Japan has finally re-opened its door to tourism, an event that I’m sure many of you have long awaited.
However, Japan has not completely scrapped its COVID-related requirements to enter the country. If you have not been vaccinated with 3 shots of COVID vaccinations from an accepted provider, you’ll need to either test negative on the pre-departure test or be quarantined before you can enter Japan.
This means you’ll need to provide your vaccination documents upon arrival to Japan to be exempt. The documents will be manually verified upon arrival. With thousands of people entering Japan every day, you can imagine things gets really chaotic quickly.
💡 Tips: Review Japan’s Border measures here
The good news is, you CAN fast-track your arrival by providing some of the required documents before you arrive. Although the queue at the airport isn’t always bad, I have heard you can save 2 hours of queueing time upon arrival if you happen to touch down during peak time. It isn’t always THAT bad, but better safe than sorry, right?
PS: I entered Japan twice during COVID! If you’re interested to see what it was like to enter Japan while all the COVID protocols were still in place, you can read my experience here
- What is Visit Japan Web and Fast Track?
- Fast Track procedure step-by-step:
- Optional immigration steps:
- Frequently Asked Questions:
- When can I start the Fast Track procedures?
- Turn-around time for the Fast Track procedure on the Visit Japan Web
- What if my screen never turned blue on Visit Japan Web?
- Can I travel to Japan if I am not vaccinated or have not been vaccinated with 3 COVID vaccinations?
- Can I travel to Japan with unvaccinated kids?
- I have more questions regarding Visit Japan Web and Fast Track!
What is Visit Japan Web and Fast Track?
Visit Japan Web is Japan’s online service for immigration procedures and customs declarations, launched in November 2022. While Japan is still dealing with the COVID pandemic, Visit Japan Web also doubles as COVID document verification. However, I suspect Visit Japan Web is here to stay even if Japan stopped requiring COVID document verification. It does make the airport formalities quite efficient!
Now, what is Fast Track? Fast Track is a way to handle COVID-related quarantine procedures on Visit Japan Web. After registering for an account at Visit Japan Web, you can upload your document to have it pre-verified before your arrival in Japan.
Read on to find out how you can utilize Visit Japan Web and fast track to make your arrival in Japan easier!
Step 1: Register for a Visit Japan Web account
If you don’t have an account yet, register for one here
From my understanding, every adult needs an account for themselves, but kids under 18 can tack on to their parent/guardian. However, I have heard of instances where people signed up their spouse / parents with their account and was able to go through just fine.
Account registration is straightforward. Simply create an account with your email address and a password. You’ll need to verify your email but that’s easy enough to do – they’ll just send you a 6-digit code that you need to input on the Visit Japan Web before you can proceed to step 2.
💡 Tips: You can use the same account again for your future travels to Japan, so make sure to save this credential somewhere!
Step 2: Register details of visitors who will be visiting Japan
Once you have your account set up, proceed to log in with the password you’ve set in Step 1 before.
Then, provide your details by clicking on the button that says “Your details” and start filling in the form. It’s again quite straight forward so I won’t go into too much detail here.
The only thing I would say is, to make sure your passport number is correct and matches the one you’d be using to enter Japan!
Traveling with kids? Once you’ve registered yourself, you can also register kids who are under 18 in your account by clicking on “Details of family members traveling with you”. If you do this, it will be easier for them to skip quarantine even if they are not vaccinated with the accepted COVID vaccinations, as long you (the parent) are fully vaccinated.
From my understanding, every adult needs an account for themselves. However, I have heard of instances where people signed up their spouse / parents with their account under “Details of family members traveling with you” and was able to go through just fine. Just make sure the adults each have a copy of their blue screen on landing.
Read on to find out how to obtain the blue screen!
Step 3: Register for a trip to Japan on the Visit Japan Web
Next, you’ll need to register your trip to Japan by clicking on “New registration“.
You can do this for each separate trip you’ll be taking to Japan if you’re planning to go more than once. Make sure you give a unique name for each trip so that you can manage multiple plans.
Step 4: Fast Track quarantine procedures
Once the trip has been registered, go ahead and click on it. When you’re inside the trip procedure detail, click on “Quarantine procedures (Fast Track)” to begin your fast track for quarantine procedures for that trip
You’ll see a big pink square at the top of the page. Pay attention to this square as it will change as you complete the procedures. You’ll want to make sure this square has turned blue to ensure your fast track has been activated.
In order to get the blue square, you just need to do the following:
- Provide Vaccination Certificate
- Provide pre-departure COVID test (only required if you have not been vaccinated according to the requirement)
Update: As of 28 December 2022, there is no need to provide passport information or fill out Questionnaire Web Online, so I’ve taken these out of the blog post
I’ll go into each detail shortly, assuming you’re fully vaccinated:
Providing your COVID vaccination certificate
Go ahead and click on “Vaccination certificate“, provide your vaccine information and upload your certificate.
💉 What information needs to be on the certificate? Click here for more information
🇸🇬 Tips: If you’re a Singapore resident who had been vaccinated in Singapore, simply head to Notarise and log in with your Singpass to request your vaccination certificate.
As the vaccination verification is done manually, it will take some time for this step to be completed. In the meantime, you’ll notice the pink square on the top of the page has changed and your vaccination status is “being reviewed”.
In my experience, it took about an hour to complete the review (I’ll elaborate more on this later). You’ll know when the review has been completed when your pink square has turned blue, like so:
You’ll also notice that your vaccination certificate has turned to “review completed”, and on the test result page it is marked as “not required”
And you’re done with your fast-track procedure! Yes, that’s all! You can just show your blue screen above, and you’ll be waived through most of the checkpoints when you land in Japan.
Optional Immigration Steps
There are, however, a few more things you could do to make your arrival even smoother:
1. Immigration Clearance
The next thing you can do is complete your immigration clearance by filling out the disembarkation card. This is the same procedure for entering Japan as it has always been, except it’s no longer via writing your info down on a piece of paper.
You could still do this when you land via the paper way, but it literally took me seconds to do it online and I don’t see why you shouldn’t just do it now.
When you’re done, you’ll be provided with a QR code you can flash when you’re at the airport.
2. Customs Declaration
Same as the disembarkation card, you can also do your customs declaration online so you can just breeze through when you’ve landed. Again, this is the same procedure as it has always been for entering Japan, just digitized.
When you’re done, you’ll be provided with a QR code you can flash when you’re at the airport – similar to the immigration clearance step.
3. Travel insurance and emergency contact
If you have travel insurance, you can also provide the information here, as well as your emergency contact in case something happens to you while you are in Japan. But this step is completely optional.
When can I start the Fast Track procedures?
You can start the Fast Track process as early as you want, as long as you complete it no later than 6 hours before your arrival in Japan. I did mine 3 weeks before my arrival and everything was super smooth.
Turn-around time for the Fast Track procedure on the Visit Japan Web
In my experience, the only bottleneck was getting the vaccination records approved. However, my vaccination records were approved very quickly (about an hour) and the screen turned blue right away.
I get a sense that the vaccination certificate verification is still done manually, so this turn-around time could increase as we are approaching the peak holiday season. So, definitely do this at least 2 weeks before your trip to Japan!
What if my screen never turned blue on Visit Japan Web?
It’s not the end of the world, you can still enter Japan. You just have to wait in line for your document verification, immigration clearance, and customs declarations – if any.
Can I travel to Japan if I am not vaccinated or have not been vaccinated with 3 COVID vaccinations?
Yes, you can. You just need to either take a pre-departure test or be quarantined, depending on the border measures.
Just follow the above steps (provide your passport biodata and fill out your Questionnaire Web). When you reach the vaccination certificate step, you can state that you won’t provide your vaccination certificate, then take the pre-departure test instead and provide the result on Visit Japan Web when you have it later on.
Can I travel to Japan with unvaccinated kids?
Yes, you can.
Good news for parents!! Kids under 18 years old can follow their parent’s vaccination status even if they have not been vaccinated. You simply need to register them as your family member in your account by clicking on “Details of family members traveling with you”.
You’ll still need to provide a photo of their passport info page, but you can choose to skip the vaccination certificate and testing document. Their screen on Visit Japan Web will not turn blue, but it will be fine because the fast track FAQ states that:
“If a child under the age of 18 does not have a valid vaccination certificate but is accompanied by a parent/custodian with whom the child lives and who does have a valid vaccination certificate and is responsible for the child’s actions, the child will be given special consideration as having a valid vaccination certificate like the parent/custodian, and be exempted from having to submit a negative COVID test certificate.”
I have more questions regarding Visit Japan Web and Fast Track!
Your question has probably been answered! Please refer to the official Fast Track frequently asked questions and see if it’s there.
And that’s all about fast-tracking your arrival in Japan! Let me know in the comment below if there is anything more you need to know 🙂
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