Influx of visitors continues with 1st Hong Kong tourists since borders reopened to tour groups

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Members of a tour group from Hong Kong are welcomed by ANA staff and others at the arrival lobby of Narita Airport on Wednesday.

The arrival of foreign visitors to Japan is becoming more conspicuous, with the first tour group from Hong Kong landing at Narita Airport on Wednesday since the government reopened the borders to such tourists on June 10.

Registering with the government’s Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System and acquiring a visa are required to enter Japan for tourism purposes. As of Tuesday, more than 2,800 people have been registered with ERFS.

The 10 visitors from Hong Kong were given a hearty greeting when they appeared at the international arrival lobby of the airport shortly after 4 p.m. About 30 people including employees from ANA wearing happi festival coats welcomed the tour group with a panel reading, “Welcome to Japan.” The group is scheduled to visit Hokkaido and Tokyo during the 7-day, 6-night tour.

One of the visitors, a 23-year-old university student who had visited Japan four or five times a year before the coronavirus pandemic, said she wanted to eat bowls of rice topped with sashimi and shop for clothes and cosmetics.

The Hong Kong travel agency that organized the trip said a tour guide would ensure that the participants take infection control measures such as the wearing of masks and washing of hands.