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Any news re Japan re-opening, please?

  • Andy in Cheshire

    My son and daughter-in-law are booked to fly to Tokyo in mid-May, with BA. Currently, Japan’s borders are closed to tourists, with no announcement due for a week or so.

    Does anyone have any idea which way the wind is blowing? I was assuming that they would try to re-open for the sakura season, centred around April.

    The flights are from my account with BA (mostly Avios, plus some cash), so I can cancel and get a refund subject to the handling charge if necessary, but will try to leave that as long as possible of course.

    Thanks for the help.


    There’s a Reddit page called JapanTravel which regularly updates with news and official announcements. Their estimate is that tourism travel won’t open until at least July of this year. We were booked for April and the flights were cancelled altogether, so we didn’t bother rebooking and are going to the US instead.


    I wouldn’t read too much into Reddit thread. There is a sustained daily pressure on the government to open up after February though mainly from businesses and international students. The government still doesn’t want to say anything as priority is now boosters

    Locally there is still huge support for border measures, but this is slowly changing as well as all the major media are now supporting relaxation of border measures.

    I am due to go in April and still haven’t cancelled and probably won’t until mid-March. I do have a back up plan to go Peru instead.

    Mid-May is even longer, so I’d hold on and have plan B.

    Andy in Cheshire

    Thank you both.

    I will leave this as long as possible, of course, but the family needs to be prepared to put off their trip again this year.


    CEO of ANA has called today for border relaxation for example. So fingers crossed not too long.


    CEO of ANA has called today for border relaxation for example. So fingers crossed not too long.

    All kinds of CEOs and organisations were calling on Biden for the whole summer and that didn’t really speed up things…

    Andy in Cheshire

    Have just received the email from BA cancelling the outbound flight. The inbound will have to follow of course.


    It’s my son’s birthday today, so I’ll hold off telling him until the weekend.


    From 14th March, the daily entry cap (for non-tourism entries) will increase to 7,000 plus some amount of students on top of that.

    Taro Kono today said they expect to accept 10,000 students per week, which they expect will clear the backlog of 100,000 students awaiting entry by the end of May (10 weeks at 10,000 per week).

    From todays comments it sounds like they are intending to keep the post-March 14th cap on arrivals until at least the end of May. Otherwise, the backlog of students would be cleared somewhat in advance of that. It’s a ridiculously low entry cap, and I don’t hear much positive news coming from the Japanese government regarding any further reopening.

    In 2019, Japan accepted an average of around 87,600 tourist entries per day and around 52,000 entries of Japanese nationals per day. Approximately 140,000 entries per day in total. So they are currently accepting only around 5% of the pre-COVID total.

    Personally I’m hoping to go to Japan in January 2023 and I don’t feel particularly optimistic about my chances.


    They are probably going to open from 1 July. This is what I am hearing from my friends. This is because no-one will want to come as the weather is unbearably hot apart from Okinawa and Hokkaido to an extent.

    The more important thing is that they dropped quarantine for those who had a booster for a lot of countries (for others it’s 3 days). So at the moment it’s just a PCR before and PCR on arrival (free) with results in 24hr. You are also allowed to use public transport as well and wait in your accommodation for the result.


    I follow the local news here:

    There is not much you can do other than wait. We booked for end of October 2022 and will see.

    In addition to the border closures. Flights now go over Canada instead of Russia so it takes 15-16hrs instead of 11-12hrs as it did before.

    Just FYI, I used BA holidays to book (I booked JAL/BA flights and couple of nights in Osaka). By doing this I just pay £300 for 4 of us and don’t need to pay the rest until 1st Sept 2022. BA also confirmed they would refund if the border continued to be closed. Another option is to book with JAL who are excellent at refunding flights if necessary (but you have to pay the full fare now).


    I have several bookings in F and J on ANA and JAL. I don’t mind a few hours extra in those cabins. I might actually get some proper sleep. 11-12h flights are too short for me when you take into account the meal times.


    So dumb question.

    How come I can book flights to HND on any day from now if BA are cancelling flights in May??


    So dumb question.

    How come I can book flights to HND on any day from now if BA are cancelling flights in May??

    BA is showing flights in the future but they may cancel those (hopefully moving to a JAL plane) if the border remains closed.

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