Okay, so before you get to experience all that Japan has to offer, you first need to make sure you can go to Japan. Luckily, Japlanning have done the work to help you figure out the easiest way for you to gain entry into Japan.
So you want to go to Japan? Of course you do! It’s an amazing country like nowhere else on earth. However, you can’t just jump on a plane and hop off in Japan and be on your merry way. No, like all countries in the world, there are requirements, which change depending on your country of origin.
The first thing you will need is...
Have your passport ready, before booking any travel. That is rule number one for all international travel. For Japan, you should at least have six months validity on your passport, and free space on your visa pages. Although most countries already comply to the following, its best to make sure your passport is a machine readable passport for entry to Japan.
The process to enter Japan without a visa has changed this year. For all the countries mentioned below, citizens and nationals of them don’t need to obtain a visa to enter Japan if they are entering for tourism, conferences, visiting family and friends, or for commerce. What you must make sure is that if you are entering and going to engage in paid activities in Japan, that you first obtain a visa prior to entry.
The change this year is that the granted length of stay for many places has changed. It used to be the maximum for your country, however now it will be either a period of 15, 30 or 90 days, depending on what period is long enough to cover your purpose of your trip (usually the amount closest to your return ticket date)
Here are the countries that have reciprocal visa exemption arrangements with Japan:
Visa rules and conditions change regularly for all countries. For the most up to date and official information, please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s website here.
So if you’re not a citizen of one of the above countries and want to visit Japan for tourism, commerce, a conference or to visit with family and friends, you must obtain a visa prior to arriving in Japan. For the majority of people who fall into this category, a “temporary visitors visa” will be required to enter Japan. You must remember that the “temporary visitors visa” cannot be obtained so you can engage in paid activities or obtain employment.
To apply for a visa please download the following PDF from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Download Here
It’s best to check with your local Japanese consulate or embassy in your home country, to find out the exact process you need to follow in order to obtain your visa, as documents required may differ from country to country, and also due to the reasons of your visit.
Visa rules and conditions change regularly for all countries. For the most up to date and official information please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s website here.
For several years, all foreigners over the age of 15 who arrive in Japan are fingerprinted and photographed to prevent criminals and terrorists from entering Japan. Diplomats and some permanent residents of Japan are excluded from the process. This is done at the immigration point of arrival when your Passport is also stamped.
Ah, the part that we all want to hear about... You can bring the following into Japan duty free, if you are 20 years old or older:
- 3 bottles of alcohol (max 760ml per bottle)
- 400 non-Japanese cigarettes
- 100 cigars
- 2oz of perfume
Unless you are coming from a country or region that is known to be suffering from an epidemic, there are not any vaccinations that are required for entry into Japan. Please note however that if there are any worldwide epidemics going on at time of travel (such as the H1N1 influenza or SARS, in the past), all arriving passengers will be required to fill out a health questionnaire regarding the symptoms of the virus or epidemic happening. Further precautions, such as taking the temperature of all arriving passengers entering the customs area may also be in effect. If you have a fever, you may be quarantined as a protection against the flu or virus.
Travelling to Japan is quite an easy process for most people. With a visa exemption in place for more than 65 countries and regions, it makes tourism travel to this great country an ease. Remember to keep up to date with the regulations via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s website, and keep up to date on all information by your home country regarding the safety and health concerns of visiting any country with websites like Australia’s Smart Traveler or the United States of America’s Travel.State.gov. All these, and the above information should make your travels to Japan a smooth one.