In the wake of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Japan has learned to live with the virus and has declared a temporary victory. This is largely due to a focus on reducing the number of new cases every day to less than 0.5 per 100,000 people. The Japanese government avoided mass testing and instead focused on finding clusters and attacking the root cause, often overcrowded gathering spots.
Japanese residents are compliant with social distancing rules
Despite the omicron virus outbreak, the Japanese government has resisted implementing city-wide lockdowns to control the spread of the disease. Instead, it has focused on early closure of eateries. While this may seem like an unworkable solution, the government argues that the measures are necessary to contain the pandemic and limit the economic damages. In addition, most eateries are asked to close by eight p.m., although they can operate at full capacity if they have an anti-virus plan.
According to recent research by the Canon Institute for Global Studies, the number of people who are compliant with social distancing rules in Tokyo has decreased by 60 percent on weekdays and eighty percent on weekends. While these measures are not legally binding, they are viewed by many as a different social norm. This is a worrying trend for the Japanese economy. But despite the widespread social distancing rules, Japanese people have returned to crowded trains and shopping malls.
Foreigners are required to take a COVID-19 test before traveling to Japan
To enter Japan, all travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test, or a certificate proving that they have had a COVID-19 test. COVID-19 tests must be taken within 72 hours of departure. The test must be done using a nasal swab (no throat swabs!). This test is required by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and it is a mandatory requirement for travelers who wish to enter Japan. Inaccurate wording on the COVID-19 test form can lead to entry refusal, so be sure to follow the instructions closely.
Foreigners must also take the COVID-19 test before entering Japan. These tests are administered by immigration officials at airports and must be completed within 72 hours of departure. To avoid wasting time in long lines, download the MySOS app and pre-register your information on the website. After you register, you will have an updated status on the quarantine authorities, which will appear as green.
Onsen — or hot springs — spas are popular destinations in Japan
Onsen is an ancient bathing tradition in Japan. Whether you’re seeking a romantic weekend away with your significant other or just a day of rejuvenation, onsen is a popular destination for both nationalities. The bathing process is an art in itself and is celebrated throughout the country, though you should be wary of the onsen etiquette. For example, most onsen don’t allow swimsuits, and you must use a towel to cover up.
In addition to traditional bathing, Japanese culture also values hot springs. There are countless spas throughout Japan, but the following are the most popular: