It’s the dream of many travelers to escape the crowds and have the world’s most popular attractions all to yourself, and for one Japanese tourist, this dream has come true.
The Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March, but last weekend they opened for just one Japanese citizen, Jesse Katayama, who has been stranded in the nearby town of Aguas Calientes for seven months due to the pandemic.
Alejandro Neyra, Peru’s minister of culture, said, “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.”
Katayama had only planned to spend a few days in Peru but was stranded there in mid-March due to COVID-related travel restrictions. He’s had his entry ticket for Machu Picchu ever since and finally submitted a special request to be allowed access. Graciously, the park obliged.
Katayama was allowed to enter the ruins on Saturday accompanied by the head of the park so that he’d be able to see the ruins before returning to his home country.
In a video recorded at the site, Katayama said, “This is so amazing! Thank you!”
The famed site is scheduled to open in November to all tourists at 30 percent of its normal capacity of 675 people per day, though a specific date hasn’t yet been determined.