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We don't need to be babysat. We just like to go and bum around.

20 Comments

Melissa Musiker, a New York-based public relations professional who used to travel regularly to Japan. She and her husband have been to Japan six times and had been planning to visit again in June when they heard borders were reopening but were frustrated by the visa, required PCR test before departure and other restrictions, so they gave up and went to South Korea instead.

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20 Comments
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Purpose of visit?

'Just to bum around'.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

The Japanese powers-that-be seem to think that all people of the world are as submissive and deferential to authority as the Japanese. They believe they can be controlled as easily as the native population. Who the hell wants to join a Japanese organized tour? Can you imagine the drivel they must spout as the bus drives around all the boring tourist spots? People want to be free to do their own thing, you know, like adults! Good on this woman.

-3 ( +22 / -25 )

Indeed, Melissa. 'Bumming around' is the best way to explore another culture, discovering all the everyday things that are different to the way they are at home, and giving us a new, critical perspective on the flaws and joys our own country.

I would say that I have always found AirBnB hosts to be wonderfully supportive, if you get yourself into a jam. More so than hotel staff.

Luckily, other nations are unfurling the welcome mat, so we can hand over the cash and bum around their countries instead, to their profit and amusement.

@David Brent. Give the JP tour guides a break. They are trained to do what they do and some folk do enjoy guided tours. The guides often make a huge effort to make visitors happy, suffered financially through the pandemic, and never dreamed that they would have to work for the state as prison guards. It's not their fault. They are doing their best in ridiculous circumstances. Blame lies elsewhere.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

...but were frustrated by the visa, required PCR test before departure and other restrictions, so they gave up and went to South Korea instead.

Well done them. You'd be insane to try to get through all the Japanese red tape and restrictions when you can go to much more welcoming countries nearby.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

Ah Japan, why do you do it too yourselves? Too much structure is just as much a killer as not enough. As for the bureaucracy class, please go back and collectively rethink your lives and what it is you actually do for the country. Your simple job is this; to make it easier for things to happen and people to do things in a changing economy and landscape, NOT HARDER!

AI will eventually take over eventually anyway, and the lost decades ( generations ) will be studied by future historians with almost disbelief.

Tourism = Free money for a stagnant economy. How hard can it be?

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

"....so they gave up and went to South Korea instead."

Ouch! That's probably the part that hurts most to some readers. South Korea the preference over Japan. Heck, if enough people make public statements about choosing South Korea over Japan because of the restrictions here, it might just change things.

What's more, I believe all outgoing Japanese should have to have the same restrictions as long as the government here keeps this up. Even group tours from Japan should not be allowed without local tour guides and 24-hour chaperones, since they insist on the same here. And they have to pay into that nation's health insurance.

-9 ( +14 / -23 )

tokyo-m, Ricky & smithinjapan - fully agreed.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

If she's in Seoul she is more likely to be swimming around rather than bumming around.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Good for them. Plane tickets are at an all-time high right now. I wouldn't fork over that much cash to visit a place where I'll have to be herded around all the generic tourist spots and tourist traps like cattle. Rather go somewhere where I can roam free. Also that PCR test requirement upon entry is deal-breaker. Hard pass.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

nah, go bum around somewhere else. not needed during this time of increasing COVID infections.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

@Blacklabel, as you say, you already have increasing cases, in fact, you have one of the highest totals in the world currently. So what's the issue with bringing the borders down? It's not going to do anything when covid is already running rampant throughout Japan. But that makes too much sense to people like you, doesn't it?

3 ( +9 / -6 )

They didn't want you here anyway, Melissa. Seoul is probably cheaper, although Koreans can be just as cold and xenophobic.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

A lot of nasty comments and down-voting over a simple common-sense issue. What's with all the negativity? I've been to Japan six times since early 2011 (caught by the tsunami, in Sendai, too) and I'm now planning two months in other countries as a direct result of Japan's stupid restrictions on foreign visitors. So, all you down-voters, give it to me!!!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I'm the same - been to Japan 7 or 8 times since 2006 and had flights booked since early 2020... cancelled and rebooked about 5 times since... saw that Japan was opening her borders and thought "YES! At last!" and then there were the restrictions: guided tours only, limited access, visa, booking with a Japanese travel agency, health insurance... nope.

I normally spend 3 weeks in Japan on holiday, doing what I want, when I want, and going where I want and meeting up with friends... three weeks trapped with strangers and being shepherded around by a guide. Not happening.

So cancelled my flights for this October and will rebook for Golden Week next year... and that's me being optimistic.

What I truly don't understand is why the Japanese think that we are a risk to them... we're vaccinated and boosted, we wash our hands, wear masks and take precautions the same as the local population.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Ouch! That's probably the part that hurts most to some readers. South Korea the preference over Japan. Heck, if enough people make public statements about choosing South Korea over Japan because of the restrictions here, it might just change things.

Yawn. Isn't it you and your ilk and SK media that get wild with joy ?

The preference basically stands for her willingness to pick up SK without any restrictions levied upon by Japan

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If you prefer to visit Japan, you visit there. If you prefer to visit SK, you visit SK. If you visit SK due to all those restrictions by Japan, so what? It is not even news to be reported. The like visiting somewhere in Asia I guess

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

quote: It is not even news to be reported

The Japanese government have wiped out a $44bn a year industry, destroying jobs, careers and livelihoods on a false pretext and that isn't news. OK in Russia and China discussion of it wouldn't be allowed. But Japan?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan is killing it’s own tourist industry. Some may celebrate this, but a whole lot of the economy relies on foreign visitors, not just financially but by the goodwill it generally produces.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Really, wow, you went six times huh, and you’re MAD, ‘eh ?

Yup, Korea is a good place for you

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I went to Vietnam recently for 9 nights in a 5 star resort, which was cheaper than 5 nights in Okinawa, nowhere near as busy and way more interesting too. People over there (who are basically all vaccinated) and the government seem to have downgraded covid and accepted it as the level of flu, there are no enforced covid rules. A lot of the world just seems to be getting on with life now.

I'm not sure what the point of Japans PCR re-entry requirements are, as you can just as easily catch covid between being tested and landing back in Japan, especially sociable people who tend to go on a mental bender for the the last 2 or 3 nights after being tested.

Every day prices are increasing here, but if many businesses or individuals in Japan can't even make their usual living it's pretty obvious what will happen. I'm afraid the government really has their head in the sand on this now, they've had almost 3 years to make contingency plans for their overstretched health care system, just open the country up!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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