Go To Travel Campaign Updates
The Go To Travel campaign, which gives people 35% off their hotel and transportation bookings, along with an additional 15% off in the form of coupons, has been in some ways a resounding success. The GDP is up and hotels have been busier than ever. It has given the tourism industry a much needed boost. Unfortunately, the Covid numbers have been rising again, and expert panels have been urging the government to restrict travel and halt the Go To campaign.
So far the decision has been left up to each governor. Osaka and Sapporo have been excluded as Go To destinations until 16th December. Refunds will be given to travelers as long as they cancel by December 3rd and agencies will receive partial compensation. The panel has said that place of origin must also be taken into account, so it is possible that they will push to exclude those coming from places like Sapporo, Osaka and Tokyo altogether. On the plus side, rumours indicate that the campaign will still be extended beyond January 31st, likely until May.
In short, as of November 27th:
- You CANNOT use the discount to travel to OSAKA or SAPPORO until 16th December
- All other destinations are still valid
- It is POSSIBLE that they will amend the scheme further so that those DEPARTING FROM TOKYO, OSAKA, SAPPORO, NAGOYA (and so on) will not be allowed to use the discount at all. We will update this article in the event of changes.
Go To Eat:
Go To Eat, which was giving diners up to ¥1,000 per reservation made via online booking websites, has also been stopped. The points given out so far will be valid until the end of March.
Motto Tokyo, which gives people a discount to travel within the Tokyo region, has been stopped until December 17th. Previously made bookings will still be honoured, but no new bookings will be accepted until the 17th.
JR East Welcome Rail Pass:
This pass giving all foreigners unlimited travel on all JR East trains in the areas of Tokyo, Tohoku, Nagano, and Niigata, inclusive of the Shinkansen, for 3 consecutive days is still able to be booked.
・Limited Sales Period: October 16, 2020 to February 26, 2021
・Limited Validity Period: October 16, 2020 to February 28, 2021
JR East are still offering people 50% off shinkansen and limited express tickets until March 31st, 2021. The discount is available on all JR East shinkansen lines except the Hokuriku Shinkansen's Kagayaki and Hakutaka trains. You must purchase your tickets via the official JR East website between 20 days and one month prior to your departure date.