After being closed down for over 2 years, Japan has finally announced the long-awaited return of inbound tourism. Having eagerly waited for borders to open up to tourists, we are just as excited by this news as you are. In this blog post, we will provide future travelers with useful tools for preparing for your trip to Japan in 2022!
The first thing to keep in mind is that Japan, just like the rest of the world, is fresh out of the worst pandemic in modern times. This means that certain aspects of life in Japan have gone through some major changes in the past two years. One such thing is the use of face masks. In Japan, many people are still wearing masks in public, and some stores and restaurants require customers to wear them when entering. Therefore, bringing face masks on your trip to Japan is essential. If you want to keep your luggage light, know that most convenience stores in Japan sell face masks, so you can pick them up after arrival as well.
Covid-19 restrictions and a lack of inbound tourism have also resulted in various places in Japan closing down. Many travelers have visited Japan before and might find the change in scenery quite shocking. We therefore encourage future visitors to focus their research on up-to-date resources and keep in mind that information predating 2020 might not be accurate.
Luckily, we at Arigato Travel have been keeping track of current developments in Japan. Not only is our blog a great resource for those looking for some inspiration for their next trip, but we have also recently launched an online experience specifically for travelers coming to Japan in the near future; Plan For Japan: Online trip planning experience. Our local experts will share their tips and in-depth knowledge on traveling to and within Japan post-covid. We highly recommend this experience for those who will be visiting Japan for the first time since we cover both general and post-covid-related tips.
For those who have visited Japan before, we offer personal travel consulting where our team provides you with personalized service to match your exact needs. Not only do we go in-depth about what to expect when traveling Japan post covid, we also help create an itinerary specifically to your liking. You can easily book all our tours on our website.
Since inbound tourism has been on pause in Japan for an extended time, the way we travel within Japan will most probably be different from how we traveled before the pandemic. This provides a great opportunity for travelers to shift the narrative related to tourism and tourists in general.
Although Japan welcomed tourists up until the pandemic, issues of ‘overtourism’ began to arise, creating tension between some locals and foreign visitors. Currently, many in Japan are excited for tourists to come back, and we believe that with the right mindset, tourists can embrace Japan without feeling like they are invading local peoples’ space.
Our friend Alyse has devoted her years of traveling to better blend in with locals by practicing what she calls ‘Invisible Tourism’. By being ‘invisible’, tourists get the chance to experience Japan much closer to how the locals experience the country, without disrupting the harmony. Learn more about practicing ‘Invisible Tourism’ in Japan through Alyse’s book The Invisible Tourist • Responsible Travel & Culture Blog.
Being an invisible tourist means respecting local culture while still being able to enjoy cultural exchange. We believe that this mindset will be prevalent during future travel in order to make tourism more sustainable. Sustainability in tourism does not just mean keeping your trip as eco-friendly as possible. It also refers to looking at the long-term effects of the impact one has when traveling.
We believe that keeping the mindset of an invisible tourist while in Japan will be the greatest tool for your future travel since it will allow you to experience Japan in a unique, intimate way. Perhaps this reopening of Japan’s borders will prove to be the beginning of a new way of exploring one of the most interesting places on earth.
Whether it is a small difference in travel, like using face masks at certain establishments, or a larger change, like adopting a new travel philosophy, we at Arigato Travel are excited to host you on our local experiences when you come to Japan. Here you’ll find more information about what tours we offer, including our Plan for Japan Online Experience, and for more personalized assistance, book our Personal Travel Consulting here.
We’re looking forward to having you join us, and hope that we can help you to have an excellent trip!
Book a 3-hour food tour with us during your trip and experience Japan AS a local WITH a local!
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