The ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru will finally reopen to tourists in November, but one Japanese tourist was able to get an advanced look at the ruins beforehand after his initial plans to see them were halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Reuters, Minister of Culture Alejandro Neyra revealed in a virtual press conference that the ancient stone ruins, which are a World Heritage Site and typically receive over a million visitors a year, that the country plans to reopen the site for the first time since March to national and foreign tourists in November, with the intention being that only 30% of normal capacity—675 people—permitted per day.

“We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” Neyra said. “It will be done with all the necessary care.”

However, while the rest of the world will still need to wait for the unspecified date next month, Jesse Takayama was granted an advanced entry—and had the site to himself, because he had initially planned to go to them on a trip to Peru in mid-March. However, after he arrived for his trip, the site—and travel—shut down—stranding him in the town of Aguas Calientes. With his departure from the country now arriving seven months later, he made a special request to be allowed into the ruins before he returned to Japan.

That request was granted, making Takayama the first person to walk through the site of Incan citadel ruins since they were shut down due to the pandemic.

“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.”

While Takayama’s story was unique with how long he was stranded in Peru, his weren’t the only plans that were upended by the pandemic this year. As cases around the world soared, countries closed their borders and world-famous attractions—including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre in Paris and Disney theme parks around the world—were shuttered to tourists and even local guests.

Attractions have since reopened around the world, including the Louvre and Disney World in Orlando, Florida. However, some have still remained closed as countries have struggled to keep case numbers down. For example, while Disney has reopened parks in Florida, Shanghai, Tokyo and Paris, the parks in California have remained closed, though a reopening procedure is in the works. Similarly, some Museums have reopened in New York City, but Broadway theaters will remain shuttered until May 2021.

Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca city high in Peru's southeastern Andes Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca city high in Peru's southeastern Andes Photo: AFP / Cris BOURONCLE