Japan

Preparation: Before Leaving for Japan

Below are some things you should consider as you plan your trip to Japan.

Check Your Visa Status

Currently visa exemption arrangements are in place with 67 countries, and nationals from almost all of these countries will be granted stay for a period of 90 days upon landing. See here for a list of exempt countries.

International Driving Permit

If you are from a country that issues driving licenses in accordance with the 1949 Geneva Convention then you can drive in Japan with an International Driving Permit (IDP). You must apply for the IDP in your home country. See here for a list of eligible countries.

Japan Rail Pass

For visitors who intend to explore beyond Tokyo, the Japan Rail Pass is one of the most economical and convenient ways to travel. Only available to non-Japanese visiting on a tourist visa (“Temporary Visitor”), the pass lets you ride most Shinkansen, local trains, and buses that are part of the extensive Japan Rail Company network. The Japan Rail Pass is available in 7-, 14-, or 21-day passes in either the standard or business class carriage (“Green Car”); however, it cannot be purchased in Japan—you must apply for it via an authorized travel operator outside of the country. See the Japan Rail Pass for more details.

Tokyo Imperial Palace Tour

The Inner Grounds of Tokyo Imperial Palace are only accessible via guided tours (unless you happen to be visiting on the emperor’s birthday or during New Year). These need to be booked via the official website in advance.

The Ghibli Museum

The Ghibli Museum is extremely popular and tickets are only available for purchase in advance via authorized travel agencies. While tickets can purchased within Japan, the level of demands means that you will probably not be able to book a date during your stay.

Japan Connected-Free WiFi

The Japan Connected-free WiFi app lets you access around 150,000 WiFi spots throughout the capital. See the website for more details.