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Below are some tips and important information you might want to know before traveling to Japan.
Anyone desiring to enter Japan from a foreign country must have a valid passport, usually with the expiration date at least six months from the date of your entry. If your visit is temporary, a visa is not required for many nationals. Please find details at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Official Web Site, or from the Japanese Embassy or consulate in your country. If you need to apply for a new passport or have it renewed, find details here.
Custom forms must be filled out during your flight (these forms will usually be handed out during your flight) or after arrival, before going through the custom counters (one per family).
Allowances will be made for certain products within the limits specified here:
Please visit the Japan Customs Information Page for detailed information.
In Japan the standard voltage is 100 volts. The standard frequency is 50Hz in Eastern Japan, and 60Hz in Western Japan. The power sockets that are used are of type A / B (two-prong), as shown in the photo.
Some electronics from the U.S. won't work in Japanese power sockets. Usually electronics like hair-dryers won't work, but laptops and cell phone chargers are usually fine. The safest bet is to bring a power adapter with you.
Tipping is not common in Japan. Service fees are already included in hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, etc.
International credit cards (VISA, Master, American Express, Diners Club, JCB) are becoming more widely accepted. Usually they are most easily used in department stores, large chain establishments, and higher-end restaurants. Across the board, most fast-food restaurants and cafes in Japan only accept cash.
ATMs with 'international ATM service' can be found at post office ATMs (in post offices and train stations) and at 7-Eleven.
The Japanese currency is yen (円). You can find currency exchange counters at international airports, banks, and major western-style hotels in Japan.
Coins are 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen. Bills are 1000, 5000 and 10,000 yen. There are also 2000 yen bills, which are not widely used anymore. The 5 yen coin is said to bring you luck, and is often used to throw into the money box at shrines.
If you are bringing in a currency with an amount which exceeds 1,000,000yen, you must declare this to customs.
Manners and customs when visiting shrines and temples...
(Photo Copryright: ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO)
(Photo Copyright: ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO)
(Photo Copyright: © Q.Sawami/© JNTO)