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On like Donkey Kong: guided group tours kick-start international travel in Japan

Tour operators are ready to welcome Aussie travellers back to Japan on guided, masked group tours when the nation reopens to international tourists after almost three years of restrictions from 10 June.

Tour operators are ready to welcome Aussie travellers back to Japan on guided, masked group tours when the nation reopens to international tourists after almost three years of restrictions from 10 June.

Overseas tourists from 98 countries, including Australia, will be allowed entry into Japan on fully escorted group tours with set itineraries run by licensed Japanese tour operators only, according to guidelines set by Japan Tourism Agency (JTA).

The gradual reopening to international travellers is welcome news for InsideJapan and Wendy Wu Tours as the tour operators recommence escorted group tours in Japan from July 2022.

Japan

InsideJapan has departures for the 10-night HYPER JAPAN J-pop & GO! tour on 2 July and 23 July and will run the 13-night Japan Unmasked tour from 18 July.

The Japan travel specialist says it will also be able to offer its fully escorted Exclusive Private Journeys, which InsideJapan co-founder and director Simon King said was the first major step towards opening borders to tourism again.

Meanwhile, Wendy Wu is reporting that demand for Japan tours, particularly for the spring cherry blossom and fall seasons, is “through the roof”.

“With passengers unable to travel to Japan for nearly three years, and missing out on the spectacular Japan spring cherry blossom festival, as well as the magnificent autumn foliage colours, we’ve added extra capacity for 2023 and 2024, which is selling out as quickly as it goes on sale,” Ms Wu said.

New rules for overseas tourists

As part of the JTA guidelines, tour operators will be responsible for ensuring tour groups adhere to COVID-19 requirements, including wearing masks on public transport and in accommodation.

The agency also confirmed that there will be no quarantine or testing required on arrival, regardless of vaccination status, however, all international travellers will need to produce proof of a negative PCR test 72 hours before departure for Japan and have adequate COVID-19 medical insurance.

Want to know more? Head to insidejapantours.com and wendywutours.com.au