Documents required for short-term stays in Japan

Citizens of United Kingdom, Ireland, Gibraltar, Australia, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Netherlands and Belgium do not require a visa if their visit to Japan is for less than 90 days and is not for the purpose of profit or gain. However, you should be aware of the documents you will need to bring with you to Japan.

As we mentioned in a previous article, most European & Anglophone countries do not require a visa if visitors are travelling to Japan for less than 90 days and the purpose of the trip is not for profit or remuneration. However, passengers travelling to Japan for a short stay will be required to have their fingerprints and photograph taken on arrival. It is important to check that you have the following documents to travel to Japan:

  • A valid passport for the duration of your stay in Japan. Unlike other countries, there is no minimum period of validity (usually 6 months), but you should be aware that it may be required if you are transiting through another country or planning to visit other parts of Asia.
  • Proof of return ticket. This is not always required by the authorities, but you should have it with you just in case.
  • The form given to you on the plane, which you must give to the immigration officer before leaving the airport.

One particularly important detail to bear in mind, and one that the embassies insist on, is that the Japanese authorities are very demanding when it comes to checking tourists’ passports. Some Japanese officials can be very annoying if the passport is damaged or if the cover is detached from the booklet. It is therefore best to check your passport before travelling to Japan and renew it if it is damaged.

International Driving Licence

Although it’s not essential to have your own vehicle due to the immense, extensive and complex public transport network, having your own means of transport such as a car can be the icing on the cake of a unique experience. The freedom offered by a means of transport that allows you to go anywhere you want, with the sea as your only limit, is a luxury that can delight even the most sybaritic lovers of the Land of the Rising Sun.

The first thing you need to know is that one of the requirements for travelling to and driving in Japan is that you have an international driving licence. In other words, you cannot use a national licence. An international licence is fairly easy to obtain in most countries that do not require a visa to enter.

One thing to be aware of is that Japanese people drive on the left side of the road, so the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. It is therefore advisable to practice a little before taking to the road and to drive with extreme caution at all times, especially at the start, even though conventional roads rarely reach very high speeds.

In addition, some diplomatic missions point out that “it is necessary to have insurance with the widest possible cover, given the serious consequences and responsibilities, both criminal and civil, that any road accident, however serious, may entail”. And for your peace of mind, there are a number of insurance policies on the market that cover medical and hospitalisation costs in th