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Covid procedures when arriving in Japan

Hi, a couple questions on the Covid procedures when arriving in Japan in early August 2021.
(1) You need to install several apps on your smartphone. Will they work with my overseas smartphone that has an overseas phone number?
(2) I live about a 2 hour walk from Haneda and don’t know anyone with a car. Will they let me walk home from the airport?
Any help on these topics would be much appreciated. Thanks !

Hi there, for (1) the apps (at least when I came in in mid May) didn’t need a Japanese phone number. However, they will ask for a Japanese contact phone number - presumably in case they can’t get in contact with you through the apps. The most important thing though is that you have access to data or wifi as the apps track you and send notifications that you have to respond to in a timely manner. They will ask you to sign-in to various apps and show receipt of a confirmation email in the airport, so you’ll at least need data access there. They still had free wi-fi at Narita so presumably they still have it in Haneda as well. If you need a data SIM, there are lots of options. If you want voice and a phone number, the options are more limited. Mobal comes with a phone number and will ship to your overseas address so you can do the set-up before you leave. You can cancel after a month too if you don’t want their service.
For (2) I’m not really sure. I think technically you can, but they might doubt that you can walk for 2 hours with luggage through the August weather without jumping in a taxi or taking the train. The worst case is they say no, then you have to pay for a private driver from the airport, which isn’t that bad. You might have to wait a couple of hours in the airport since you wouldn’t have booked ahead.
Good luck with your trip!

Thanks very much, that’s a great help !

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hello, my husband and I are planning to visit our son in Sendai in October 2021. I’d like to know if you had to quarantine for 3 or more days at the government facility upon arrival? and any other helpful tips you can give us.

I ultimately decided to postpone as coming from Belgium, I would’ve definitely had to quarantine for 3 days. The quarantine depends on where you’re coming from. The rules are here – Border enforcement measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) | Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

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Thank you for your reply.

FWIW, the Japan border is still closed. If you have Japanese citizenship or a non-temporary visa (tourist visas not included) you will be able to visit your son in Sendai in October this year. If not, it would be easier if your son went to visit you! This may change in the future, but I don’t think anything will happen before Spring 2022 at the earliest.

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