Practical Info - F.A.Q

  • Where can I buy a Japan Rail Pass?

    JNTO does not sell the Japan Rail Pass. The pass is available from a number of authorised agencies. See the Japan Rail Pass page of this site for further information about pass price and eligibility or for a list of agents who are authorised to sell the pass in your country.

    Rail Pass Price and Eligibility
    Rail Pass Authorised Agents
  • Do I need a visa?

    UK passport holders do not require a visa to enter Japan for a holiday. Japan has agreements with over 60 countries, exempting their citizens from the necessity of applying for a visa to enter Japan. Nationals of all other countries require a visa. 

    Entry requirements: Passport & Visa
  • What can I bring through customs?

    Within the limits specified below, the following articles may be imported duty free:

     Items  Allowance  Remarks
     Alcoholic Beverages
    3 bottles
     A bottle contains approximately 760cc.
     Tobacco Products

    *100 cigars

    *400 cigarettes

    *550 grams of other tobacco

     If there is more than one kind, the total allowance will be 500 grams
     Perfume 2 ounces
     Other 200,000 yen
    The total overseas market value of articles other than the above items must be under 200,000 

    * The tobacco allowance for Japanese residents is half that indicated above * There is no duty-free allowance for alcohol or tobacco products for travellers aged 19 years or younger.

    Other articles may be prohibited from entering Japan or be subject to restricted entry.
    Personal cheques are not widely used or accepted in Japan.

    Entry Requirements: Customs (Link to customs section)

  • Do I need any vaccinations to enter Japan?

    There are no requirements for foreign travellers from any country regarding certificates of vaccination.
  • I don't speak Japanese. Will travel in Japan be difficult?

    Travelling in a country where you don't speak the language can be both challenging and rewarding. But even if you don't speak any Japanese, finding your way around Japan needn't be difficult. English is widely spoken throughout the country, particularly in major cities and tourist centres. Announcements on public transportation are frequently made in both Japanese and English, and signs generally include decipherable roman characters or an English explanation. A comprehensive range of tourist services also provides a helping hand to foreign visitors in Japan.

    Tourist Services in Japan
  • When is the best time to visit Japan?

    With such a diversity of climates, scenery and events to enjoy, Japan is a destination that has year-round appeal. From cherry blossoms and hot springs to ski fields and festivals, each of Japan's four distinctive seasons has something special to offer.

    Japan's Seasonal Attractions – Climate section
  • Do I need travel insurance?

    Visitors to Japan are advised to purchase travel insurance prior to departure. Japan is a relatively safe place, with one of the lowest crime rates in the world, but when travelling abroad it is always wise to be covered against theft, loss of property, accident and illness. Travel agents can usually offer advice on the most suitable insurance policy for a visit to Japan.

  • Can I use my mobile in Japan?

    Yes, as long as your phone is a smart phone, it will work in Japan, but to avoid high tariffs, you might wish to hire a mobile phone or hire pocket wi-fi for portable wi-fi access while you travel in Japan. Find out more in the link below. 

    Mobile Phones in Japan
  • I will be travelling to Japan on business. Can you offer any advice?

    If you are planning to travel to Japan on business and would like some advice, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) provides guidance and literature on doing business in Japan.
  • Is Japan expensive?

    The value of the Japanese yen has weakened considerably since 2013, meaning Japan is now cheaper than it has been in many years. Like most countries, Japan offers a range of experiences for everyone from luxury travellers to backpackers. There are a wide variety of budget accommodation options, transportation passes and sightseeing discounts, which help to make Japan an affordable destination for even the most budget conscious traveller.  Foreign visitors to Japan can take advantage of a wide variety of budget accommodation options, transportation passes and sightseeing discounts. 

    Affordable Japan for the Budget Conscious
  • Can I visit the Imperial Palace?

    It is possible for foreign visitors to Japan to take a tour of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo and the Imperial Palace and Villas in Kyoto upon prior arrangement with the relevant Imperial Household Agency. Your nearest JNTO Office can provide you with an information sheet on how to arrange a visit.

    JNTO Global Offices
  • Travellers' cheques, cash or credit card? What is the best way to carry money in Japan?

    Japan is very much a cash society. Although credit cards are becoming more widely used, foreign credit cards are not always accepted and even in major cities you will still find that most transactions are settled in cash. It is possible to get a cash advance on your credit card or withdraw money from a bank account using ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) in Japan; however, the number of ATMs that accept foreign credit and cash cards is limited and most have restricted operating hours. Foreign credit and cash cards can be used at Post Office and Seven Eleven ATMs throughout Japan. Japanese bank ATMs don't usually accept foreign cards, so it is advised you go to Post Office and Seven Elevens to withdraw cash in Japan. 

    Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and is generally a safe place to carry cash, however travellers' cheques remain the safest and most practical way to carry money while you are travelling. Travellers' cheques denominated in Japanese yen or American dollars are the most practical for a visit to Japan.

    Information on travellers cheques, cash or credit cards
  • Do I need an International Driving Permit to drive in Japan?

    If you wish to drive a car while in Japan, you must obtain an International Driving Permit prior to departure. You will also need to be in possession of your national license while driving in Japan.

    For more information see driving in Japan.
  • I'm doing a school project on Japan. Where can I get some information?

    A wide range of free materials for primary and secondary school projects are available from the Embassy of Japan. Locate your nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate 

    'Kids Web Japan' is a cool site where kids can take a virtual trip to Japan. There is information on everything from Japanese cooking to school life in Japan, as well as lots of fun activities and games.
  • What time is it in Japan?

    Japan is not divided into different time zones. The whole country is nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). So, when it is midday in London, it is 9pm in Japan (8pm during UK Summer Time). There is no daylight saving time in Japan.
  • I need to book some accommodation. What do you suggest?

    In Japan you will find a variety of accommodation styles to suit all tastes and budgets. These range from western-style lodgings including Deluxe Hotels, Business Hotels and Pensions to Japanese-style accommodation such as Ryokan, Minshuku, Kokumin Shukusha and Shukubo.

    There are also many options available for visitors who are travelling on a budget, including Welcome Inns, The Japanese Inn Group and Youth Hostels.

    The Accommodation section of this site will help you to find out what's available and what to expect.

    Western-style Accommodation
    Japanese-style Accommodation
    Budget Accommodation
  • Where can I find accommodation that is close to either Narita Airport or Kansai International Airport?

    There are a number of major hotels located within close proximity to each of Japan's busiest international airports. See the Airport Information section of this site for details.
  • Which events will be on while I'm in Japan?

    There is always something happening in Japan and whatever your interests there is an event for you to enjoy! You can thrill to the spectacle of a Sumo tournament, experience the breathtaking colour of a fireworks festival or marvel at the ornate costumes and settings of Kabuki drama. Including an event in your travel plans is a wonderful way to make your trip to Japan even more memorable!

    See the events section of this site to find out what will be happening in Japan during your stay.
  • How do I get from either Narita Airport to Central Tokyo or from Kansai International Airport to central Osaka?

    There are a variety of convenient transportation options connecting Narita Airport with both central Tokyo and Haneda (domestic) Airport to the south. Similarly transportation between Kansai International Airport and Osaka as well as other key Kansai cities such as Kyoto, Nara and Kobe is quick and reliable.

    See the Airport Information section of this site for details.
  • Where can I find information on flights and tours?

    Japan is easily accessible from the UK and continental Europe with over one hundred direct flights every week. Information on flight schedules and fares can be obtained by contacting the airlines directly, or through your travel agent or tour operator.

    See the transportation section of this site for further information.

    There are many tour operators offering a variety of travel options to help you make the most of your visit to Japan. Search our tour directory to find the operator nearest you.

    Transportation - Flights to Japan
    Tour Directory
  • Where can I find out more about themeparks in Japan?

    Japan is a paradise for lovers of theme park fun. Click on the following links to visit the homepages of some of Japan's most popular theme parks.
    Tokyo Disney (Disneyland)
    Tokyo DisneySea
    Universal Studios Japan
    Fujikyu Highland
    Sanrio Puroland (Hello Kitty)
  • Is Japan Safe?

    Yes. Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Guns and drugs are strictly illegal in Japan. The Japanese are uniquely honest. There is a very good chance if you drop your wallet or purse in the street in Tokyo it will be handed into the police intact. Like any travel destination though, it is advisable to take normal security precautions and use common sense while out and about.

    For update information please visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.
  • Where can I get information about teaching English in Japan?

    The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme offers college and university graduates the opportunity to serve in local government organizations as well as public and private junior and senior high schools.
  • Where can I find more information about youth exchanges, Japanese language courses and working holidays?

    The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website's culture page contains a wealth of information on these topics.
  • I have a disability. Will travel in Japan be difficult?

    Japan is generally very accessible for people with physical disabilities or mobility issues. 'Multi-purpose' toilets are usually located in between the men's and women's restrooms and are spacious and feature many useful features such as handrails, facilities for those with ostomate bags, and full-size changing tables, although there is no universal design. These are very common and can be found in most train stations as well as shopping centres and department stores and public facilities such as museums, theme parks and other main tourist destinations. Lifts and escalators are very common, in fact Japanese building codes require any building over 4 stories to have a lift, however while there are usually no problems in newer or larger public buildings, in older or smaller private buildings the lift space may be extremely small or not entirely step-free. Japan is the originator of tactile paving blocks for people with visual impairments, and they can be found all over Tokyo and in many other cities and towns. Japan uses its own versions of braille and sign language.


    Accessible Japan is a website dedicated to collecting together all the information about accessibility in Japan, with general information on accessibility, trains, toilets, hotels and tourist attractions and even a phrasebook with useful Japanese phrases for people with disabilities.

JNTO Partners