First weekend following new entry procedures sees foreign visitors picking up loads of bargains, thanks to the weak yen.

After closing its borders to international tourists due to the pandemic and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Japan has been making small but positive steps towards reopening the country again.

Back in June, the Japanese government increased inbound traveller caps from 10,000 to 20,000 a day, and abolished the need for proof of vaccination and PCR testing for certain countries. The only catch was that visitors needed to be part of a supervised tour group, which wasn’t ideal for a lot of people, both in terms of expense and the restrictions it put on the places they could visit.

However, that all changed on 7 September, when a new raft of changes came into effect, with inbound caps being raised to 50,000 and the abolishment of the supervised tour group requirement. While travellers are now required to book their travel as a package tour, this affords visitors greater freedom over where they can travel, and the amount of time they can spend at their chosen locations.

For many travellers, the locations they most want to visit are Japanese stores, not just for the items they’ve long been waiting to purchase, but the chance to purchase them at super cheap prices, given that the yen is the weakest it’s been in 24 years.

Some of the travellers who took advantage of the low yen on the first weekend after the new travel requirements came into effect arrived from countries as varied as England, Saudi Arabia, and Latvia, as this following news report shows, and they all have one thing in common — wallets full of cash with which to go shopping.

As the above report shows, travellers have been stocking up on …continue reading