5 Things You Need to Know about Japan Visa

To visit Japan, you may need to obtain a visa before you get on the plane. Need visa or not depends on your current nationality. 

» Visa Exempt

As July of 2017, there are 68 Countries and Regions for Visa Exemptions, if you are holding one of the following countries’ passport, you can go on a trip to Japan at anytime, no matter your purpose is tourism, or commerce, conferences, visiting relatives / acquaintances, etc.

Asia

North America

Europe

Brunei (15 days)

Canada

Andorra

Liechtenstein (Note8)

Indonesia (Note1)

United States

Austria (Note8)

Lithuania

Malaysia (Note2)

Oceania

Belgium

Luxembourg

Republic of Korea

Australia

Bulgaria

Malta

Singapore

New Zealand

Croatia

Monaco

Thailand (Note3) (15 days)

Latin America

and the Caribbean

Cyprus

Netherlands

Hong Kong (Note4)

Argentina

Czech Republic

Norway

Macao (Note5)

Bahamas

Denmark

Poland

Taiwan (Note6)

Barbados (Note7)

Estonia

Portugal

Middle East

Chile

Finland

Romania

Israel

Costa Rica

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

San Marino

Turkey (Note7)

Dominican Republic

France

Serbia

United Arab Emirates (Note9)

El Salvador

Germany (Note8)

Slovakia

Africa

Guatemala

Greece

Slovenia

Lesotho (Note7)

Honduras

Hungary

Spain

Mauritius

Mexico (Note8)

Iceland

Sweden

Tunisia

Surinam

Ireland (Note8)

Switzerland (Note8)

 

Uruguay

Italy

United Kingdom (Note8)

 

 

Latvia

 


Countries of the European Union and North America are allowed to travel in Japan for 90 days, some countries like Austria, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland are allowed to apply for an extension of their stay for up to even 6 months. There are special rules for some Asia Countries, Citizens of Indonesia, Brunei, and Thailand are allowed a 15-day visa-free travel in Japan; while citizens of United Arab Emirates are allowed 30 days. More information please check:

https://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/novisa.html

However, you should apply visa if engage in any paid activities, exceed the stipulated in each country’s arrangement of Short-Term Stay, need to Work in Japan or Long-Term Stay etc.

» Visa Required

If you hold the other countries and regions passport, it is necessary apply visa before enter Japan. Well, different countries will be with different visa policies, I recommend you check the websites firstly:

https://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/index.html
https://www.mofa.go.jp/about/emb_cons/mofaserv.html

Just show my experience: Last year, I booked 7D6N Japan tour package from Novalandtour, it was including hotels & several days tour, excluded visa, because they focus on land tour in recent years, but the staff provided hotel confirmation & tour itinerary to assist me apply visa, very nice. But as far as I know, they just help their clients apply for tourist visa, if you come to Japan for work / business, medical etc, I think it is better contact Japan Embassy in your country, Japan Visa Accredited Agencies, and search more information online.

» Visa Processing Time

In general, the processing period for visa issuance is approximately 5 working days from the day after the date of the acceptance of application as long as there are no particular problems with the content of the application. It may take less time than it depending on the embassy / consulate general / purpose of visit, but the processing time will be longer than usual if meet public holiday.


If your tour date is still far away since now, you could start to prepare visa 3 months in advance. But if you will take Japan trip very soon, I would like recommend you apply it 10 working days at least, especially you or your group member may need to supplement document for certain condition.

» Visa Fees

As Ministry of Foreign Affairs say, the fees are about 3,000 yen for a single-entry visa, 6,000 yen for a double-entry or multiple-entry visa, and 700 yen for a transit visa. Fees are collected in the currency of the country (region) in which the Embassy / Consulate General is located. Depending on the purpose of your visit and your nationality, fees may be in a different amount.

» Visa & JR Pass

Lot of friends ask me about JR Pass, yes, it can save much money if you plan take Shinkansen (Bullet Train) many times during 7 / 14 / 21 days, but do you know the use of eligibility?

http://www.japanrailpass.net/en/about_jrp.html#bm_001

Make it simple, foreign tourist will get Temporary Visitor stamp / sticker on passport when enter Japan with one purpose - sightseeing, that’s mean you couldn’t use JR Pass if you have other types of Japan visa. In the meantime, please kindly note there will be no stamp / sticker on your passport if pass the Customs via automated gate, you should ask the staff for help immediately. Otherwise, you can’t use JR Pass as well. 

Even I just explored Japan one time, I sincerely hope my suggestion & experience can let you have a picture before touring. 

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