The Japanese tourist was given special access to the famous ruins after being stranded in Peru for seven months.

Por Alma Sacasa
Octubre 13, 2020

Japanese tourist Jesse Takayama got the treat of a lifetime this past weekend — a private tour of Machu Picchu, the UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Peru. According to Reuters, Takayama had been stranded in Peru for seven months due to coronavirus travel restrictions. He originally had a ticket to enter Machu Picchu in March and had only planned to stay in Peru for a few days, but became stranded in Aguas Calientes, a town located near the tourist attraction.

On Monday, minister of culture Alejandro Neyra confirmed in a virtual press conference that officials opened the Inca citadel for Takayama after he submitted a special request. "He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter," Neyra said. "The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country."

PERCY HURTADO/AFP via Getty Images

In a video recorded atop the mountain in Machu Picchu, Takayama thanked officials for the opportunity to visit. "This is so amazing!" he said in the video. "Thank you!" He was the first person to visit the ruins since the pandemic hit Peru, which according to the Johns Hopkins University database has had 849,371 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 33,305 coronavirus-related deaths.

Neyra said during the press conference that Machu Picchu will reopen to national and foreign tourists at 30 percent of its normal capacity of 675 people per day in November, though he did not give a specific date for the opening. "We are still in the middle of a pandemic," Neyra said. "It will be done with all the necessary care."