(Source: Japan Meteorological Agency)
This is a basic introduction to the Japanese immigration system. For formal advice, please contact the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate outside of Japan or the Immigration Bureau in Japan.
If you are a citizen of one of the 60 or more countries with which Japan has a "General Visa Exemption Agreement", you need only a valid passport to enter Japan for a "short stay".
Countries of Exemption of Visa
If you are a citizend of any other country, you must obtain a visa before entering the country.
Temporary visitors from most countries may stay for a maximum of 90 days.
We also recommend the use of the Visit Japan Web Service (Apr, 2023).
Visit Japan Web is a web service that people entering to Japan can use for Quarantine, Immigration and Customs procedures in order to enter/return to Japan.
Please check the Visit Japan Web for details.
The currency of Japan is the yen. Bills include 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen (very rare), 5,000 yen, and 10,000 yen. Coins include 1 yen, 5 yen, 10 yen, 50 yen, 100 yen, and 500 yen. With the exception of major international airports, payment in foreign currency is not accepted in Japan.
Payment Methods in Japan
Japan has a reputation for being a cash society, but the trend is changing and acceptance of other payment methods is increasing significantly.
Cash remains a very popular method of payment, especially for small amounts. Large bills are readily available and accepted in Japan. It is advisable to have cash on hand when visiting rural areas, as credit cards are less likely to be accepted in smaller cities and towns.
Tourist attractions, small restaurants, and small stores often only accept cash for small entrance fees. Many lockers also require coins. These days most buses and trams accept payment by IC card. Vending machines usually accept 10, 50, 100, and 500 yen coins and 1,000 yen bills.
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, especially in large cities. Most hotels accept credit card payments, as do most department stores, mid- to high-end restaurants, outlet malls, and large retail stores. They are also accepted at many train stations, convenience stores, supermarkets, chain restaurants, and boutiques.
IC cards such as Suica and ICOCA are rechargeable store value cards. Primarily a convenient payment tool for train and bus fares, IC cards are now also used as a means of payment at many stores and restaurants, most convenience stores, many chain restaurants, numerous vending machines, and coin lockers.
In Japan, foreign currency exchange is usually handled by banks, post offices, some large hotels, and a few authorized money changers, especially at international airports.
Whether you should exchange your money into yen before entering the country depends on the currency you have. For example, the U.S. dollar is a highly traded foreign currency in Japan, in part because you may get a favorable rate if you exchange U.S. dollars into yen in Japan. On the other hand, in some Southeast Asian countries, the foreign exchange market is very competitive and the amount of money exchanged is small, so it may be better to exchange your money before coming to Japan.
There are several ways to connect to the Internet while traveling in Japan.
Both paid and free Wi-Fi hotspots are available throughout Japan, especially around airports, train stations, convenience stores, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Networks range from easy-to-use to those that require tedious registration
Most hotels in Japan offer free in-room wireless network or wired Internet access via LAN cable. However, Internet service is less common in older ryokans.
Those who wish to access the Internet using their own cell phones or tablets in Japan can obtain SIM cards that allow them to access the Internet via cellular networks. There are a variety of plans available for foreign tourists, most of which are data-only. Depending on the plan, there are different connection speeds, networks used, and data transfer limitations. sim cards can be delivered to the airport, some retail stores in Japan, or to your hotel via internet booking. the device must be unlocked in order to use the sim card.
Wi-Fi routers are small, battery-powered devices that use cellular networks to create a local wireless network. They are easy to set up, provide fairly fast Internet, work anywhere there is cellular service, can connect multiple devices at once, and are relatively inexpensive. Wi-Fi routers can be rented at major Japanese airports or delivered to hotels via Internet reservation.