The Japan National Tourism Office (JNTO) is a government bureau of tourism with over 20 offices worldwide. There are two major purposes of this organization: to encourage international travel to Japan and to provide information and assistance for travelers. These purposes are complemented by a large network of suppliers of tourism products. JNTO also provides a 24 hour hotline for visitors, which is available in both Japanese and English.
In recent years, there have been some gains in the number of Japanese visitors to the United States. However, some losses have been noticed as well. It is therefore recommended that Americans review the pertinent information before making a decision to travel to Japan. Some of the most important information to be aware of includes:
First, there is no visa required for U.S. citizens. You do not need to get a passport to visit Japan, but you will need to provide certain documents. For more information on what you need, consult the nearest Japanese embassy.
Second, there is a dedicated page on the Japan National Tourism Organization website about COVID-19. Passengers who arrive from mainland China will need to take a pre-travel test. They will need to provide a certificate of that test when they arrive. This will not be necessary for passengers arriving in Japan after October 11, 2022. To learn more, you can click HERE.
Third, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has recently launched a multilingual call center to help visitors. You can contact them at: 0120-296-004 (Mon-Fri, 10:00-17:00). If you require more assistance, you can speak to a representative in English. Among other things, you can ask them about COVID-19.
Fourth, you can take advantage of the “i” Information System at your local railway station. These centers are located throughout the city and are a convenient way to get information in a variety of languages. Typically, these centers are marked with a red question mark and the word “information” underneath. During the holidays, these centers will be closed.
Fifth, there is a good chance that you will have to download an app on your smartphone. Most international airports offer such services. Aside from providing information about traveling to Japan, these apps can be used to make a customs declaration at the airport, which will significantly reduce the amount of human-to-human contact.
Last but not least, there are some interesting and exciting things to do in Japan. Although these activities may not be as exciting as your average sightseeing excursion in New York City, they do provide an opportunity to see the country’s cultural heritage in a unique and memorable way.
The Japan National Tourism Organization also has a dedicated page about the most exciting things to do in the country. Besides the aforementioned, the Japan Convention Bureau gathers professionals to help attract international conferences and incentive tours.
Other things to consider before visiting the land of the rising sun include: reviewing COVID-19 and the “i” Information System, and learning about the Electronic Customs Declaration Gates program.