A Japanese tourist, who has been stuck in Peru for nearly seven months amid the coronavirus pandemic, has arrived to visit the famous Machu Picchu ruins – which have only been opened to him, according to reports.
Jesse Katayama, 26, was keen to visit the 15th-century Inca fortress on a mountain ridge 7,970 feet high when he arrived in the Andean country in March, but the killer insect had other plans. The Guardian reported.
“He came to Peru with a dream that he could enter,” Culture Minister Alejandro Nera told a virtual press conference on Monday.
He added, after a long-time visitor made a special request while in the nearby town of Aguas Calientes: “The Japanese citizen entered with our park chief so that he could do so before returning to his country.”
According to the report, Peru, which has so far reported 33,305 coronavirus-related deaths, has the highest per capita death rate from the disease of any country in the world.
International flights have recently resumed, but only to seven countries in Latin America.
“This is so amazing! Thanks a lot!” A jubilant Katayama, a native of Osaka, said in a video recorded on top of Mt. Machu Picchu after entering the ancient site on Saturday.
Nera announced that the UNESCO World Heritage site will reopen to everyone in November, although he did not specify a date. In keeping with safety protocols, the site will allow 30 percent of its typical capacity of 675 people per day.
“We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” noted Nera. “This will be done with all due care.”
Katayama is a boxing coach For CNN He spent his free time exploring local attractions such as Mount Putucusi and Calientes Waterfalls.
He even taught boxing to local kids and practiced his own moves as he plans to open a boxing gym when he finally comes home on Friday.
“I go running every morning and I can see Machu Picchu from afar,” Katayama told CNN. “I thought I would never reach Machu Picchu as I had expected that it wouldn’t open during this year. But I was okay with that because I had a great time here.”
In a celebratory Instagram post, Katayama wrote: “Peruvians are very kind. Thank you very much!”