Peru has opened the ruins of Machu Picchu for a Japanese tourist, who had waited seven months to enter it while trapped in the country.
According to Peru’s Minister of Culture, Alejandro Neyra, Jesse Takayama’s entry into Machu Picchu came after a special request he submitted while stranded in the town of Aguas Calientes, during the coronavirus pandemic.
“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” Neyra said in a virtual press conference, via Reuters.
“The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.”
Takayama has reportedly had his entry ticket to Machu Picchu on hand since March. But on Saturday (local time), became the first visitor in seven months to be able to walk through the world heritage site.
His original plan had been to spend only a few days in Peru to take in Machu Picchu, Reuters reported.
“This is so amazing. Thank you,” Katayama said in a video recorded on the top of Machu Picchu.
In a social media post, local tour guide operator and photographer Flavio Huamani Quejia said it was a dream come true for the young man, and a great way to end his adventure in Peru.
Japanese Guy made His Dreams becomes True:This amazing story this Japanese Guy Jesse Takayama has to visit Machupicchu…
According to the Andean Roots travel agency, Takayama (who is reportedly from Osaka) had held onto his ticket to enter the site since 16 March, but the ruins were closed due to quarantine.
As the town of Aguas Calientes fell quiet due to a lack of arrivals to the region, being the gateway for tourists to access the ruins of Machu Picchu, Takayama reportedly stood out as the “last tourist”.
The Andean Roots travel agency said he had rented a small apartment and began holding yoga classes to pay for food and accommodation as his savings slowly dwindled.
“He’s also been teaching boxing classes to local children and going out to do sport to keep their physical condition. In Japan he worked at a gym and hopes to get his job back,” the travel agency wrote on its Facebook page.
Después de 210 días de espera! Turista de Nacionalidad Japonesa cumplió el sueño de visitar #machupicchuLa…
According to Reuters, Minister Neyra said that in November Machu Picchu will be reopened for national and foreign tourists, without specifying the date.
The site will reportedly permit 30 per cent of its normal capacity of 675 people per day.
“We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” Neyra said. “It will be done with all the necessary care.”
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Featured image source: Facebook/Colitur Cusco via Andean Roots Peru