Some Easing Of Border Restrictions From 1st March 2022
The good news is that Japan is finally starting to open up, but the bad news is that the opening is still just a crack in the door and not applicable for tourist visas. However, we have to start somewhere!
From 1st March 2022, the "standard" quarantine period for most people will be reduced to 7 days, but can be 3 days if you are boosted and even zero if you are boosted and coming from a low risk country. All this assumes you test negative in your home country (72 hours before boarding) and also upon arrival at the airport. Please note that this does NOT yet apply to tourists, but only for holders of valid visas - remember that all visa-free travel into Japan has been suspended.
More good news is that business travelers can now apply for visas! Before getting too excited, be aware that your business visa needs to be sponsored by a Japanese company (who have to take responsibility for you and your itinerary) and you still are required to obey the quarantine rules above.
In pre-pandemic times Japan would be welcoming over 500,000 international visitors a week on average, but currently entry is restricted to a max of 5,000 per day... so we are still some way off getting back to normal.
But this is good news overall. While we don't expect any relaxation on tourism in time for people to enjoy this winter, the omens are looking good for opening in time for summer and fingers crossed next winter will be restriction free!
The best source of information for updates is your local Japanese Embassy (check out the Singapore page here for example) or otherwise get in touch with your favourite Japanese real estate agent for more info!