Machu Picchu Reopened For One Japanese Tourist & Here's Why!

Machu Picchu Reopened Early For One Japanese Tourist

He's definitely the lucky one.

Peru declared lockdown relatively early. On 16 March 2020, the nation closed borders, established curfews, and locals were only allowed to leave their houses for essential goods. And yet Peru’s cases continued to rise. As of writing, the country has 849,000 confirmed coronavirus cases. The good news is, Peru is now seeing a gradual decline in cases so much so that the government is aiming to open tourist attractions next month, among them is Machu Picchu.

Also read: A Guide to Conquering The Best Hikes in Machu Picchu, as Told by A Seasoned Climber

An early entry for a special request

Speaking of, the ancient Inca citadel is currently surrounded by buzz because the Peruvian government recently gave a special pass to a Japanese tourist who’s been stranded in Peru for approximately seven months. The Japanese national named Jesse Takayama planned to visit the World Heritage Site in March, but was continuously delayed due to the lockdown. With the lockdown in place, Mr. Takayama also got stuck in the town of Aguas Calientes, which is only a one hour and 30-minute trek to Machu Picchu. 

According to Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra, Mr. Takayama wrote them a special request for entry to Machu Picchu. “He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter. The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country,” Neyra said in a press conference. 

As a result of reaching out, Mr. Takayama became the first tourist to enter Machu Picchu after seven months. “This tour is truly amazing. Thank you!” Takayama said in a recorded video. 

Minister Neyra has also shared that Machu Picchu will officially reopen with limited capacity in November. The Inca citadel normally accepts a maximum of around 2,000 people per day, but the government is looking to welcome only 30% of this population. The exact date has yet to be announced. 

Also read: A Holiday In Peru: My Cusco & Machu Picchu Experience

With all that said, Mr. Takayama was surely a lucky tourist who got to have Machu Picchu all to himself for a day. Dare we say, this privilege made his long wait and being stranded all the more worth it!

News sourced from BBC.

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.