Machu Picchu opens for a single Japanese tourist.
Peru’s Ministry of Culture has opened Machu Picchu for a single Japanese tourist who waited seven months after becoming stranded in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jesse Katayama has been stuck in Peru since March while he was in the town of Aguas Calientes.
He purchased a ticket for Machu Picchu to enter on March 16, but that was when the Peruvian government opted to close the site.
Despite intending to only spend a few days more in Peru after visiting Machu Picchu, the 26-year-old has now been stuck in the country for seven months.
He spoke of his time during the lockdown with CNN, saying “I go to run every morning and I could see Machu Picchu afar in distance. I thought I would never make it to Machu Picchu as I was expecting it won’t open within this year, but I was OK with it because I had a great time here.”
After hearing about Katayama’s situation, Peru’s Culture Minister Alejandro Neyra ordered Machu Picchu to be opened and granted only Katayama and two photographers access to visit the ancient ruins.
“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” Mr Neyra said.
In an Instagram post, Katayama wrote, “I thought I never make it (to Machu Picchu) but everyone asked the government and the town and they game me super special permission.” He added: “Peruvians are soooo kind. Thank you soooo much!”
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マチュピチュキタァァァァァァァァァァァァァァァァァァ‼️‼️‼️ この前の新聞見てくれて 「頑張って」「応援してる」 「なんでも頼って」 「マチュピチュの俺の家タダで使ってええよ」 「マチュピチュ開いたらタダでガイドしたる」 「マチュピチュ村の村長に行ける様に言っとくわ」 ペルーの人達、ペルーに住んでる日本の人達から沢山メッセージもらいました😂 もう行けへんやろなと思ってたけど、皆さんが村長、政府に頼んでくれて 超特別に行かせてもらった👏🏽笑 ペルーの人達みんな優しすぎるぅ〜くぅ〜 本当にありがとうございます！！ 村長と一緒にマチュピチュいった人今までおらんやろ笑 閉鎖後、1番最初にマチュピチュ行った地球人は俺だぁぁぁぁぁ🔥🔥🔥 #世界一周 #バックパッカー #27ヵ国目 #ペルー #マチュピチュ #貸し切り #村長のガイド付き #村長ごっつ男前 #トムクルーズ似なんよ #ミッションインポッシブルなんよ #peru #machupicchu #lastsamurai
Speaking on when the UNESCO World Heritage site will be opened for everyone, Mr Neyra said it is expected to reopen at a reduced capacity in November, but did not give a date.
“We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” he said. “It will be done with all the necessary care.”