Tokyo’s bustling night scene. Hokkaido’s pristine snow slopes. Osaka’s mouth-watering street food. Kyoto’s historic temples and ancient gardens.
If you have been thinking about all these and more – especially the areas that are awaiting your discovery - since your last trip to Japan, here’s some good news to kanpai to: Japan’s border restrictions are easing, slowly but surely, from 5,000 to 7,000 daily visitors allowed to enter the country for work or study purposes.
In the not-so-distant future, hopefully Singaporeans can expect to head over to one of their favourite regions in Japan for leisure travel once again.
It’s no secret that Japan is one of the most popular travel destinations not just among Singaporeans, but globally too.
According to Japan National Tourism Organization’s (JNTO) recent “Foreigners’ Perspectives on Tokyo 2020” survey – to understand what people from around the world thought of Japan as a future travel destination – over 70 per cent of the 8,034 respondents from 13 countries said that they want to visit Japan after the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, 38.6 per cent of the respondents shared that they were more motivated to visit Japan following the Tokyo Olympics, which took place last year.
Besides mega international events like the Olympics, Japan has a lot to offer – whether you are a first-time or regular leisure traveller. After all, the country has 47 prefectures, each with its own unique geography, natural and man-made attractions, culture and food heritage.
So, if you’re planning to make Japan one of your next travel destinations, it’s best to get acquainted with the country’s health and safe travel guidelines for a more smooth-sailing journey.
New safe travel rules for Japan
To dispel any worries overseas visitors may have of visiting Japan during pandemic times, JNTO has created a website with up-to-date tips and resources on travelling to Japan in the new normal.
These include practical information on immigration regulations, what to do during stay-home periods and tips on travelling safely within the country. For instance, you can find out more about pre-arrival testing regulations and where to seek medical help if you fall ill.
To relay the country’s safety measures against Covid-19 in an easy-to-understand manner, Japan has also created pictograms in 15 languages like English and Chinese. These pictograms allow just about anyone to comprehend important information, including how to identify places with improved indoor ventilation and how to know where contactless payment is available.
Hidden gems to make the most of your future trip
Now that you feel more confident, safe and relaxed about heading to Japan, it’s time to plan where to go and what to do. In fact, consider travelling deeper by going to places you’ve never been before.
To inspire you, JNTO’s new “Unveiling a New Japan, Captivating Experience” website divides the country into its eight main regions – Kansai, Setouchi, Kyushu, Chubu, Kanto, Tohoku, Hokkaido and Okinawa. By doing so, travellers will find it easier to understand how to access these various areas from regional airports with direct flights or via train stations.
The website also categorises the areas according to seasons for travellers who wish to plan their trips according to whether they want to catch a glimpse of cherry blossoms and autumn leaves or enjoy snowfall, for example.
There is a third option of finding out more about the eight areas according to what you like to do – whether it is immersing yourself in rural local life, taking part in outdoor activities or simply indulging in Japanese cuisine. You can expect quaint recommendations that are not listed in guidebooks
Want to explore more of the beautiful Kansai region? Watch this video spotlighting it in summer