Travel to Japan for winter 2021-22. Is it possible?
We understand that there is much uncertainty involving travel and a near blackout of information about Japan for people not living here. This blog post is created with that in mind. We aim to provide some context, clarity and detail to those thinking about travel planning, or those currently with reservations. So without further delay...
What the government is doing
Currently, the government of Japan has implemented a state of emergency in 19 prefectures throughout the country. This state of emergency is scheduled to end on September 30th, 2021. (10/11/21 The state of emergency has ended!) Hokkaido, where Niseko is located, is one of the prefectures included on that list. Needless to say, we welcome the lifting of this state of emergency. We hope it is the first step in a return to normalcy regarding firstly, domestic travel and in due course, international travel.
Stats as of 10/20/21
Japan has rebounded after a slow start to its vaccination program. With the ongoing program and vaccine hesitancy seemingly on the decline, Japan is aiming for 80% of its population to be fully vaccinated by November. This seems possible as there has been an approximately 15 percent increase in the number of fully vaccinated persons in the 4 weeks since the 28th of August. (43% to 57.4%) If that rate continues, we could near the projected 80% by the end of October.
Other measures on the horizon
The largest business lobby group in Japan, Keidanren, is putting pressure on the government to exempt overseas visitors who are fully vaccinated from quarantine. In fact, just today, Keidanren successfully persuaded the government to reduce quarantine from 14 days to 10 days when entering Japan and in some cases allow people to self-isolate at home. Perhaps leisure travel is the next step?
To date, despite the government issuing vaccine passports for Japanese to display in foreign countries, Japan has yet to accept vaccine passports issued by other countries and allow entry to fully vaccinated travelers. We can only assume that with the dropping levels of infection and increased pressure, the government will relent. We anticipate this decision will be offloaded to the prefectures themselves when deciding to honor vaccine passports or not.
While we are in no way involved in making official policy, we are hopeful that the government will create policies that allow for travel for leisure this winter. We aim to welcome international guests to Niseko this year!
With that in mind, Vacation Niseko has amended its cancellation policy to encourage overseas visitors to secure their dream vacation for the coming winter. We also have a strong Coronavirus clause attached to these terms, allowing our guests to enjoy worry-free booking. See the details of our cancellation policy HERE.
Please check the following link from the Japan National Travel Association for more information. There are links to the official government websites at this page.
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Contact one of our friendly reservations team for expert advice on Niseko accommodation.