[UPDATED 3 Jan 2019]
As if bidding Japan sayonara (goodbye) isn’t hard enough after every trip, it’s about to get harder.
You’ll soon have to pay a “Sayonara tax” of 1,000 Yen (USD9.36) from next Monday onwards (7 Jan 2019). This levy will be added to both airfares and ship fares, and it affects all departing travellers, including the Japanese themselves!
Credit: @tsunoshin on Instagram
However, transit passengers leaving within 24 hours of arrival and toddlers under 2 years’ old will be exempted.
Credit: @haneda.airport_international on Instagram
Why the new tax? Well, the government hopes to use the estimated revenue of 43-billion Yen to boost tourism infrastructure in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. There are also tentative plans to install facial recognition gates and expand free wireless Internet services by public transport operators, among other tourism-related projects. How exciting does that sound? 😱
But Japan’s not the only country in the region to implement this tax – travellers to China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand will also have to pay a certain amount of traveller’s tax.
Credit: @kangyoonjoo on Instagram
What do you think? Does this affect your trip’s budget? Now’s probably the best time to reconsider your travel expenses for Japan! If you’re like me and wouldn’t mind saying sayonara with taxes if it means getting to be in Japan, then remind yourself to leave that 1000-yen note for the end of your trip! And if you know anyone who’s planning a trip there next year, don’t forget to share this article. Sayonara! 😉