The Japanese Government has announced that the country’s borders will reopen to tourists from June 10th.

Initially admittance will only be to members from organised tour groups working directly with Japanese travel agencies, rather than individual travellers, arriving from a chosen list of 98 countries and territories, including the U.S. and China.

However the announcement has raised hopes that by next winter there will be more normalised travel possible for skiers and boarders from around the world to visit the country famed for its beautiful scenery, welcoming people, strong cultural values and exceptional, abundant powder snow.

The 98 nations and regions include Australia, Canada and the USA were chosen based on low rates of positive cases. No COVID tests or quarantining will be required upon entry for the tourists, regardless of vaccination status.

International flights to Hokkaido, home to famous resorts like Niseko, will also resume from June.

Japan’s Gassan summer ski area is open until July.