Practical Travel Information

Visas and Entry Requirements

Visitors to Japan from most European countries plus Australia, New Zealand, North America, and Singapore are routinely issued a 90-day tourist visa on arrival. Please visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (https://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/index.html) to check to see if your country is exempt for applying for a visa in advance. Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler, and Two Streets Back cannot accept any responsibility if you are denied entry to Japan. It is important that you have a passport that remains valid through the time you stay in Japan.

Currently, based on the New Border Measures from  June 10, 2022, all foreign nationals who wish to newly enter Japan need to apply for a Visa. Please visit the website of Japan National Tourrist Organization. (https://www.japan.travel/en/coronavirus)

 

 COVID-19 Requirements

Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, you must monitor your government’s foreign travel advice for the most up-to-date border measures and entry requirements of the county you’re visiting, as they may change without notice.  Entry requirements may include but not limited to the presentation of a vaccination certificate, a negative PCR test, health declaration form, passenger locator form, or proof of hotel or tour booking. Lack of any required documents may result in a denial of entry.  Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour of Japan.

Airline boarding requirements may also differ, or be in addition to, a destination’s entry requirements. Monitor your airline’s requirements regularly in the lead up to travel. Being allowed to board a flight doesn’t guarantee entry to a destination.

Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that extends to cover COVID-19 related expenses.

For updates on border measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. (https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html)

 

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all international travelers joining “Two Streets Back” tours. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend all travelers have a policy that also cover personal liability, cancellations, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. You will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company’s 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your tour manager.

If you have credit card insurance your tour manager will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank’s name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in Japan.

 

Money matters

Japan is still predominantly a cash society, particularly outside major cities. Major credit cards are accepted at larger department stores, nationwide chain stores or large restaurants, although this is changing slowly. Ensure you carry enough cash to cover purchases during your stay in Japan.

Most Japanese bank ATMs do not accept overseas cards, however, cash from non-Japanese bank accounts can be withdrawn via the Cirrus and Maestro systems by direct debiting (as well as Mastercard and Visa cash advance). This is now available at all post office ATMs throughout the country, as well as major convenience store ATMs such as 7 Eleven, making it relatively easy to access cash throughout your journey 24 hours a day.

 

Peak Travel Time

Japan has four very distinct seasons. Each season has its own beauty and attractions, including major travel seasons; Spring (March-April) for cherry blossoms and Autumn (October-early December) for bright rustic colors, when the weather is usually stable and fine. Religious festivals, fireworks, and highland hiking are in Summer (June – September) and the Winter snow season (December-February) also draw tourists. Weather conditions are not so ideal for travelling in summer due to its heat and humidity as well as the risk of Typhoons.

If you are travelling during the seasonal peak time of Spring and Autumn as well as national holidays, new year holidays and mid-August Obon holidays, there will be huge crowds at most tourist attractions and on all public transport. It’s common for there to be difficulties in securing train tickets at our usual preferred times, hotels become overbooked, traffic jams and changes to the itinerary without prior notice can be necessary. If you decide to travel during peak periods with a sense of adventure and flexibility and we are sure that your experience will still be rewarding and memorable.

 

Internet Access

Internet access is excellent in Japan, with one of the most developed high-speed internet networks in the world. Internet cafes and wi-fi hotspots are easily found in most cities and major towns. You can always access the internet in a western-style hotel in Japan, usually free of charge, while access may be limited at traditional Japanese Inns (Ryokan) located in the countryside or in the mountains.

If you don’t want to rely on free Wi-Fi during your stay in Japan, the best option would be to rent a mobile Wi-Fi router upon arrival, or in your home country prior to your departure.