It didn’t go exactly as planned, but for one Japanese tourist, his dream of visiting the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu finally came true. 
 
Jesse Takayama arrived in Peru nearly seven months ago with the sole purpose of visiting iconic Andean landmark. Because of the coronavirus lockdown, the 500-year-old site was closed, and he ended up trapped in a small, nearby town of Aguas Calientes. Originally, he’d only planned to stay in Peru a few days. 
 
As the months passed, Takayama began to run out of money, and it looked as if his dream of visiting the UNESCO site would never happen. 
 
“I go to run every morning and I could see Machu Picchu afar in distance,” Katayama told CNN. “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.” 
 
But finally, thanks to an intervention by the Peruvian government, he was allowed to enter Machu Picchu, the first person to visit for nearly seven months. 
 
“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” said Peru’s Minister of Culture Alejandro Neyra in a virtual press conference. “The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.” 
 
Takayama, was grateful for the long-delayed opportunity. 
 
“I thought I never make it [to Machu Picchu], but everyone asked the government and the town, and they gave me super special permission,” the Osaka native wrote in an Instagram post. “Peruvians are soooo kind. Thank you soooo much!” 
 
According to CNN, Takayama will head back to Japan on Oct. 16. 
 
“I will definitely cry,” he says about his farewell to Aguas Calientes. “These seven months have been very special to me. I have discovered a new part of me.” 
 
Neyra said Machu Picchu would re-open to tourists in November, but only at 30% of the normal capacity of 675 visitors per day. 
 
Peru locked down early in the pandemic but has suffered one of the worst fatality rates in the world. It has 851,171 cases and more than 33,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.