Japan visa requirements and health insurance
January 03, 2019
Abundant in culture, tradition, ancient history, delicious cuisine and scientific sophistication, Japan elegantly combines the nostalgia of the old with the excitement of the new in its awe-inspiring landscape. There is a myriad of things to do and enjoy in Japan, from taking a canoe ride with an impressive mountain range view or crafting your own sushi ensemble to exploring Japan’s kaleidoscopic cityscapes. There’s a lot to get excited about when organizing your visit. To fully enjoy your trip, make sure you give yourself peace of mind and organize your travel protection plan, so you can relax and enjoy your vacation knowing that you have got all your bases covered.
Aside from finding the right cover for you, here are some other important travel tips to be aware of before you set off on your adventure:
Visa Information for Japan
Do I Need to Get a Visa to Visit Japan?
Whether or not you need a visa to enter Japan depends on your home country. For example, if you're a U.S. citizen with a valid passport, you can stay in Japan for up to 90 days without a visa. However, it's important to note that not all countries have the same visa agreements as the United States does with Japan. To avoid any issues, it's always a good idea for travelers to check the entry requirements for their destination country based on their home country.
Travel Documents You Will Need:
A valid passport and potentially an approved visa depending on your home country. For more visa information, you can visit the Japanese government page.
All U.S. passports must have a minimum of 6 months before expiration, that is 6 months from the date of your travel departure. Your passport should also have at least two blank pages for stamping.
Health and Medical Advice
Before jetting off to Japan, you should check for any health risks, required vaccinations and any epidemic breakouts occurring in Japan. It’s also a good idea to find out where the nearest hospital to where you are staying is, in case of an emergency. If you purchase a SafeTrip plan, call us and we can provide you information on where to get care if you get sick or injured so you're prepared if something happens.
Do I Need to be Vaccinated When Travelling to Japan?
No vaccinations are required to enter Japan from any country.
Travel Health Updates in Japan
Japan is currently enjoying a clean bill of health, with no reported epidemics taking place.
Stay informed and up to date on the latest developments by visiting the CDC website.
Emergency Contact Information in Japan
No one ever wants to have to call the emergency services while they’re on vacation, but unfortunately accidents happen and it’s important to be prepared for when they do.
• Police emergency contact number: 110
• Fire and Medical emergency contact number: 119
Japan Local Laws and Customs
- Shoes are not worn when in someone’s house or on traditional Japanese flooring. Some restaurants, hotels or resorts may also expect you to take your shoes off.
- There is no tipping in any situation in Japan, tipping is actually seen as rude. This includes cabs, restaurants and personal care services.
- You must carry your passport with you at all times.
- Japan has zero tolerance towards drug possession and there are severe penalties for all drug offences.
Safety and Security
Petty Theft and Crime
Japan is known as being one of the safest countries in the world due to its very low crime rate, but it is advisable to take the same precautions you would when you are out and about at home. Like any other country with popular tourist destinations, some places in Japan are hot pickpocketing zones. Be alert and keep your belongings with you at all times, especially in crowded areas like train stations and popular public areas like Tokyo’s nightlife districts. It’s always a good idea to keep valuable belongings or extra spending money in a hotel safe, if you are provided with one.
Useful Tips for Japan
Official Languages: Japanese
The official language of Japan is Japanese. Contrary to popular belief, English is not as widespread in Japan and it can be quite difficult to communicate with the locals, especially in rural areas. It’s a good idea to learn some basic Japanese vocabulary to help you get by. In popular tourist destinations you will more than likely be able to communicate enough in English.
Currency: Japanese yen
Before your trip to Japan make sure to exchange enough Japanese yen for your spending requirements and to get the best exchange rates.
Japanese Plug Sockets: Type A and B
You won’t need a plug adapter in Japan. However, the standard voltage and frequency in Japan is 100 V and 50 / 60 Hz. We would recommend that you buy a voltage converter or transformer, try and go for one that can also alter frequency.
Doing business in Japan? Here is what you should know:
- Business travelers should carry and provide business cards to all their Japanese colleagues. Business cards should be accepted and given with both hands. The person receiving a business card should study it carefully as it is considered rude not to read the card. When storing business cards, do not place them in a wallet or any pants pockets as it is considered rude.
- Admiration of a host or client's achievements should also be displayed at first meeting, with little or no emphasis on one's own career. Photos of family may also help inspire positive relations during corporate meetings, and enhance one's image as responsible and stable.
- Negotiations between two business parties almost exclusively occur between the oldest- or most senior-looking members of each group. Due to local beliefs regarding pride and respect, subordinates should never disagree or debate with their superiors in front of others. Likewise, it is common for parties to not disagree, challenge or correct each other in public.
- Japanese citizens dress very well, often wearing suits or casual business wear, and despite whether or not they are working. More importantly, they rarely wear shorts or similar casual clothing for day-to-day activities. Some women will wear stockings even with shorts.
Best places to visit and things to do in Japan
Japan is a country that offers a wide range of experiences, from ancient temples and traditional tea ceremonies to bustling cities and stunning natural landscapes. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do while traveling in Japan:
- Tokyo: As the capital city of Japan, Tokyo is a must-visit destination. Explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Shibuya and Shinjuku, visit the historic Meiji Shrine, and indulge in delicious street food at Tsukiji Fish Market. Don't forget to take a stroll in the beautiful gardens of the Imperial Palace.
- Kyoto: Known for its traditional temples, shrines, and stunning gardens, Kyoto is a city that showcases Japan's rich cultural heritage. Visit the iconic Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), explore the historic streets of Gion, and experience a traditional tea ceremony in one of the city's tea houses.
- Osaka: Famous for its vibrant food scene, Osaka is a paradise for food lovers. Try local specialties like takoyaki (octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) at Dotonbori, visit the Osaka Castle, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the Umeda Sky Building.
- Hiroshima: A visit to Hiroshima is a powerful and moving experience. Pay your respects at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, which commemorates the victims of the atomic bombing in 19451. Take a ferry to Miyajima Island and marvel at the iconic Itsukushima Shrine and its floating torii gate.
- Nara: Known for its friendly deer population, Nara is a city filled with historical treasures. Visit Todai-ji Temple, home to the world's largest bronze Buddha statue, and explore the beautiful Nara Park, where you can feed and interact with the deer.
- Hakone: Located near Mount Fuji, Hakone is a popular destination for its hot springs and stunning natural beauty. Take a scenic boat ride on Lake Ashi, soak in a traditional onsen (hot spring), and enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Fuji from the Hakone Ropeway.
- Kanazawa: This city on the west coast of Japan is known for its well-preserved Edo-era districts and beautiful gardens. Visit Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan's most famous gardens, explore the historic Nagamachi Samurai District, and admire the traditional architecture of Higashi Chaya District.
- Sapporo: If you're visiting Japan in winter, a trip to Sapporo is a must. Experience the Sapporo Snow Festival, where you can admire incredible snow and ice sculptures, and indulge in delicious Hokkaido cuisine, including fresh seafood and ramen.
These are just a few of the many amazing places to visit and things to do in Japan. Whether you're interested in history, culture, nature, or food, Japan has something to offer every traveler. So, pack your bags, ensure you have the right travel insurance coverage, such as SafeTrip travel medical insurance and trip protection plans, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the Land of the Rising Sun. With SafeTrip, you can travel confidently knowing that you're protected against unexpected events during your Japan vacation.