Japan has announced it will open to international tourists on June 10.
The destination will initially only allow groups who are on guided tours.
Prime minister Fumio Kishida said border restrictions would be eased gradually. It will be the first time the destination has opened its borders since the Covid pandemic.
He said: “We will resume accepting tourists on package tours with guides from the 10th of next month. Step by step we will aim to accept [tourists] as we did in normal times, taking into consideration the status of infections.”
A series of ‘trial’ small group tours are currently taking place in the destination from several key markets, including the US and Australia, in the lead-up to the easing of border restrictions next month.
Specialist operator InsideJapan said the decision to allow package group tours entry next month was positive news.
Co-founder Simon King said: “We welcome yet another step in the right direction for tourism and look forward to showcasing Japan again on our small group tours this summer onwards.”
Around 20% of InsideJapan’s business is small group tours of up to 14 people with the operator’s own tour leaders.
King added: “We hope this will be another small but quick step towards opening the country for all our customers that are booked to travel on one of our self-guided cultural adventures and expect more clarity in the coming weeks.
“Our Insider tour leaders, private guides and partners cannot wait to welcome actual people again to help them discover this special place. We look forward to the further repealing for Covid restrictions soon.”