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Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/15 17:05
Hi all, I am due to travel from the UK to Japan at the end of October for 2 weeks (sadly not longer) of hostel hopping and travelling around, and I just have query regarding travel and covid-19 restrictions.

First of all, how likely is it that this trip will happen? Our flights have not been cancelled and I haven't heard anything at all in regards to possible cancellations however, am I right in thinking that Japan's borders are currently closed to UK/EU tourists? Also, general consesus suggests there could be a second outbreak around the end of the year, typically when cold/flu season starts - does anyone think that it's wise/isn't wise to travel?

We do have the option to reschedule our flights for anywhere within 24months of original departure so it's not like I am in an 'all or nothing' situation, I am just weighing up options and seeking advice as to whether to travel or wait a little longer and see where the world is then!

Any advice would be amazing, thank you!

by Faye (guest)  

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/15 18:48
Sorry if this might be a little irrelevant but

Even if tourism was continued, visa waivers are suspended except USA, canada, australia, NZ. Other tourists need to apply for a 'temporary visitor' visa to be able to visit Japan.

You need to take PCR test and provide sheet of result before you go. When you enter Japan you need to take another PCR test. PCR tests take 2 days to a week for the result and can cost up to $400 per person.

Tokyo is experiencing another wave. The population density and air ventilation and air quality are factors. It is not safe to go there if you have other pre-existing illness. You might be young and healthy so you are not afraid of the virus, but its possible for it to be spread even if people wear a mask.

It is not known whether Tokyo can recover from the outbreak by October and the information about when borders open to tourists are nil, unfortunately.

Suggestion of things you can do in the meantime, such as online tours, google maps, youtube. There are online Japanese programs offered by Japanese language schools if you would like to learn Japanese and speak to Japanese people but it is quite expensive.

You decide whether it is wise to go, other people cannot decide for you. Other people would like you to take care of your health during this time.
by anonymous (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/15 19:21
I agree with the poster above - only you can make this decision. No one here knows what will happen in the future, and when the borders will officially reopen to tourists. Just because your flights haven't been cancelled, several months out, doesn't mean this will all be over.
by / (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/15 19:55
That's good to know about the visas and PCR testing, thank you for that response, I'll read up on those further.

As frustrating as it is, my overall feeling is to postpone the trip as there a few factors making me wary - it's the desperation to visit Japan again that's pushing me to go!

Thank you again for your responses!
by Faye (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/15 22:58
Personally if it was me I'd cancel everything and get my money back. I wouldn't book a trip to any international destination until borders are open again.
by curious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/15 23:24
Wise to prepare for the possibility of going, unwise to count on it. I have my next trip planned for the beginning of November until December and this is what I am doing.

Even if it's not "officially" advisable, there might be nothing stopping you applying for a visa to enter, but of course you would be denied unless you had a reason you needed to be in Japan despite the virus. My feeling is that the visa waiver programme will be reinstated as soon as they want to start letting people back in (if it wasn't they would be inundated with visa applications). So basically if visa waiver is an option for UK citizens in November, I'll go. If not, I'll postpone (again, supposed to be there now). Whether or not that will happen nobody can answer. Personally I'm about 40% confident I'll be able to go in November. I am not a scientist or a politician, and I don't work in the tourism industry so this is based on nothing but gut feeling. So basically if you hate uncertainty, postpone it.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/15 23:44
its unwise that visa waiver are stopped for uk nationals. uk is also part of G7 and commonwealth too you know :(
by pleasenooo (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/16 06:36
Unwise. Get all the money back you can.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/16 06:40
On simple numbers you would be safer in Tokyo/Japan than the UK, but opening of borders for tourists in/by October is not looking very likely. The UK has not been mentioned in any discussions on the countries that are likely to be allowed to visit/travel to Japan this year. If you were allowed to travel then it is an assessment of risk - aside from covid19 there are all the other normal risks of living/travelling between the two countries. I certainly would prefer to remain here in Tokyo than travelling to the UK.
The point your flights have not been cancelled is irrelevant as there are still people allowed to travel and arrive into the country - I know someone that got back last week, and they are in quarantine currently (and afaik they didn't pay for the PCR test they had - I think they are paying for the hotel they are stuck in for two weeks).
Check the official MoFA page for updates - currently you would be denied entry and therefore unless you can prove to your airline you are allowed in, you would be denied boarding for your flight. And yes, you currently need a visa in order to travel - I would not be confident your local Japanese Embassy will be helpful granting one, but you need to organise it ahead of your trip, so get onto that earlier rather than later.
https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/16 11:09
Japan expects to be able to do around 10,000 tests per day at their airports by September. This is probably just enough for selected business travelers and residents. However, it will take much more time until Japan will let in large numbers of tourists again. Unfortunately, I highly doubtful that this will happen before the end of this year.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/16 12:24
And what about next summer?
by Coconut (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/16 15:46
I think your only concern would be on whether or not Japan would allow travelers from UK to enter at that time for tourism purposes in October. There may very well be a 14 day quarantine period.
However, once you are within Japan, there will be no restrictions to movement or activities (after quarantine)
Domestic travel is actually being encouraged at the moment in Japan via the Go To Campaign
by l (guest) rate this post as useful

Unwise 2020/7/16 23:32
The majority of residents in Japan, including many experts, had been against a full-fledged Go To domestic travel campaign, and today our government finally announced that the campaign would exclude travel to/from Tokyo. Experts and some governors suggest even more of the major cities should be excluded (while travel among prefectures with only or none infection can be encouraged).

Unless vaccination and medicine are developed and distributed widely, even if the government and industries welcome inbound tourists for October, last-minute cancellations like these can happen. And unless vaccination and medicine are developed and distributed widely, you'd always need to wear a clean mask, and there is little you can touch unless you're actually buying it.

So planning a trip is risky, therefore unwise.

When the Tokyo to/from Go To cancellation was announced today, a person from the travel industry was saying in the news that it only makes sense because touring should be stress-free.

I hope to welcome you next year. Sweet dreams.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/16 23:48
@Uco Do you, as a Japanese, think that it us possible that the border for (Western) tourists will be closed forever if a vaccine is never found?
by Henk (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/17 00:17
in Japanese economical situation, contribution by in-bounders is rather small.
the government will open the border for business persons, with strict regulation.
but, I don't think they allow random visitors to come so soon.

at present, you will become safer when you come to Japan more than that you are in your country. it means Japan and Japanese people only take the risk and no benefit for them.

according to today's TV news show, 14 infected persons have come from outside of Japan, even when Japan almost closes the border. their infection rate is higher.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/17 01:20
@Henk

Please stop banging this drum. Japan isn't going to be closed forever. Period. End of story. There is no reason for you or anyone to believe this. Maybe we can't go this year. Maybe we can't even go next year if things are still really bad. But we can go again. One day. Be reasonable. Stop worrying yourself and other people who come to this site for reliable information.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/17 02:41
@Henk

Everytime somebody mentions 'vaccine' it seem to get to you. The fact is, a vaccine is never needed to annihilate any virus. Isolation, quarantine and testing always worked, at least in developed countries. Theres also newer methods that take advantage of current technology - contact tracing.

When somebody tells you that borders may be closed forever if theres no vaccine, it is an opinion not a fact. No one can tell you the real future about the borders, just speculating. And you will not need to worry though because the government will deal with any virus regardless of whether it is infectious or not.

Since you care about when (western) travellers can go to Japan, heres some good news for you:
https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Japan-weighs-allowing-in...

Other important tips:
Try not to think about this every single day, its not good for your health or your sleep.
by anonymous (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/17 07:07
In the days before vaccines countries knew how to handle people - stick them in a confined spot for a few weeks and find out if they get sick/die (often a handy island). Scarlet fever, small pox and others (and worse). There may never be an effective vaccine, and while many people hope there is, there will also be a credibility issue for something that is rushed and possibly without good long term testing and results. I'm not counting on a worldwide programme being completed anytime soon.
As I said above, even with the increasing numbers of infections here in Japan (and Tokyo) it is still a lot lower than a lot of other places. An aside from covid I still see people inviting disaster from avoiding simple safety measures - with things like not wearing motorcycle helmets or wearing seatbelts - not everyone takes their life seriously.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/17 12:56
You stated your trip will be '2 weeks long no more'
Quarantine is exactly 2 weeks long and you will be spending your entire trip in quarantine.

Japan reached 600 daily case as of today. The government is also thinking of implementing state of emergency again.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200716/p2g/00m/0na/116000c
by hello (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tokyo in October - wise or unwise? 2020/7/17 21:22
@Uco Do you, as a Japanese, think that it us possible that the border for (Western) tourists will be closed forever if a vaccine is never found?

I as a Japanese have no thoughts regarding that question. I as a person have always had the habit of predicting the worst, swallow it, and live each day appreciating that the worst have not happened to me so far, because the worst to me has nothing to do with Covid. I have an imaginary friend who helps me get through it. So again, I don't think about "possibilities" that is not worth thinking about, and I don't particularly find that people in Japan generally are.

When Covid broke in Japan, and many many bad things happened around/to me, I was pretty much devastated. So I quickly applied for my Covid loan, dug out some non-profit work that I had left behind for years, and joined whatever Zoom event I was invited to. It turned out all that was worth while. I also feel like I've done a life-worth of traveling and meeting people last year, and I'm actually quite happy with staying at home now and finding new places to buy great go-to food.

I don't know if all that is Japanese, but I do feel that anyone in the world can do similar things. I apologize if this post was off-topic. Hugs to everyone.
by Uco rate this post as useful

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