Skip to main content

Cookies on the DFA website

We use cookies to give the best experience on our site while also complying with Data Protection requirements. Continue without changing your settings, and you'll receive cookies, or change your cookie settings at any time.

Japan

If you’re travelling to Japan, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation:

Avoid non-essential travel until further notice:

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.

If you are currently travelling outside of Ireland:

Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate. For this reason, where commercial flights are still an option, we recommend that people who wish to do so make arrangements to return to Ireland as soon as possible.

We are working with airlines to show maximum flexibility to those passengers who need to change their existing flight arrangements. Where commercial flights are no longer available, we are working side-by-side with our international partners to identify alternative options where possible.

It may not be feasible or possible for everyone who wants to travel back to Ireland to do so in the short term. We ask Irish citizens remaining abroad to make decisions that safeguard their health and well-being and that they follow local public health and safety requirements.  We ask that they remain in close contact with family, friends and their local Irish Embassy or Consulate. 

We know that this is a stressful situation for citizens and our embassy network is working around the clock to provide people with all the information and assistance that we can, bearing in mind the situation is unfolding across multiple countries and is not one under our control. 

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days. Check the Irish Health Service COVID-19 Advice Page for full information on these requirements. This includes Irish residents. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.

Where to go for more information:

We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and especially their Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Security Status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Latest travel alert

There is increasing disruption to travel from Japan and worldwide. We advise Irish citizens travelling in Japan to make arrangements to return to Ireland now, and to liaise now closely with travel providers on their travel plans.

Irish citizens in Japan can contact the Embassy in Tokyo by phone (03 3263 0695) or by email (tokyoem@dfa.ie). Due to a high volume of calls, email is preferred. We will prioritise responding to urgent queries.

As part of preventative measures against the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the Government of Japan has implemented entry restrictions on foreign visitors to Japan who have been in a number of countries (including Ireland) in the 14 days prior to their arrival in the country. Irish citizens who intend to visit Japan but have been in Ireland in the past 14 days will be denied entry.

Please see the Additional Information tab of this travel advice for further information on entry restrictions and requirements, which include new visa requirements for Irish citizens.

Irish citizens who are normally resident in Japan, and are currently out of Japan with re-entry permission, are permitted to return to Japan, unless they have travelled to one of the restricted regions specified by the Japanese authorities in the 14 days prior to their arrival in the country, in which case they will be denied entry.

Please note also that there are enhanced quarantine procedures will be in place for visitors to Japan at present. Visitors to Japan from a number of countries will be asked upon arrival to go into quarantine at designated locations for 14 days and to refrain from using public transport. see further information from the Japanese Ministry of Health (MHLW) on the current quarantine procedures and which countries are affected:

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/kenkou_iryou/covid19_qa_kanrenkigyou_00003.html

We advise all Irish citizens in Japan to register their details on our citizens’ registration portal (https://citizensregistration.dfa.ie/) in order to receive communications from the Embassy on the current situation.

You can also follow the Embassy on social media to receive updates and notices (Twitter: @irishembjapan and @IrishEmbJapanEN; Facebook https://www.facebook.com/irelandinjapan/)

Irish citizens in Ireland who intend to travel in the near future, and have concerns about COVID-19, can ring the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade dedicated phone line on +353 (0)1 613 1733.

Please see more information on the dedicated Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade COVID-19 travel advice webpage: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/coronavirus/

There is an ongoing outbreak of a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. There is a heightened risk of sustained local transmission of COVID-19 in Japan. If you are in Japan, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities.

For information from the Japanese Ministry of Health, please see the following link: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/newpage_00032.html

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Please be wary of these symptoms and seek immediate medical attention should such symptoms occur.

The Health Service Executive of Ireland (HSE) have advised some basic precautions to protect yourself from getting COVID-19:

Do:
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands

Don’t:
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

The Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) is providing updates on the situation as it relates to Japan, available here: https://www.japan.travel/en/news/coronavirus/

The JNTO also run a 24-hour hotline (+81 50 3816-2787) which provides support and advice in English for visitors in Japan including on COVID-19.

Additional information on the coronavirus can be found via the following links:

World Health Organisation

ECDC

HPSC

Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Travel Alert

Irish citizens in Japan should download TravelWise, our free smartphone app, and set an alert for 'Japan', to receive all of our significant security and other updates direct to your phone. You should also follow the Irish Embassy in Japan on Twitter. In the event of a crisis, we will issue travel advice from @IrishEmbJapan, based on updates issued by the authorities in Ireland and Japan.
We strongly encourage all Irish citizens resident in Japan to register on our Citizens' Registration Portal so as to ensure that they can receive any communications being issued by the Embassy.

Japan is located in an active earthquake zone and earthquakes of varying sizes occur frequently throughout the country, with further risks of tsunami and volcanic eruptions. Please see our Natural Disasters and Climate section for further information.

Flooding and landslides are a risk in Japan, particularly during typhoon season (June-October), and you should always follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media for updates.

Further up-to-date weather and earthquake information in English can be found on the website of the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The Japanese Government continue to maintain exclusion zones close to the site of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Illegally entering these zones is a punishable offence. See further relevant information in the Natural Disasters and Climate section.

Political events on the Korean peninsula can affect Japan. While North Korea announced a halt to nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile testing in April 2018, regional tensions remain and can escalate with little warning. Please monitor the media to stay informed of any developments and follow any alerts and advice of local authorities. See further relevant information in the Safety and Security section.

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

You can contact the emergency services in Japan by dialling 110.

Our tips for safe travels

• Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
• Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
• Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
• Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
• Read our Topical 'Know Before You Go' guid

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Crime

Crime remains low in Japan but you should take sensible precautions.

Personal Safety

You should be aware that there have been numerous reported instances of drinks being spiked in certain districts in Tokyo, in particular in Roppongi and Kabuki-cho. Late at night, Western tourists in these areas may be approached on the street and brought to bars or clubs, served strong or spiked drinks, and then either robbed or asked under duress to pay large sums of money. We recommend you exercise vigilance late at night in these areas.

Personal attacks, including sexual assault and rape, are rare, but do happen. Japanese law places a high burden of proof on the victim to demonstrate that the sexual relations were not consensual and committed through assault, intimidation or force.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Japan, report it to the local police immediately. Note that the police may initially refuse to issue you with any document which proves a report has been made. Please contact the Irish Embassy in Tokyo if you need assistance.

Counselling Services

Should you require professional counselling services we advise you to contact TELL Japan who offer free, anonymous telephone counselling and support across Japan.

Driving

Like Ireland, driving in Japan is on the left hand side of the road.  If you’re planning to drive in Japan, the roads are well maintained and the rules of the road are broadly similar to Ireland.

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your international driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • There are severe penalties against drink-driving or allowing someone else to drink and drive by, for example, being a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver.
  • Longer-term residents who wish to drive in Japan will need to obtain a domestic driving licence within their first year in the country. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police website provides useful information about obtaining a Japanese licence.

Vehicle hire

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Political tensions/Nuclear and missile tests by North Korea

While the likelihood of an incident remains low, we encourage you to be prepared and to be familiar with established safety procedures.

You can read detailed information about what to do and how to prepare on the Japanese Government’s Cabinet Secretariat Civil Protection Portal site. As in any emergency, the Embassy strongly advises you to follow the instructions of local authorities.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use is a serious crime in Japan and can lead to long prison terms, stiff penalties or deportation. We advise against purchasing medicines or other substances from overseas via the internet which can be a crime in Japan leading to prosecution.

Alcohol

Customs and laws concerning the consumption of alcohol in Japan are broadly similar to those in Ireland.  There are severe penalties against drink-driving or allowing someone else to drink and drive by, for example, being a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver.

You should also be aware that there have been several reported instances of drinks being spiked in certain districts in Tokyo.

Natural Disasters and Climate

Natural disasters and climate

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Japan is in a very active earthquake zone and earthquakes of various sizes occur frequently throughout the country. Irish citizens travelling to or resident in Japan should familiarise themselves with the measures to take in the event of an earthquake.

The following may also be useful sources of information for visitors to Japan:

Restrictions around the Fukushima nuclear power plant

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. The Japanese authorities implemented exclusion zones around the plant, and illegally entering these zones is a punishable offence. Further information on these areas can be seen on this Japanese government website. You can also check for up-to-date Japanese government information on the radiation levels around the Fukushima plant. The Japanese authorities carry out comprehensive monitoring of possible contamination of water and food and are imposing strict controls where necessary. The situation has stabilised, although it will take decades to decommission and decontaminate the plant.

Elsewhere in the north-east of Japan, the situation has largely returned to normal and there is no reason to avoid or postpone travel to this region.

Typhoons

The Japanese typhoon season runs from June to October, with the period between August and September seeing the most typhoon activity. Typhoons that hit Japan are often accompanied by high tides and landslides that can occur anywhere during continuous periods of heavy rain.

Travellers to Japan (particularly southern regions) should pay attention to local travel information and consult the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), which provides information in English. You should also check with your airline or transport operator before travelling.

Volcanoes

Japan has several active volcanoes. You should follow advice given by the Japanese authorities about travelling in volcanic areas. Please check latest volcano warnings on the website of the Japanese Meteorological Agency.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry and immigration procedures

As part of preventative measures against the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the Government of Japan has announced that from 27 March, all foreign visitors who have been in any one of 21 countries in Europe (including Ireland) in the past 14 days will be denied entry to Japan, unless there are exceptional circumstances:

Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, The Vatican

This is in addition to the entry restrictions for visitors to Japan who have visited any of the following regions/countries in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Japan:

• China: Hubei/Zhejiang
• South Korea: The city of Daegu and the county of Cheongdo; and the cities of Gyeongsan/ Andong/ Yeongcheon and the counties of Chilgok/ Uiseong/ Seongju/ Gunwi in North Gyeongsang Province
• Iran
• Iceland
• San Marino

The Government of Japan have also suspended a number of visa waiver agreements with Japan, including that of Ireland, until further notice. This means that Irish citizens will not be able to enter Japan as a visitor without a visa.

Those who still wish to travel to Japan can apply for a visa, but this is likely to take more time than usual. Please check with your nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate for further details. Please note that the entry restrictions detailed above remain in place for Irish citizens in possession of a visa.

Irish citizens currently in Japan can stay in the country for the remainder of the 90-day period that was granted on arrival.

Irish citizens who are normally resident in Japan and are currently outside of Japan with re-entry permission, will be permitted to return to Japan, unless they have travelled to one of the restricted regions specified above in the 14 days prior to their arrival in the country, in which case they will be denied entry to Japan until further notice.

If you are unsure of what the entry requirements for Japan are, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Japan. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

The Government of Japan has also implemented enhanced quarantine procedures for visitors to Japan. All visitors to Japan from a number of countries worldwide will be asked upon arrival to go into quarantine at designated locations for 14 days and to refrain from using public transport. Please see further information from the Japanese Ministry of Health (MHLW) on the current quarantine procedures and which countries are affected: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/kenkou_iryou/covid19_qa_kanrenkigyou_00003.html

Please note that these procedures may affect travellers flying via Japan if they are transferring to another airport in Japan for onward travel.
If you are unsure of whether your transit is affected, please contact your airline. You can also contact the Embassy in Tokyo by phone (03 3263 0695) or by email (tokyoem@dfa.ie).

In relation to entry procedures from November 2007, in accordance with a partial amendment to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, all foreign visitors entering Japan will be fingerprinted and digitally photographed during entry procedures.

Those refusing to be fingerprinted or photographed will be denied entry to Japan. Persons under the age of 16, special status permanent residents and those performing actions which would be performed by those with a status of residence, "diplomat" or "official government business" will be exempt from these procedures. Full information may be found on the website of the Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice.

Health

There is an ongoing outbreak of a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. There is a heightened risk of sustained local transmission of COVID-19 in Japan. If you are in Japan, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities.

For information in English from the Japanese Ministry of Health, please see the following link: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/newpage_00032.html

General information on travel and health can be found on the HSE website: https://www.hse.ie/eng/.

For specific travel health advice relating to Japan, including on vaccinations, we would advise travellers to contact their GP or travel clinic. Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Japan.

Medication

There are restrictions on the importation of some over-the-counter and prescription medicines and this may include certain types of allergy and sinus medication. If a visit to a doctor is required, there are a number of clinics with English-speaking personnel who widely advertise their services. However, it may not be possible to obtain the same brand-name medication that is available in Ireland. 

English Language Newspapers

NHK World: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/
Nikkei Asian Review: https://asia.nikkei.com/
Kyodo: https://english.kyodonews.net/

Language schools

There are numerous English language schools in Japan recruiting teachers from overseas. The Department strongly advises job applicants to scrutinise the details of the terms and conditions of their prospective contracts and of their prospective agency/ employer, in order to ensure that they are fully satisfied of the good standing of those agencies/employers and that their conditions of employment will be met.

Cash and banking

We advise you to contact your financial institution in advance of travelling to Japan and check that your cards will be valid upon arrival as some visitors experience difficulties accessing funds using cash cards issued in Ireland. It is advisable for visitors to have an alternative means with which to access funds should such situations arise (e.g. a credit card with a cash advance facility or travellers' cheques).

 

 

 

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Please note that if you require assistance in the case of emergency while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, 03 3263 0695, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox.
This mailbox will be monitored regularly.

Embassy of Ireland
Ireland House
2-10-7, Kojimachi
Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0083
Japan

Tel: +81 3 3263 0695
Fax: +81 3 3265 2275

Monday – Friday 10:00am to 12:30pm and 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr Seiji Kasama
Honorary Consulate of Ireland
C/O ID Partners Company Limited.
3F Takimoto Building
Kita 1-jo Nishi 7-chome 4-banchi
Chuo-ku Sapporo 060-0001
Japan

Tel: +81 11 221 2451
Fax: +81 11 783 7747