Guide to travelling to Japan in 2022
Of all of the countries that we Singaporeans like to travel to for a vacation, Japan is probably on the highest of everyone’s list. Pre-pandemic, holidays to the likes of Hokkaido, Tokyo and Osaka were our go-tos, be it for the sights, shopping, and naturally, food.
We’ve been on the sting of our seats waiting for Japan to completely open its borders to tourism, and we’ve finally gotten some excellent news in regards to the resumption of leisure travel. Here’s what we all know to date:
What we all know from the newest announcement
Earlier in May, Japan announced that the country will allow tourists from 36 countries – including Malaysia, Spain, and Britain. Nonetheless, travellers were only allowed as a part of pre-approved guided tour groups with set itineraries, which put a damper on a lot of our expectations.
But things are looking up. On thirty first August, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that the country will probably be allowing travellers from all countries with “non-guided package tours” to enter. The day by day entry cap for tourists will probably be also increased from 20,000 to 50,000 from seventh September 2022 onwards.
That’s not all – Japan can even be removing the necessity for tourists to offer negative Covid-19 results, so long as they’ve received 3 doses of the vaccine.
It’s also reported that despite the increasingly relaxed measures, borders still are currently open to Japanese nationals and people with an issued long-term or tourist visa. Depending on which country you come from, there could also be differing requirements once you enter Japan. You’ll be able to check the updated border measures in case you’re planning a business or long-term trip over.
Current Covid-19 situation in Japan
For one, Japan’s version of protected management measures has never been legally enforced, though nearly all of the population has been pretty compliant with the rules.
You’ll be able to take your mask off when munching on all of the delish local food.
Similar to in Singapore, masks are expected indoors and on public transport, and you may only take them off during meals. Social distancing remains to be in place, and most tourist landmarks would require visitors to order places prematurely. Some places implement a capability limit, and persons are encouraged to avoid having meals in large groups.
All in all, it isn’t the strictest of rules, and since we’ve been through a similar-ish algorithm with P2 and P2(HA) here in Singapore, it needs to be easy-peasy for us.
Best things to do while in Japan
While we eagerly wait for a more proper reopening, it actually doesn’t hurt to start out planning for the places we are able to’t wait to go to. Here’s what we’re putting on our to-do list:
Shibuya Sky Commentary Deck
Should you’re planning to start out your trip right within the capital itself, there’s no short supply of things to do. Every trip to Tokyo must involve visiting the long-lasting Shibuya crossing, in addition to the entire gamut of shopping options in the world. Whilst you’re here, head as much as the Shibuya Sky Commentary Deck at Shibuya Scramble Square, for a panoramic view of the town.
Anime fans can go ham on merchandise at Animate.
Image credit: @jean_._g
Speaking of teenage culture, in case you’re a closet otaku waiting to unleash your final form, you should definitely head over to Ikebukuro in Tokyo. The realm is legendary for anime and cosplay culture and is home to Japan’s largest anime mall Animate, which has 9 floors teeming with collections of manga and anime-related merch.
One other must-visit in Tokyo must be Tokyo DisneyLand. It’s entirely possible to spend almost a whole day here with the rides, parades and shows, and relive our childhoods with our beloved Disney cartoon characters. Pro tip: for a very magical experience, you should definitely stay till the fireworks show at night.
Should you’re on a good budget, not to fret; there are a lot of free things to do in Tokyo like strolling through the gardens of the Imperial Palace, taking a scenic boat ride on the Yokojikken Gawa Shinsui Park and even occurring a brewery tour at Suntory Musashino’s factory.
Away from Tokyo, one other popular destination that Singaporeans like to travel to is Osaka, which many say is synonymous with Japan’s street food culture. A must-try food that we recommend is takoyaki balls, which you’ll get at Takoyaki Park.
After all, no trip to Osaka is complete and not using a day spent at Dotonbori, which is iconic for its food options across street stalls and restaurants. For some inspiration, try our recs on the must-try food items in Dotonbori.
There are many worthy sites akin to the Osaka Castle.
Apart from food, you too can do a little bit of retail therapy, shopping at Osaka’s thrift stores and shops. Options span across a big selection from high-end Hypebeast goods and vintage luxury brands to preloved goods.
After which there’s after all Universal Studios Japan. Now you could be considering: why go to the one in Japan after we have already got one here in Singapore? Well for one, the park boasts attractions unique to Japan, akin to Sailor Moon and Godzilla shows. It’s also home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you may try gems like Butterbeer Ice Cream.
If cities will not be really your thing and you favor the decision of the wild, it is advisable to visit Hokkaido as an alternative. The northernmost of Japan’s fundamental islands, Hokkaido teeming with natural hot springs, free-flowing greenery and fresh seafood at Hokkaido fish markets.
Image credit: @okkoqhey
You too can enterprise out to hike at a few of Hokkaido’s nature spots, not only to walk off the calories from bingeing on all that delicious food but additionally to soak up some breathtaking sights akin to the flower fields in Farm Tomita or the coast of Cape Kamui.
Kochi’s Niyodo River is taken into account probably the most beautiful river in Japan.
More things to do in Japan:
- Nagano prefecture: Scenic views and mountain climbing trails for nature lovers.
- Aomori and Iwate: For each artsy folk and adventurous souls to beat snow-covered mountains.
- Kochi, Shikoku: Quiet island with laid-back outdoor activities.
- Shikoku island: For those in search of R&R amid nature and wealthy local culture.
- Fukuoka city: Home to the famous cat island – need we are saying more?
- Azumino town: To experience laid-back Japanese country life.
Looking forward to Japan’s reopening
Towida Shrine in Aomori.
Singaporeans have defo missed fuss-free travels to Japan, but we’re welcoming the present relaxations with open arms. With the rise in entry caps and no need for guided tour packages, hopefully the Japanese government will fully open up the borders so we are able to visit all our favourite spots once more.
Within the meantime, do try some more Japan guides:
Article originally published on twenty fourth May 2022 by Marcus Sia. Last updated on thirty first August 2022 by Ra Krishnan.