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Come 2020, travelling to Japan will suddenly become a lot easier for those who require a tourist visa.

Unless you’re a citizen of one of the 68 visa-exempt countries, you’ll need a visa to travel to Japan. Until now this has meant applying at a Japanese embassy or consulate. However the government has decided to introduce a new Japan e-visa to simplify the process.

Available to the general public from next year, a tourist visa for Japan will grant you access to the hidden treasures of an intriguing destination; this is a country where traditional culture blends seamlessly alongside and modern dynamic cities; a bucketlist destination it would be a shame to miss.

In the lead up to its much anticipated launch, read on for more information about Japan’s new travel e-visa application process.

Japan to Launch a New Tourist E-visa

Japan’s New Mission

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The Japanese government is on a mission. A mission to attract visitors to its buzzing boarders.

Having set the ambitious goal of reaching 60 million foreign visitors a year by 2030, the government of Japan decided to make the visa application process a lot easier to handle, hence the new electronic visa system being introduced.

Initially the online system for single-entry visits to the country will be tested by travellers coming from neighbouring China and designated travel agencies will handle the process. It will become available for Chinese visitors in June 2019, and every-one else in 2020.

To say that this new system has been highly anticipated is an understatement and many are looking forward to this new hassle free travel opportunity.

Visa-exempt Countries for Japan

Recent as of May 2019, citizens of the following countries do not require a visa to visit Japan. If your country does not appear on this list, the new e-visa will become available to you.

While we provide this list as a quick reference, it is always important to check the most recent information on your embassy website; laws are subject to change, and visa exemptions are often dependent on political relationships between Japan and your country.

  • European Union All EU citizens
  •  Andorra
  •  Australia
  •  Argentina
  •  Bahamas
  •  Barbados
  •  Brunei
  •  Canada
  •  Chile
  •  Costa Rica
  •  Dominican Republic
  •  El Salvador
  •  Guatemala
  •  Honduras
  •  Hong Kong
  •  Iceland
  •  Israel
  •  Lesotho
  •  Liechtenstein
  •  Macau
  •  Malaysia
  •  Mauritius
  •  Mexico
  •  Monaco
  •  New Zealand
  •  North Macedonia
  •  Norway
  •  San Marino
  •  Serbia
  •  Singapore
  •  South Korea
  •  Suriname
  •   Switzerland
  •  Taiwan
  •  Thailand
  •  Tunisia
  •  Turkey
  •  United States
  •  Uruguay

Starting Next Door

To test the new e-visa application system properly, Chinese tourists who wish to travel to Japan will be able to do so using the new system.

It will be possible to obtain a single-entry visa by filling out an online application with the help of specific travel agencies authorized to administer the new system (initially only short-term stays in Japan will be possible).

Trying out the new system on Chinese tourists is a clever way to tap into an already blooming existing market as Chinese visitors accounted for about 60% of all visas issued in 2017.

Game On in 2020

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The government of Japan is on another mission, as they gear up for hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. A major world event that will bring in athletes, spectators, and officials from all over the world, the new e-visa will be ready in time for those who plan to travel for the games.

The Tokyo Olympics holds a great deal of importance and will bring a huge surge of tourism to Japan. As such the new e-visa application system will do its part in making sure that gaining access to the country will be easier.

The government of Japan have already increased the number of low-cost carriers and the new e-visa application process will further boost inbound tourism.

Get Ready

Once the e-visa application process opens up to visitors from other countries aside from China, there really is no reason to wait. With the help of designated travel agencies, the online application form will be a breeze to fill out.

All you’ll need is a valid passport before the system automatically evaluates your details to determine your eligibility. From there, it’s only a short wait before it’s time to visit the beautiful island!

Don’t forget to sample the local Ramen once you’re there!


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. great, thank you.

    • You’re welcome – happy travels!

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