Go to Travel Campaign 2020

It's time to explore Japan!

By Serena Ogawa    - 4 min read

It’s no secret that the tourism sector of Japan has taken a hard hit in the wake of Covid-19. Now, the domesic travel industry of Japan may get a kickstart via the new Go to Travel Campaign.

Commencing July 22 2020, the Japanese government's Go to Travel Campaign is a radical plan aiming to reboot the economy of small towns and travel destinations that were hit hard by the pandemic. So how can you take advantage of it and get to visit the places you’ve always wanted to see?

What is the Go to Travel campaign?

The Go to Travel Campaign will support people traveling domestically in Japan. It does not offer any subsidies for those coming internationally—and indeed, Japan’s sweeping travel ban for non-Japanese citizens overseas still remains in place.

Via the campaign, travel costs will be supported for half the cost of accommodation (up to 20,000 yen) and you’ll even receive regional coupons to be used on dining and shopping (around 35% savings). It’s a great opportunity to see the places that have been on your bucket list for a while.

A stunning ryokan room is just a click away (Photo: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tamatsukuri_onsen_yado02s3648.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">663highland / CC BY-SA 3.0</a>)
A stunning ryokan room is just a click away (Photo: 663highland / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Whether you’ve been planning a day trip to a neighboring prefecture or a 3-day stay half the country away, the Go to Travel campaign is your surefire way to get the best deal for your yen!

Who can use it?

The good news is if you’re in Japan, you’re eligible for the Go to Travel campaign—unless you’re in Tokyo.

Tokyo exception: Unfortunately, due to the rising infection numbers in the Tokyo area itself, it has been decided the campaign—at launch—will exclude both those who live in the capital who wish to travel elsewhere (at a discount), as well as those hoping to visit the capital at a discounted rate. This is likely to be subject to change later on during the campaign.

But you still have plenty of destination options, such as Kyoto, Hiroshima, Sapporo, and more. Check out our destinations page for some great ideas and travel inspiration. And even though most of the events for 2020 have been canceled or postponed, you may discover some local gems along your journey.

A soothing onsen dip is just what you've been longing for (Photo: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:140427_Chorakuen_Tamatsukuri_Onsen_Matsue_Shimane_pref_Japan15s3.jpg" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">663highland / CC BY-SA 3.0</a>)
A soothing onsen dip is just what you've been longing for (Photo: 663highland / CC BY-SA 3.0)

How does it work?

If you’ve elected to take a day trip, you’re eligible for up to 10,000 yen per day. While overnight stays and longer trips get even bigger discounts and subsidies: up to 20,000 yen a night. However, it seems that the coupons themselves won’t be distributed until September 1st.

To get all of the delicious discounts and coupons, you’ll need to reserve a trip with a travel agency registered with the campaign. When you reserve via one of those travel sites or in-person, the discount will be added upfront and you’ll pay the lower costs.

While the list of businesses hasn’t been announced yet, it’s expected to be posted when the Go to Travel website is launched. For right now, you can check out the temporary page (Japanese only).

Take advantage of the campaign and find seldom seen wonders. (Photo: <a href="https://pixabay.com/photos/japan-bike-rentals-bamboo-forest-3717767/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Pixabay</a>)
Take advantage of the campaign and find seldom seen wonders. (Photo: Pixabay)

Be sure to stay tuned for updates!

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Serena Ogawa

Serena Ogawa @serena.ogawa

Travel Editor for Japan Travel by day, novel-writing cat lady by night.

Join the discussion

Sherilyn Siy 2 weeks ago
I understand the need to support the travel industry but with rising cases of covid-19, crossing prefectures is still discouraged. Perhaps it's time to explore your own prefecture more thoroughly. :)
Elizabeth S 2 weeks ago
That's what I hope to do on my brief summer holiday - pick up food at specialty shops, enjoy local beauty spots, and get delicious takeout food to support local businesses.
Gary Luscombe 2 weeks ago
Hopefully it will be as successful as the Irrashai Kansai campaign has been for the ryokan I work at but currently, no one really fully knows what is going on. This is the most succinct information I have seen so far but there is still a bit of confusion in the rush to get it started.

Once the teething problems are over though, it should do wonders for domestic travel given the number of questions we get about it each day.
Kim B 2 weeks ago
Some great opportunities as a result of this initiative!