Japan may have opened up for international travel as of October 11th, 2022, but at the same time, the Japanese government has also been concerned with boosting domestic travel. In October, the government kicked off two domestic travel discount programs, one for the entire country and one specifically for Tokyo. Any adult living in Japan can take advantage of them, so here’s how!
When, Where, and How Much Can I Save?
The “National Travel Support” (全国旅行支援) campaign kicked off around the country on October 11th, 2022, while the one in Tokyo called Tadaima Tokyo Plus started on the 20th. Both campaigns run until December 20th, 2022, or until funds run out. The check-in date must be within this period, the campaign is not valid for bookings made during the period for a time past December 20th. The discounts are also only valid for a maximum of 7 nights per booking.
The subsidy can cover up to 40% of total travel costs, with a maximum of a 5,000 yen ($33~ USD) discount for just accommodations, or 8,000 yen ($55~ USD) for accommodations and transportation (limited to air travel or JR train travel exceeding 50 kilometers one way). Additionally, coupons to use locally will be distributed at check-in to your accommodation. Coupons vary in value from 3,000 yen ($20~ USD) for weekday check-ins and 1,000 yen ($7~ USD) for weekends and holidays and are limited to one per person.
Discounts and coupons are only available at participating accommodations in each prefecture. You can find the lists of participating businesses on the prefectural travel websites listed at the Japan Tourism Agency site. There may be some variation between prefectures on what discounts are offered.
National travel services such as JTB Travel, Yahoo Travel, and Rakuten Travel can also be used to take advantage of this campaign.
On the day of travel, those taking advantage of the discount must be able to present three documents:
- A valid form of identification that lists an address such as a residence card, Japanese driver’s license, or My Number card
- A Covid-19 vaccination certificate or record showing you have been vaccinated at least 3 total times
- A certificate of a negative Covid test within the expiration date (3 days for PCR and antigen quantitative tests and 1 day for antigen qualitative tests)
Some prefectures allow the Covid-related documents to be a copy or digital image, but please check the terms and conditions for the prefecture you intend to travel to for their specific rules.
Both national and Tokyo campaigns also ask that you follow Covid etiquette guidelines such as wearing masks indoors and on public transportation, social distancing, washing your hands regularly, checking your temperature on each day of the trip, and not going out when you feel ill.
The campaign for Tokyo specifically follows much of the same rules as the national one. The main difference, besides the limitation to one prefecture, is that discounts for day trips without accommodations are offered up to 5,000 yen ($33~ USD), still with the limit of 40% of the total cost. The same three aforementioned documents are still required. Bookings must be made with a travel agency or through the participating accommodations’ websites. You can find the lists of participating businesses on the Tadaima Tokyo website.
With both the national discount program and the Tokyo-specific program, there is no better time to do some domestic traveling! Make sure to get a trip or two in before the program ends on December 20th. Just keep in mind the requirements to ensure you can take advantage of the discounts.
-Written by Mallory Jenkins, master’s student at International Christian University