Learn More: Olympics eVisa
The government of Japan has announced that, coinciding with the 2020 Olympic Games, they will be launching an electronic visa (eVisa) system in April 2020. This means that tourists from countries that previously required a trip to the Japanese embassy or consulate, will now be able to process their eVisa completely online.
Travelers who use the eVisa program apply and pay a fee online, and then receive their electronic visa via email before traveling to Japan. Yes, it's that simple.
The eVisa is an official document permitting entry into and travel within Japan. Applicants will receive their visas via email after filling out the application form with the necessary information and once the online credit card payment is completed/verified.
Required Documents to Apply
Passport Personal Details Scan
Last Page of Passport (if applicable)
Selfie holding the physical credit card used for the transaction. Only the last 4 digits of the credit card must be visible in the picture. (if applicable)
Applicants can enter Japan on any date within the time period indicated on the validity of the eVisa.
The applicant should carry a copy of the Japan eVisa along with them at the time of travel.
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Frequently Asked Questions
As you may know, the Olympic and Paralympic games of 2020 will be held in Tokyo, Japan, less than a year from now. People from all around the world plan to attend the games, which requires a great deal of planning. However, as long as you do your homework, you should have no trouble making it happen. Below, you will find some useful pieces of advice that should make your stay in Japan during the games pleasant and stress-free.
First of all, we will cover the entry requirements in Japan. After all, thousands of foreigners are expected to attend. At the moment, only the citizens of 66 countries and territories are exempt from getting a visa. So, if you count yourself among them, you will be able to attend the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 without having to get a visa. You will only need a passport.
However, if you are not on the visa-exempt list, a tourist visa is required. But there is some good news on that front: Japan is preparing to launch its electronic visa system. So, as long as you are eligible for an eVisa, you can apply online quickly and easily.
The electronic visa system works for many countries. Basically, all you need to do is go online and fill in an application form. You must provide some general information about yourself, as well as passport information. The eVisa arrives via e-mail, and you must present it when you board your plane along with your passport. It is as simple as that.
The games are scheduled to begin on July 24, 2020. The Paralympic games will start on August 25. All games happen across nine prefectures, but most of them will be held in Tokyo, in two primary areas: The Heritage Zone and the Tokyo Bay Zone.
There will also be new sports added to the games. The five new sports being added are: skateboarding, karate, surfing, sports climbing, and baseball and softball.
The majority of tickets were reserved for Japan’s lottery system for residents, which ended on May 28. However, approximately 30% of the tickets were reserved for foreigners and sold by authorized sellers. In the United States, the tickets were available starting July 2019, and they are currently sold out. But if you failed to get yours, you will be glad to learn that more tickets will likely become available before the start of the games.
In case you cannot get a ticket for the Olympic games but you still want to watch close to the action, Japanese officials have assured us that there will be at least 30 Live Sites where you can watch the event. These locations are all across Japan and are intended for people who could not secure tickets, and for those who live in areas affected by the Tohoku and Kumamoto earthquakes.
Purchased your tickets but now you’re worried about how you will reach the venues every day? Worry no more! Japan’s extensive public transportation is the best way to get to and from the games venues. It may be quite busy, but many companies located in Tokyo have agreed to work remotely to mitigate congestion on the train and metro systems. You can even find some special contactless fare cards available for foreigners. They can also be used for payment at stores and restaurants surrounding the rail stations.
The Tokyo train and metro schedule may seem complicated at first. Fortunately, there are tools to help you navigate it. You can use Hyperdia, which is excellent for tourists who are looking for route information. Also, you should always respect the given schedule. For example, if you are waiting for a train, but you notice that an earlier one arrives and has the same destination as the one you are waiting, you shouldn’t hop on. It may skip the station you want to get off at, even with the same final destination.
Accommodation is another important factor to sort out. We urge you to make accommodation plans as soon as possible. Prices will surely sky-rocket as we get closer to the games, and availability will be scarce. Don’t expect that you can share a room with more than one person. For one thing, Japanese rooms are small by Western standards; and for another thing, that is not how the system works there. Japanese hotels charge per person, per night, not per room. So, if you show up with an unexpected friend, you will have to pay an additional fee. If you find yourself with no place to sleep, Internet cafes in Tokyo will have rooms available. They are on a walk-in basis, and while they are not the most comfortable, it certainly beats sleeping outside.
Lastly, you may have heard a rumour that your photos of the Olympic games will not be allowed on social media. Some similar terms and conditions that come along with the purchasing of tickets began that controversy. But that’s not quite the case. When you buy a ticket, you are transferring the intellectual property of any photos you may take to the organizing committee. So, while the Committee claims copyright ownership, you can still post the pictures to your social media accounts. As you can imagine, you cannot sell them, but other than that, you are free to post them as you like. However, you are not allowed to post any audio or video clips online. The organizing committee will likely be watching social media like a hawk and will take down anything that is not in agreement with the terms and conditions.
The bottom line is that attending the Olympic games of Tokyo 2020 requires a lot of consideration and planning. However, as long as you do your homework, you should be fine. Keep in mind that the games are during the high season for Japanese festivals and other sporting events, so if you have a few days on your hands, you should take advantage and explore more of the events that Japan has to offer.
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