

“Boom” is being a bit optimistic. With China still essentially closed and flights being very expensive plus an economy in most places that could best be described as “on edge” we aren’t going back to 2019 levels of tourism anytime soon.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"Naturally, the labor shortage will become more pronounced when inbound travel returns,"

labor shortages…….

PAY DECENT WAGES!

then you won’t see “labor shortages,” guaranteed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yubaru

>    Before covid, tourism created 1% of the GDP.

> Dont know where you pulled the 1% from, as it was actually closer to 8%

On the internet. Maybe I misread it?

8% includes domestic tourism. What % of GDP is foreign tourism?

Q2 2018, tourism in total currently equates to approximately 0.8% of Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP), although the broader impact is estimated to equal about 2.2% of GDP.

https://www.hennessyfunds.com/insights/sector-highlight-japan-toursim

White Paper on Tourism in Japan, 2021 (Summary) Japan Tourism Agency

https://www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/en/siryou/content/001444410.pdf

I think the 8% are pre-pandemic figures.

According to this OECD data in 2019 it was 1.9% of GDP.

https://data.oecd.org/industry/tourism-gdp.htm

Sorry but that's what I got.

:)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Few things not clear above. It's 3 times vaxxed OR a PCR test 72 hours or less prior to departure. Citizens, Residents, Business people, Tourists, regardless.

SOS app with a blue screen will help you sail through. Well worth your time 'cooperating' BEFORE arrival.

@kurispisu: I'm sorry you have such a dim view despite both JAL and ANA reporting a huge surge in reservations (and very true looking at seats available now). Yes, for the big money the Chinese do need to return but I can live without their bad manners, spitting, over bookiig restaurants and general obnoxious behavior for the moment. Everybody else most welcome, and especially the Taiwanese who will be allowed to travel freely from Thursday in both directions.

The whole world had better get used to life without Chinese tourists. Do you know how much they spend on luxury goods in Europe? They will miss them just as much as here from a financial standpoint.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Narita Airport, Japan's biggest international airport some 70 kilometers from Tokyo, remains eerily quiet, with about half of its 260 shops and restaurants shuttered.

what?

Did anyone actually think that magically Oct 11 would come, and hoards of tourists would be marching in by the plane loads?

2 ( +11 / -9 )

I’m totally confused about all these rules.

I have tried to find a list, but rules keep changing. I’m a PR, and don’t travel with a smartphone. Do I need an app? PCR test?

(vaccines don’t work, and masks are usually not worn properly. Over 50% of people wear masks while driving their cars alone around here.)

I went to a restaurant last week that I go to every week for three years. They suddenly told me I can’t eat there unless I wear a mask from the door, for the 10 meters walk to our usual table. I can speak a little Japanese, but for tourists, it will be very confusing. The restaurant lost our custom.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

And every Japanese hopes that you are correct.

Really??

Arata Sawa is among those eager for the return of foreign tourists, who previously comprised up to 90% of the guests at his traditional inn.

"I'm hoping and anticipating that a lot of foreigners will come to Japan, just like before COVID," said Sawa, the third-generation owner of the Sawanoya ryokan in Tokyo.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@SarcasmOnly: The same 68 prior to restrictions. Easily obtainable from a number of websites. Nice attempt at sarcasm.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Having been away from Japan as a resident for many years, I’ve recently taken the opportunity to travel (as a tourist might) through the country in the past few months. The number of shuttered shops and businesses in places like Aomori, Takayama, Hokkaido is truly shocking. I don’t think people realize - those that are griping about the hordes returning anyway - how devastating the personal and financial losses have been. Hotels are struggling for staff because people have left the industry and are very reluctant to go back.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When I came back from a trip April 15th we had to be Vance’s, have a pre-departure pcr, a pcr upon arrival and SOS APP. It took 2.5 hours and I was dehydrated and grumpy about it.

When my wife came home from a trip late September, she needed only proof of vaccine and the SOS, which she submitted in advance and had the green bar code upon arrival.

I timed my arrival at NRT an hour after she landed thinking that I’d still have to wait on her. She was waiting on me in the lobby with her luggage.

If one is a PR, a re-entrant or Japanese and has done the app in advance, the process time is back to pre-Covid.

Just fulfill the entry requirements and stop complaining or don’t travel. The restrictions are not that onerous.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Ashley Shiba

When I returned from Guam in August going through customs was very smooth and quick …

They didn’t detour you to an area where they “requested your cooperation” in installing the MySOS tracking app? And they then didn’t delay you by “requesting” your personal information and travel history?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

One of the worse parts of living in Japan are tourists.

Kind of true, Kyoto will be packed again. BTW, they missed the chance to reorganize tourism into a more sustainable act for everyone.

Are they really expecting millions of tourists the line up to come to Japan?

They will come, it's going to be full of people by New Year.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

will reinstate visa-free travel to dozens of countries

Can we have a list of which countries please?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Awa no Gaijin: It will continue as it has been. Produce the right documents at check in at departure point or you won't be boarded. The onus has ALWAYS been on the airline to only let people on a plane who satisfy entry conditions of the country they are visiting. If the don't the airline have to shoulder the cost of returning the passenger.

Once again, you don't read do you? Visa free travel restored. Triple Vaxxed OR pre flight PCR. Take your pick.

And as @Jimizo has rightly pointed out, the demographic that Japan wants to attract or more likely to be those that are triple+ vaxxed and are happy to play by the rules of entry to ANY country rather that just whinge and claim their God Given Right to enter another country is denied.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I thought so. The young generation does not like serving people. Their lives concentrate around chatting online, working online

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I wonder if the hordes of maskless tourist's will convince the subservient Japanese to throw theirs away.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Before covid, tourism created 1% of the GDP.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Regarding tourists and masks, some will be very confused to see sole drivers masked up, young couples sat on park benches day and night masked up, individuals walking through country parks masked up, toddlers sat with their mothers on bikes masked up, young healthy adults triple vaccinated masked up, and finally middle aged men coming out of a crowded bar putting their mask on!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@kurisupisu : Correct. There is no compulsory requirement for the SOS app. However it is NOT tracking app and the info entered is only what you have to give to immigration and customs on arrival anyway. Completing the SOS app prior to departure will ease your passage through the airport and save you a lot of time however and it's use should be promoted.

You STILL won't get on the plane at departure without showing your vaccination status or a PCR test in the correct format.

I, and I suspect the vast majority of passengers will be a lot happier getting on the plane with a blue screen knowing their arrival will be smooth and hassle free.

@Eastman. There are two restrictions of which you need to satisfy one only. Clarify 'Many'.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

AndyToday  09:12 am JST

I wonder if the hordes of maskless tourist's will convince the subservient Japanese to throw theirs away.

I hope so. I'm a maskless resident, and apart from a small number of Japanese who are also able to think for themselves, it's taking a very long time for this to happen, to the great detriment of this society and especially the development of its children.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

it's taking a very long time for this to happen, to the great detriment of this society and especially the development of its children.

Spot on! I'm also hoping for the same, and if not, at least it will encourrage non-yamato looking people to not hesitate about going maskless everywhere. I've been doing that for a while but I know people who don't want to ditch the mask so as not to offend the locals or not wanting to stick out.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@qazwsx: Well said. I wish I could say it so well and comment as rationally as you. When will people try and remember it's not just about 'them'.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Maruko desu

Welcome to the real world of progressive mindsets (tourists), not the dystopian subservience (absolute conformity) to a thing that doesn’t actually work (paper mask). You never know, it might actually free up some young Japanese to converse face to face with foreigners, share a beer, a laugh, see each other’s expressions. Why constantly think of the next wave that can’t be stopped anyway. Let’s move on from the nanny state and let individuals make their choices.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@wolfshine:

Let me be clear I'm referring to the mainland. And I stand by my comment. When HK thinks the same then I can't be far too wrong.

Please read:

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1251239/why-are-chinese-tourists-so-rude

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If you think Japan is bad, just try Western Europe, for duck's sake. Two hour plane delays have become the norm in the meantime!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Personally the vaccine thing doesn’t impact as I’m waiting for those airfares to drop, as they’re too expensive travel now (looking like April / May of next year per Google Flights). Seriously considering purchasing some Yen now at these rates, to help offset the cost whenever I do get the opportunity to return to Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 The latest data is showing COVID cases are beginning to increase around the world and it's not even winter. Here we go again...

its almost like these things are seasonal.......

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"I don't think there's going to be a sudden return to the pre-pandemic situation," Shindo said. "Restrictions are still pretty strict compared to other countries."

Exactly!

One of those restrictions is the vaccine.

The vaccines are no longer considered the panacea that they were promised to be.

Outside Japan the problems around the mRNA vaccines are much more openly expressed and debated than in Japan.

The result is that vaccine take up has dramatically reduced in many countries.

Taking a PCR test is still an expensive and (before a long international trip) time consuming chore amongst all the other preparations.

Why would a tourist not choose other countries to visit without restrictions than one that has?

-1 ( +20 / -21 )

@Sanji. In your opinion. Which fortunately is not your decision to make.

I agree with @Jimizo. Will speed things up at check in the other end also. Make the SOS app mandatory also. Tired of the 10% who don't / won't, delaying flights with incorrect/incomplete paperwork.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

I agree with @Jimizo. Will speed things up at check in the other end

Very possibly.

Also, Kishida mentioned attracting big-spending visitors. The vast majority of anti-vaxxers I’ve come across wouldn’t have that kind of money.

Can you imagine the bawling and tantrums of the types who get upset over wearing masks?

You’d need a mop to clean up the mess in the shops.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Next, hoping that the festivals resume without restrictions. Then I will travel.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Actually, there is a requirement to give the details to the quarantine office initially then immigration and customs (as normal)

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Ok. @kurisupisu. If you wish to be pedantic about it. Then the Quarantine detail pledge is also included in the SOS app. We clear now?

SOS app makes your life quicker. Period.

If you think it's a tracking app, it it's in some way affecting your privacy, then don't use it. But if you were that concerned then you wouldn't be posting on this very website, that I doubt is that well secured.

And customs also have an online app now too which generates a QR code. Anything to make life quicker for me.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

This summer, daily Covid19 cases and deaths of Japan were worst in the world.

But present Kishida regime reinforces nothing about shortage of testing and medical resource, thrusts only to ease restriction.

Japanese government continues to sacrifice social weaks to defend vested interest of economy circle and to reduce social security cost.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The reason Japan is so nice to live in is because we have many fewer of the type of people that seem to exist in huge numbers in countries like the US.

People who complain about everything.

People who think rules are for other people not them-how entitled.

People who think that they have the right to do whatever they want, but don’t realize that in fairness that means other people can do whatever they want as well which usually doesn’t work in society.

People who are unwilling to make a small sacrifice to help society-let’s all work together to make life easier for everyone, instead of trying to screw everyone else

If you don’t like the idea of being vaccinated, getting a PCR test, being asked to wear a mask politely, then fine. Don’t come here. No need to resort to childish name-calling, or insisting that your pseudo-scientific knowledge is superior

Those of us who been living in Japan (especially big tourist cities like Tokyo and Kyoto )for many years, can mostly agree that the life has actually become nicer these past few years. Welcome back tourists, but don’t be a jerk while you are here

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Nobody is wearing a mask! OMG !

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@Jimizo

No, mature means making decisions based on science not blind conformity. Mature means moving on and not letting extreme anxiety dominate your life. I know mature people from all walks of life and when Japan and masks comes into the conversation, they just shake their heads in embarrassment and disbelief. Yes, I know that because I can see their faces.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Before covid, tourism created 1% of the GDP.

Dont know where you pulled the 1% from, as it was actually closer to 8%

(Link here to back it up!)

https://knoema.com/atlas/Japan/topics/Tourism/Travel-and-Tourism-Total-Contribution-to-GDP/Contribution-of-travel-and-tourism-to-GDP-percent-of-GDP

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Very possibly.

Also, Kishida mentioned attracting big-spending visitors. The vast majority of anti-vaxxers I’ve come across wouldn’t have that kind of money.

Can you imagine the bawling and tantrums of the types who get upset over wearing masks

Shaming people for having less money than you? How very classy(ist).

Technically, you are getting upset over the concept of having to wear masks as well.

Ever wonder why your glasses fog up when wearing a mask, esp at this time of year?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No it won’t ,unless China allows its citizens to travel again.

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

Inside Kyoto tourist blog

https://www.insidekyoto.com/can-i-travel-to-japan-now

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Regarding tourists and masks, some will be very confused to see sole drivers…

Only the immature types.

I think most sensible people will just think ‘Oh, they still wear masks’.

That’s the sensible people of course. The ‘some’ you mentioned tend to get easily confused anyway. Doesn’t take much. They seem to have masks living rent-free in their heads.

@qazwsx

Exactly. Very grown-up post.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

qazwsx, jimizo - bravo on your comments.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Very interesting to read the comments here, as always we see some extremists with a bias against those they disagree with and even resorting to abuse to large sections of society. Much of the world was divided regarding mask wearing, vaccines, lockdowns etc, however they appear to mostly to have moved on. Japan however lags behind the world in ‘living with Covid, which in turn is harming its economy and its worldwide reputation.

Regarding another poster claiming that wearing more than one mask was encouraged, here is the evidence that it was by Mr Fauci and the CDC.

https://www.today.com/health/dr-fauci-shows-how-wear-2-masks-correctly-today-t208765

People seem to have short memories regarding these matters from only 18 months ago. The same as when they inform us that the vaccines have all along only been pushed to be people as a way to reduce severe symptoms.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I think most sensible people will just think ‘Oh, they still wear masks’.

More like, "OMG, they still wear masks!? Bwhahahaha"

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I’m not sure about the entry rules but I think having a vaccinated only policy would be better.

Attracts a better class of visitor.

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

People have short memories. Best to ignore the Japanese Government, The Drama Queens, And the Experts. Live life on your own terms. I do.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Personally, I don't think tourism is going to keep up for 3 reasons

First, the Chinese are not travelling, and they make up the lion's share of tourism here.

Second, the rules are still very strict which will probably make people go somewhere else.

Third, I personally think Japan has lost a lot of goodwill with regards to people who had wanted to come here and have basically moved on.

My 2 cents.

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

@Pim. Actually, I agree with you number wise and I don't think Japan is in any position to support much more than that for a while yet.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Does it not seem apparent that there are problems when even people like Monty who live here, speak Japanese and deal with foreign inbound travelers still don’t get the rules?

Of course it is because (up until now) the rules have never been a constant but have been open to change, if not daily then certainly on a weekly basis.

However, to be clear…

the MYSOS app download is no longer needed.

There is no need for reporting but there is still a need to register details of address, plane seat number etc.

But the constant intrusive app is something that is now (thankfully) in the past!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

For God sake, get your masks off! What a pathetic mentality.

imagine being so offended by a piece of cloth, lol just be sure to follow Japanese rules on masks, nobody like a rude gaijin

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@theResident

Surely, you would like to give accurate information to other posters, as I do?

If that is being ‘pedantic’ then you might want to reassess your motivations for posting?

And derogatorily lumping the Chinese tourist into one image of obnoxiousness is just being discriminatory and biased.

Still, stereotypes are what the uninformed usually end up believing.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@theResident

It’s not really a dim view that I have but maybe the tiring experience of extensive travel during the pandemic.

Still, very much a subjective view.

However, the dangers of vaccines, recently made apparent by Florida’s Surgeon General and mainstream news reporting that Covid infection is more likely with vaccination than without is extremely relevant to the issue of whether tourists opt to continue to take the latest booster, counter measures, vaccine or whatever the in-word of the day is.

Also, Japan forces people to go one of two routes without recognising natural immunity gained via infection.

Despite the virus being rife in Japan, visitors are still being spotlighted as a source of potential infection which makes the ‘them’ and ‘us’ discrimination apparent.

Personally, I really hope that things return to more normality as I see empty establishments that need income and are still suffering…

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

theResidentToday  08:58 am JST

And as @Jimizo has rightly pointed out, the demographic that Japan wants to attract or more likely to be those that are triple+ vaxxed and are happy to play by the rules of entry to ANY country rather that just whinge and claim their God Given Right to enter another country is denied.

What official statement maintains Japan wants to attract triple+ vaxxed and happy to play by the rules?

And doesn't that contrast with what you wrote immediately before that?

Once again, you don't read do you? Visa free travel restored. Triple Vaxxed OR pre flight PCR. Take your pick.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

"My plan is to kindly ask them to wear a mask while inside the building," he added.

If a security blanket works for you, fine. Wearing masks didn't stop me getting covid in Japan though. This xenophobic tripe needs to end.

-5 ( +20 / -25 )

People have to hit the negative button don't they! They must be very sad people.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Just saw a young person, on the Chuo line to Shinjuku, wearing TWO masks. One on top of the other!

Which shows again in which irrational fear some people are living.

Fired up by the so called experts and the media.

And I guess this young person is multiple times vaccinated.

-6 ( +17 / -23 )

Welcome to 2020!

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

For God sake, get your masks off! What a pathetic mentality.

-8 ( +35 / -43 )

Happy for the tourists, students, and future foreign workers, who as of the time of writing this, can all finally be allowed in.

Not happy that I as a tax-paying foreign resident still need to get triple pin cushion'd or submit an RT-PCR (a rapidly fading service in the US).

It has been so long that Japan has been closed that I feel it is practically baked into the country's mentality now. Should have been done before the Olympics. Japanese people are so poorly informed, will they even realize tourists are back or that they were ever barred?

Seeing as how useless all of these restrictions were this whole time, I think it's better to scrap all of them, altogether! But nonetheless, finally tourists can visit if they want to. I do think that Japan needs a little bit more time before it will be "fun" again, too many Oyaajis and Obaas are still shellshocked and traumatized.

-9 ( +17 / -26 )

However, entrants must still provide proof of having had three vaccinations. 

Biggest sticking point right there. Most people stopped at two vax and I strongly doubt they will get a third just to go to Japan. Also the PCR requirement when all people can have Covid, vaccinated or not, is discriminatory and stupid.

-10 ( +13 / -23 )

Japan still strongly encourages that people wear masks indoors and refrain from loud talking. The cabinet last Friday approved changing hotel regulations so that they can refuse guests who do not obey infection controls during an outbreak.

Tourists arriving at the airport disregarding mask protocols as noted in the photo above is not reassuring. The latest data is showing COVID cases are beginning to increase around the world and it's not even winter. Here we go again...

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

FINALLY JAPAN OPENED!!..

It's just the beginning, things will get much better, less drama and more action..

Japan will once again be one of the best tourist destinations in the world..

GO JAPAN!!..

-16 ( +27 / -43 )

One of the worse parts of living in Japan are tourists. Welcome back to hell.

-24 ( +11 / -35 )

Yatta Yatta! Banzai! Banzai! Nihon is finally opened!! I can't believe it such sugoi newsu!!

-35 ( +4 / -39 )

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