Sep 28, 2022 / TRAVEL / NEWS

Japan reopening for independent travel - facts skiers need to know

After three years of restrictions, the much hoped for announcement came last week that travel to Japan is now open.

The entry cap will be lifted on 11th October, the need for a “travel chaperone” and booking through a Japan registered travel agent has been removed and travellers from countries on Japan’s blue list can enjoy visa free travel.

This is such welcome news for both travellers and the tourist industry and we’re excited at the prospect of being able to enjoy the unique hospitality and superb skiing that Japan has to offer.

What restrictions are still in place?

Aside from the visa restrictions for those travellers from countries that are not on the blue list, the main restriction is around vaccination.

Those who cannot prove they have had three doses of the Pfizer, Astra Zeneca or Moderna vaccine will have to show a negative PCR test, taken not more than 72 hours before departure.

Fenix West is one of Furano’s luxurious new ski properties.

Will I still have to wear a mask in Japan?

Whilst there is no legal requirement to wear a mask, societal requirements around mask wearing (that pre-date covid by nine years) are still very much part of Japanese life. Those choosing not to wear a mask will be seen as ignoring common courtesy around limiting the spread of infection.

The majority of Japanese people choose to wear a mask in crowded, enclosed areas (like ski lifts or restaurants) and following suit is not only good manners but will reduce the risk of restrictions having to be reintroduced if Covid cases increase.

Is there still an isolation period for skiers in Japan?

The period of self-isolation for those infected with coronavirus or those developing symptoms has shortened from ten days to seven.

Perfect powder snow in Myoko ski resort

What’s been happening in the ski industry ?

As you may expect, this period of closure has not been wasted. There are some fantastic new developments in Japan, As well as the well known names like Niseko, we’ve seen some great new developments in resorts that have nestled under radar such as Furano.

If you’re thinking of investing in Japan, you may like to read this recent article about buying a ski property in Japan.

Property alert service

This is a great time to return to Japan, and whether you’re fully focused on getting back to that perfect powder snow, or excited to explore the superb summers that Hokkaido has to offer, or even investigate possible locations to fulfil your digital nomad dreams, SnowOnly is the perfect place to begin your adventure.

We’re a dedicated ski property portal, which means you can see a huge range of properties without having to trawl dozens of individual websites. Our property alert service is a great way to stay ahead of the market, and our buyers guides and articles give