(This Information is updated on Oct 1, 2022)

On Sept 30, below message was published on MOFA's website.

New entry of foreign nationals
<From October 11, 2022>
Regarding new entry of foreign nationals into Japan, based on the New Border Measures (34) dated on September 26, 2022, prescribed applications in the Entrants, Returnees Follow-up Systems (ERFS) is no longer required. In addition, the measure to limit the entry of foreign tourists to those on package tours was lifted. (NEW)

Congratulations!

When does the Japan Tourism Agency and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism announce the removal of their guidelines???

 

 

 

(This Information is updated on Sept 23, 2022)

According to the latest information, the government will remove Japan's entry restrictions on or after October 11. It means the entry visa will not be necessary for short-term tourists. In addition, individual travelers will be permitted - this means travelers do not need to be accompanied by a guide or an attendant from a travel company.
 
Therefore, our company will suspend airport pick-up/drop-off services unless otherwise requested by a customer. The guests who enter Japan on or after Oct.11 do not need to hire a guide through their stay in Japan, so hire them on the dates you really need. We will update our rules when we obtain the related information in detail from the Japan Tourism Agency and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.

(This Information is updated on Sept 2, 2022)

This afternoon, the Japan Tourism Agency and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism announced the new guidelines for accepting foreign tourists. Some media had reported that a travel agency would no longer need to accompany the guests, so we expected the revised guidelines. But frankly speaking, today's new regulations are disappointing and appalling.

 

The government mentioned that incoming/outgoing air tickets and all accommodations in Japan must be arranged by a receiving party (a Japanese travel agency) in case the tour is not an 'accompanied' one. That means foreign tourists are not allowed to travel in Japan without an attendant from a receiving party when they book flights or hotels on the internet by themseves. We are sure that it is unacceptable for most of the nowadays travelers.

 

In corresponding to this ridiculous new rule, we, ZENflow Planning LLC, reviewed and made our policy as follows (same as before):

 

  1. We do not sell flights and accommodations to guests. We believe they can purchase them online at less expensive and much quicker, and more convenient.

  2. Even though we think the new guidelines are disgusting, we value compliance and must follow the existing rules.

  3. Therefore, we keep our current policies as they are (see 4-6).

  4. We accept tours with a maximum of five days, including arrival/departure dates only. (If you hire a guide every day during your stay, we can extend the days.)

  5. We accept visitors who stay only in Tokyo and its suburbs. (If you bear a guide's travel expenses and accommodations, we can take tours to other cities.)

  6. We need to pick you up and drop you off at the airport because of the guidelines. We only charge our round travel expenses between downtown Tokyo and the airport. It is Yen6,000 (Narita) and Yen2,000 (Haneda).

Once the guidelines are revised in the right direction, we will also update our policy.

(This Information is updated on Aug 25, 2022)

The Japanese government announced a day before yesterday that they would relax the entry regulations from September. Those who enter Japan on or after 7th of Sept 00:00 midnight no lnger need to submit the certificate of Covid-19 negative test result within 72 hours of departure, as long as they submit the certificate of vaccination (more than 3 shots), although they will continue requesting tourists to obtain entry visas before departure (No new announcement has been made about the visa issue). 

 

Besides, it seems that an attendant from a travel company who accompanies the guests throughout the tour might become unnecessary. As the current regulation is being determined by the guidelines of Japan Tourism Agency, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, we are now carefully waiting for their official announcement or revision of the guidelines. If the above is true, I will revise my criteria to accept customers, not requesting them to hire me as a guide everyday in their stay. To hire me at least one day during their stay in Japan will be acceptable. Besides, we will stop airport pick-up/drop-off services and eliminate the expenses caused by those services. Anyway, we need to know our obligation under the new guidelines to make our own rules.

 

(This Information is updated on July 18, 2022)

As of June 10, entry into Japan for a short-term stay for tourism purposes has been permitted. Now you can travel to Japan as part of an organized, accompanied trip. The accompanied trip does not mean a group tour or a packaged tour. There is no limit to the number of visitors and you can travel alone, with your partner, friends or family. 

However, it is still necessary to obtain an entry visa in advance, and for this purpose, the party responsible for receiving the visitors located in Japan must complete the prescribed registration for the Entrants, Returnees Follow-up (ERFS) System in advance. ZENflow Planning (Zenflow Tours) LLC, represented by Japan Culture Guide/Ken Oka, is a certified travel agency in Japan and can register visitors into the ERFS.

 

Important

In general, visitors to Japan are requested to obey the following conditions.

1. The entry must be for a short stay for the purpose of sightseeing.

2. The country of stay before entering Japan must be a "blue" country.

(See: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/covid-19/border_category.html )

3. You must submit a certificate of negative test results from a test that was conducted within 72 hours prior to your departure.

4. The applicant must own a smartphone, have pre-installed the MySOS application recommended by the Japanese government, and is able to use the Fast Track (pre-entry screening) System. If not, they have to rent one at the airport.

5. The applicant must cooperate with the infection prevention measures and compliance with related laws and regulations in Japan.

 

Furthermore, the receiving party in Japan should observe the Japanese government's guidelines, which include the following conditions.

1. All the itineraries in Japan are fixed in advance.

2. An attendant from travel agencies must always accompany the visitors throughout the trip, from entry to exit.

3. When a traveler moves to other cities, for example, from Tokyo to Osaka/Kyoto, an attendant from a receiving travel agency should accompany the guest on the train, too.

 

Our opinion is that:

The above 1 & 2 are difficult conditions for us, and they should ruin the pleasure and joys of travel.

The above 3 is also difficult to conduct, and it should impose extra costs on travelers.

 

We judge that it is still not the right time for individual travelers to visit Japan because of the strict control.

 

So, we will proceed to your ERFS registration only when all of the following conditions are accepted.

  1. The place of stay must be in the Tokyo metropolitan area (Tokyo and its suburbs).

  2. Your stay in Tokyo is less than five days, including arrival/departure days.

  3. The applicant must use the guiding service of the Japan Culture Guide (by Ken Oka) during his/her stay in Japan. A 50% of the guiding fee is necessary as a deposit. If you failed to obtain an entry visa and the visit to Japan is canceled, we refund the deposit to you.

  4. Due to government guidelines, I must pick you up and drop you off at the airport. Although you do not have to hire me on arrival/departure days, I would ask you to pay travel expenses between Tokyo and the airport for you and me.

  5. I need to be available during your stay.

  6. The number of people in your group is six or smaller.

  7. You can provide me with incoming/outgoing flight information and your personal info for the ERFS registration.

 

The following information about the visitor is required for the ERFS application.

  1. Name                           Capital Letters as shown on passport (SURNAME GIVENNAME)

  2. Nationality                  Code of the passport for which you are applying for a visa (3 uppercase alphabetical characters)

  3. Date of birth

  4. Gender

  5. Passport Number         As shown on the passport

  6. Date of (planned) arrival

  7. Email Address

  8. Hotel Name

  9. Hotel Address

 

We will email you the ‘Certificate for Completion of Registration to the ERFS system’ upon our receipt, with which you must apply for the visa by yourself. The certificate normally becomes available on the same day of the application. The visa can usually be available within 5 working days after you submit a set of application documents. We do not guarantee to issue a visa or permission to enter Japan.

 

Please carefully read the following website of the Japanese government and understand the entry procedures and rules & regulations in Japan.

Embassy of Foreign Affairs

https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html

 

Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare for information on quarantine procedures upon entry into Japan.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/covid-19/bordercontrol.html

 

About Fast Track

https://www.hco.mhlw.go.jp/fasttrack/en/

 

Visit Japan Web Service for customs declarations at the time of entry into Japan.

https://www.digital.go.jp/en/services/visit_japan_web-en/

 

New Travel Etiquette for Visitors

 

If you agree with the above, please contact us to discuss specific dates for using our guiding services.

 

Ken Oka

Japan Culture Guide &

CEO of ZENflow Planning LLC (ZENflow Tours)

Travel Agency (registered No. Tokyo 3-8195)

Okamura Bldg. B1-Room 09, 8-17 Nishigokencho,

Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo JAPAN  Postal code: 162-0812