Japan has recently announced that it is working towards re-opening its border for international travellers in April 2021 – well ahead of the Olympic Games. Full and extensive planning for international visitors is in place, and ongoing, for the planned opening of the Olympics next year.

Currently, the infection rate in Japan with COVID-19 is 0.0001 which is astonishing low given the infection rates in places like Europe, UK and the USA. Australia’s current infection rate is 0.0001 – identical to Japan’s. The death rate in Japan is nearly 50 times less than the USA relative to its population size – a remarkable achievement.

This makes Japan, like Australia, a particularly safe environment compared to the rest of the world to travel to when the borders re-open. The Japanese are renowned for ensuring public safety and the success of their COVID-19 management plan has been achieved without any major lockdowns.

Japan will require you to provide receipt of a pre-arrival negative test. On arrival a test will be undertaken and if have a negative result, YOU WILL NOT be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. You will be required to report to health authorities during the first 14 days of your stay.

Japan has already opened its internal borders making travel between regions possible. Japan’s culture of respect has been a key to their success, as is the country’s outstandingly high levels of hygiene and cleanliness.

Japan is still restricting arrival from over one hundred countries worldwide but this DOES NOT include Australia and New Zealand. Since 30th July 2020, Japan is no longer in a State of Emergency.

Health and safety in Japan is critical to the success of the Olympic Games in 2021. Travel providers from bullet trains to hotels and airlines have been investing in updated health and sanitation procedures to enhance the safety of both travellers and staff. In addition, stair and escalator handrails and other surfaces such as door handles in stations, trains, and public spaces are frequently cleaned and disinfected.

As an example, you can expect the following during your stay:

  • Contactless check-in and check-out;
  • Hand-sanitiser stations;
  • Air purifiers;
  • Staff wearing face coverings and gloves;
  • Temperature checks;
  • Stringent procedures with regard to the cleaning and sanitation of rooms and public spaces;
  • Optionally limited housekeeping;
  • Buffet dining replaced by socially distant dining rooms and in-room dining;
  • Public spaces such as gyms and bars may be temporarily closed, or have transitioned to new reservation-only systems.

On the 8th of November 2020, Japan resumed hosting international competitions. This is a testament to how safe the environment is when you get international competitors willing to travel into the country to re-start their Olympic campaigns. They have also been holding near capacity baseball games since October which further underlines the positive outcomes they are achieving.

Now that domestic travel is unimpeded in Japan, international visitors can visit Japan’s tourism sites upon their arrival This includes a wide array of Japan’s most visited sites including the Tokyo Tower, Imperial East Gardens, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo National Museum and many more.

With such positive news coming out of Japan, now would be a great time to start planning your 2021 trip. Japan has shown it is and will continue to be a safe travel environment and would make the ideal start to completing your travel bucket list.


Plan Japan is a boutique travel consultancy specialising in authentic Japanese experiences. Our unmatched network of Japanese contacts in travel, tourism and hospitality allows us to create unforgettable experiences and itineraries for conferences, special interest and team-building trips.

Every Plan Japan corporate and group tour has a COVID-19 Coordinator who will be the point of contact with the Plan Japan Director. All of our COVID-19 Coordinators have taken an Australian Government Department of Health certified Infection Control Training course.

All Plan Japan corporate and group tours strictly follow Plan Japan health protocol and preventative measures, and all of our tour leaders are trained for COVID-19 safety measures to ensure the utmost safety of our clients in Japan.

Contact us for more information about including the highlights of Tokyo’s contemporary art scene to your next Japanese trip itinerary.

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