Hirafu Village Winter

The NISADE Guide to Getting You to Japan This Winter

Japan borders are open & getting here is easier than you think!

The NISADE Guide to Getting You to Japan This Winter

There is a lot of confusing information out there, but the process is quite simple and NISADE will be here to guide you through it - FREE OF CHARGE.

And NO you do not need to be chaperoned on a traditional style tour group on a big bus following the same itinerary as everyone else!

If you have already booked accommodation with NISADE-we will be in touch with you personally shortly, but please read on to learn more about your situation.

If your accommodation is booked for January-March, we advise you to please hold tight as we expect loser restrictions by then and we will be in touch before your final balance is due.


It has been reported this morning (Sept 13th) that the Government now plans to remove all or most of the requirements below by October- essentially meaning that all guests with winter bookings from December will be able to enter and travel Japan freely without the need for Visa, Tour Guide, Itinerary or Flights booked only through a travel agent. An official announcement is expected by Monday 19th September. Check back here then for the latest updates.

THE BASICS: Entry requirements as of Sept 12th, 2022

  • Book Accommodation with a licensed Travel Agent- i.e NISADE.
  • Book Flights with a licensed Travel Agent in your home country (If you have already booked flights independently, we can still get you in-see below).
  • VISA-book appointment with your closest Japanese Embassy ASAP.
  • ERFS/ ITINERARY- Complete the simple ERFS form from NISADE. We will then complete your application & itinerary as the Japan Travel Agent at no additional charge.
  • Once all approved, get on a plane and get to Japan!
  • If your VISA is not approved or you cannot genuinely get an Embassy appointment in time for your trip- IT ‘s OK. Please contact us and we can move your booking to a later date, or potentially provide a credit for future travel *Conditions Apply.

We will provide you with the documentation required to apply for a tourist visa.

First things first…

The biggest challenge is getting your appointment with your local Japanese embassy/consulate, so we recommend you booking that now.

What does the un-guided and guided tour mean & how does it affect my trip?

Unescorted/ Un-guided Tours

Applies to; Guests who have booked their flights through a travel agent (i.e. not directly with the airline). For any Guest who is yet to book, this is the option we recommend.

This is much simpler than it sounds! It essentially means you can travel as you would normally, however you must abide by Japan’s COVID19 Guidelines (wearing mask, social distancing etc), required to have an itinerary lodged by NISADE and you are contactable by NISADE at any time over your journey.

Escorted / Guided Tours

Applies to; Guests who have booked their flights directly with the airline, and ALL accommodation through NISADE.

This is simpler than it sounds! Essentially this means you will need to book private transfers to and from Chitose Airport (NISADE will arrange this).

Other conditions include:

You must abide by Japan’s COVID-19 Guidelines (wearing mask, social distancing etc), required to have and follow an itinerary lodged by NISADE, we will also need to “check in” with you on a regular basis during your stay. You won’t be able to book accommodation through anyone but NISADE.

The escorted tour is more complicated, so we recommend booking flights through an agent & coming on an un-escorted tour wherever possible.

Guests not eligible for a visa

If any of the below apply to you, you are not currently eligible for a tourist visa;

You have booked flights directly with an airline and part of your stay is not with NISADE (e.g. 2 day Stopover in Tokyo).

In this case, we recommend either

  • Cancelling your flights and re-booking through a travel agent (so the un-escorted tour applies).
  • Cancelling your stay elsewhere and booking that accommodation with us (so the escorted tour applies).

If you do not have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or do not have a Japan approved vaccine. Please contact us directly in this case. Note-current rules state you must have had 3 shots of approved vaccine to avoid the 3-day quarantine on arrival.

Visa application process in detail

  1. Make accommodation booking with NISADE.
  2. Arrange an appointment with your local Japanese consulate/embassy.
  3. Book flights – ideally through an agent (this is the best method, as you can be on a non-escorted tour).
  4. Complete NISADE ERFS form: Names, flight dates, passport number, etc and make agreement with (not limited to) the below;
  5. Pay for your NISADE booking. We will not be able to provide you with the EFRS certification until you have made full payment. Don’t worry though, if you are denied the visa, we will move your booking to later in the winter or to next winter (Or provide a credit). NISADE is not responsible for any costs incurred on flights.
  6. We will complete and send your itinerary.
  7. NISADE will process ERFS application - Either escorted or un-escorted tour – and send certification to you.
  8. Visit your local Japanese embassy/consulate, submit your documentation (as required in your country of residence) and collect your visa * Visa takes approx. 5-7 days from lodgement.
  9. You send us a picture of the granted visa for your no later than 21 days prior to your stay. If you have a visa rejection notice or notice from embassy of no appointment slot, then your booking can be moved to 23/24 (subject to availability - confirmed in spring). This must be done, at minimum 21 days prior to your stay.
  10. You MUST get private travel/ medical insurance that includes coverage for medical expenses related to new COVID-19 infection and has adequate coverage and services for travel in Japan.
  11. Get ready to come to Japan!

Cancellation Policy

Having thoroughly reviewed the immigration policy we believe that the vast majority of Guests are eligible for a tourist visa. This means borders are open and our deposits are now non-refundable.

If your visa is denied and you have followed the process outlined above (including making your accommodation balance payment) we will gladly move your booking to 2023/24 at no additional costs (subject to availability, confirmed in spring).

Our goal is to help you get to Japan and be able to welcome you back to our accommodation. For that reason we are not charging you anything for the work involved in processing your visa. In return, we do require balance payment on your accommodation, but will move your booking to next winter, if you are denied your visa.


In the end, the immigration officer in your country of residence will be the one who makes the decision on whether to grant you a visa. We will do all we can to support that visa application, but we cannot guarantee its success. There are also variations country to country which mean the above is a guideline applicable to most cases and not a definitive process.

Some useful links for more details regarding visa to enter Japan for particular countries;

Haven't locked in your accommodation for this winter yet? Up to 45% off ends Sept 30th - so book now!

Email: [email protected]

Tel: +81 (0) 136-23-1724

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