Government Travel Safety Advice
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Under 18 immigration guidance
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Visa and Passport Information
The current requirements to enter Japan as a tourist are:
1. Traveller resides in a blue status country and has only been in a blue status country in the 14 days preceding entry to Japan (see blue status countries here https://www.mhlw.go.jptf/covid-19/border_category.html )
2. A valid ERFS Certificate
3. A visa issued from a Japanese Embassy or Consulate
Explore will provide the EFRS Certificate that you will require. In order to process this we need you to send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 12 weeks before departure:
A clear copy of the details page of your passport
Expected date of entry to Japan
We will share this info with the relevant parties in Japan to produce a CCR = Certificate for Completion of Registration. This procedure should only take a few days and once received we will send you the certificate.
You then need to submit your visa application, directly with the Embassy in London using their postal service, details are available at https://www.uk.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/entry.html Please note that if you use this method you will have to collect your passport from the Embassy on the date and time they specify. If you are based in Scotland or the north of England you can apply in person at the Edinburgh Embassy, details are available at https://www.edinburgh.uk.emb-japan.go.jp/itprtop_en/index.html
Alternatively, we highly recommend you apply through Explore's recommended visa provider Travcour. They can complete the online visa on your behalf, submit the application in person and return your passport. Please visit www.travcour.com for full details of the process. The team at Travcour will be happy to answer any specific questions, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
Necessary documents for visa application:
1. Valid passport
2. Passport sized photograph
3. Visa application form
4. ERFS Certificate for Completion of Registration
Once issued the visa is valid for travel in Japan for 90 days.
We advise starting this process 12 weeks before departure due to high demand and potential for delays.
All passports must have a minimum validity of 6 months and at least 1 blank/unused page at time of travel. Any visa related questions should be raised with the relevant Embassy prior to departure. Please ensure that all details are completed accurately, neatly and clearly as the Japanese requirements are stringent and any errors, mistakes or missing information will create delays and problems and most likely require you to restart the process.
Finally, to save time and smooth your arrival at the airport in Japan, it is strongly recommended that each traveller complete the 'Fast Track' procedure on the MySOSmobile phone app, by uploading your vaccination records. See: https://www.hco.mhlw.go.jp/fasttrack/en/
Register on MySOS system and add your details here: https://teachme.jp/111284/manuals/17089694/ Please note you can only use the fast track service if you have received three vaccinations.
Information accurate as of 13th September 2022.
Official FAQs regarding the requirements
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Minimum age restrictions
For our group tours, the minimum age is 16
. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information.
Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.
Booking a land only package with Explore
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Joining Tour Abroad
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Nothing compulsory. We recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, infectious hepatitis and polio. The use or possession of Vicks inhalers and some other common prescription and over-the-counter medicines (e.g. for allergies and sinus problems or even certain mild painkillers, such as those containing certain levels of codeine) are banned under Japan's strictly enforced anti-stimulant drugs law. Customs officials may not be sympathetic if you claim ignorance about these medicines. If in any doubt about customs procedures for such items, you should check with the nearest Japanese Embassy before visiting Japan. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.