Japan opens up its borders

japan has opened its borders

Japan is easing its travel restrictions, but tourists remain less than enthusiastic.

Japan had some of the strictest travel bans in the world and while the rest of the global travel and tourism industry has generally eased most of the more onerous entry obligations, Japan is still adhering to a rigid schedule of reopening.

However, the Japanese government has announced that from 7 September, travellers will no longer have to provide a pre-arrival coronavirus test and will only be required to submit proof of three vaccination doses.

Independent travellers will also be allowed into the country from that date. Only package tours with a Japan-based agency have been allowed since 10 June.

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Not too many tourists have been knocking on the door to get in. According to the Japan Times, only 8155 foreign visitors entered the country in June and July, and a survey found 72 per cent of potential visitors said they would reconsider their plans if the current border controls remained in place.

Japan capped its arrivals at 20,000 per day and that is expected to rise to 50,000, but no formal announcement has been made. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the country’s first priority would be ensuring the country had enough staff and infrastructure to accommodate the increase in arrivals.

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Size matters

A plus-sized traveller has posted a controversial video to TikTok outlining why she doesn’t buy a second seat.

Kirsty Leanne said she doesn’t buy a second seat for the comfort of herself and other travellers as it’s expensive, often a second seat is allocated to another passenger if the flight is overbooked and there are planes where the armrests can’t be lifted, making a second seat “useless in terms of comfort”.

She also said many airlines and agents also were unclear if it was even an option. Plus, she said, fellow passengers would even take the seat if they felt it was better than theirs and she felt uncomfortable pointing out that she’d paid for the adjoining seat.

Not surprisingly the video attracted some polar opposite viewpoints, with some backing up her claim that it was difficult to book and confirm two seats together, while others pointed out it wasn’t just uncomfortable for her, it was also uncomfortable for fellow passengers.

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Get your glow on

If you need another reason to visit Brisbane this spring, the Brisbane Art boat is back for the Brisbane Festival, running until September 24.

The boat, which was the smash hit at last year’s festival, travels along the Brisbane River with several floating inflatables lit up for the night.

This year, it’s the turn of internationally renowned visual artist Lindy Lee, who has designed a sculpture called The Spheres for the event.

See here for bookings.

Have you had to share your seat with a plus-sized passenger? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

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Written by Jan Fisher

Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.

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