With the pressure of self-restraint spreading through the nation due to COVID-19, many lifestyle changes have been introduced in various ways. Yet, the reality is that it is still difficult to travel abroad. However, if you use the Go To Travel campaign, which started in July, you can enjoy traveling around Japan at a great price!
What is the Go To Travel campaign?
The Go To Travel campaign is a service provided by the Japanese government that allows you to travel within Japan at a discounted price. This can be used by anyone who lives in Japan (has a resident card) regardless of whether you are Japanese or a foreign
national. The details are that the government will support 35% of the total cost of the trip per person, and you will be on the hook for the remaining 65%.
Example: Travel fee: 40,000 yen per person
Amount you pay - 26,0000 yen
Amount supported by program - 14,000 yen
The subsidy is calculated by percentage, and is given in units of 1,000 yen. The benefit will be directly deducted from your payment at the travel agency, so you don’t need to apply for a refund later. With the example above, you will only have to pay 26,000 yen.
Moreover, if you go on a trip with the Go To Travel campaign after October 1, you can receive regional coupons that are worth 15% of the total costs, which you can use at your travel destination.
Example: Travel fee 40,000 yen per person
Regional coupons that you can use for souvenirs and meals at your destination - 6,000 yen
※You can not receive change if you use the regional coupons.
With the example above, if you go on a trip after October 1st, you can enjoy a trip that would normally be worth 46,000 yen for roughly 26,000 yen.
Things to be aware of when using the Go To Travel campaign
The Go To campaign is a very good deal, but there is a limit to the amount of funds that you can receive. The daily limit is 10,000 yen for day trips, and 20,000 yen per night when you stay overnight.
Example: One-day trip Fee: 32,000 yen per person
35% of the trip fee would be 11,200 yen, but the daily limit is 10,000 yen.
Amount you pay - 22,000 yen
Amount supported by program - 10,000 yen
Please be careful because you will need to pay 1,200 yen more than you would without the limit.
However, if you stay overnight, the maximum daily limit is 20,000 yen, so you can use up to 57,000 yen per day! Furthermore, 60,000 yen will be covered if you stay for three nights and 100,000 yen will be covered if you stay for five nights.
Where do I apply?
How do you normally reserve your trips in Japan? There are many ways, but most people probably reserve their trips online. If it is an official Japanese site, you can find details about the Go To Travel campaign, but not many companies have put out much information in other language sites including English at this moment.
If you are not good at reading and writing Japanese, we recommend the following method.
・Go directly to a travel agency.
・Contact a company that supports foreign languages by phone or e-mail.
Can I go to any travel site?
In general, most Japanese companies can help you, but some foreign agencies do not support the Go To campaign service. For example, Expedia is not yet supported. However, Booking.com is currently supported. Be sure to check the Go To Travel campaign notes when you visit the website.
Also, please be sure to double-check how much support you can receive and other details on the website when you apply.
Traveling in the new normal
You are expected to follow the newly placed customs while traveling. Though it is cumbersome to pack more items, bring a thermometer, extra masks, and disinfectant with you. Please think carefully and make flexible plans so that you can avoid crowded times and enjoy your trip with less crowds.