SELF-GUIDED travellers will be permitted in Japan once again from 7 September as the country continues its gradual relaxation of border restrictions.
The Government of Japan also revealed it will allow higher tourist entry numbers, more than doubling the daily cap from 20,000 to 50,000 people.
Since 10 June, international visitors to Japan have been required to travel with a tour guide, which has limited travellers to group tours and high-end fully guided private trips.
As of yet, there have been no formal updates on whether visas will be required in advance of any trips, or if they will need to be booked with a license tour operator.
Following the announcement, online travel search engine Skyscanner has reported an 18% increase in global searches to the country, with Australia being the second top origin search country behind South Korea.
Additionally, Skyscanner saw a 21% rise in daily searches for return travel from Australia to Japan in the next six months after the testing removal announcement over the weekend, with October being the most-searched month among Aussies.
InsideJapan was particularly pleased with the news, with Co-founder Simon King commenting, “We have been waiting a long time for this announcement and this is great news for us as a specialist whose business is 80% self-guided tailored travel”.
The Japan travel specialist was the first Australian-based tour operator to have customers back in Japan on its small group tours in July, and has continued to see demand and sales for travel to Japan grow to nearly pre-pandemic levels.
“The fact that the restrictions are eased in time for Japan’s peak autumn departures is such a relief for us and all our partners on the ground that rely on our customers’ business,” King added.