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U.S. Citizen Services
Information for U.S. Citizens Traveling to Japan

Welcome to Japan

The U.S. Embassy and consulates in Japan are pleased to welcome U.S. citizen visitors back to Japan!

We encourage you to follow us on Twitter (@ACSTokyo) and Facebook (@ACSTokyo). Travelers should also consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Japan Introduces eVisa System for Travel to Japan

Starting August 18, Japan will introduce a new eVisa system to allow U.S. citizens to resume travel to Japan. U.S. citizens who wish to travel to Japan for group tourism, business, cultural exchanges, and family visitation may apply for a single-entry visa online. Applicants will need to create an account online and complete the electronic questionnaire. The eVisa is valid for three months. The application and review process may take an extended period of time. As such, the Japanese government suggests applying well in advance of your planned trip. Once approved, a “Notice of Issuance” will be sent by email. Please remember to print out the “Notice of Issuance” and carry it with you while traveling.

NOTE: At this time, even with the eVisa system, tourism is only allowed in cases where group travelers are sponsored by a travel agent and/or are part of an authorized travel group located in Japan.

Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ eVisa page for additional information, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

COVID-19 in Japan

The Embassy maintains a COVID-19 information page with comprehensive information and updates on COVID-19-related travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. We also strongly recommend all U.S. citizens carefully review the information on Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) website, which provides official guidance. Please note this guidance is subject to change with little notice.

Please be mindful of COVID-19 entry and quarantine restrictions, as well as COVID mitigation measures. Masks are worn almost universally in Japan. Travelers who are disregard COVID-19 mitigation measures reflect poorly on the international community.

Know Before You Go:  Prohibited Substances

Many common medications and over-the-counter drugs in the United States are illegal in Japan, regardless of whether you have a valid U.S. prescription. If you bring it with you, you risk arrest and detention by Japanese authorities. It is your responsibility to ensure you understand what substances are prohibited. The U.S. Embassy and consulates in Japan do not maintain a comprehensive list of prohibited medications or substances. Comprehensive information is available only from the Japanese government and is subject to change without notice. Please check Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare  (MHLW) website, including the FAQ, or email yakkan@mhlw.go.jp before traveling to Japan.

Travelers who need to bring more than the MLHW’s approved quantity of medication or medical devices should obtain a “Yakkan Shoumei” (importation certificate) prior to traveling and present it with the prescription to a customs officer upon arrival in Japan.  Certificate approval by the Japanese government may take several weeks to process and should be received before bringing the medication or medical devices to Japan.

All travelers entering Japan with a prescription medication, including medication that is not restricted in Japan, should consider bringing a copy of their doctor’s prescription as well as a letter stating the purpose of the drug.

For more information about bringing medicines into Japan and how to obtain a “Yakkan Shoumei” certificate, please visit  the website of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare  and email yakkan@mhlw.go.jp.

When you make your email inquiry to yakkan@mhlw.go.jp, please include the following information:

  • The drug’s active ingredients
  • The name of the medicine
  • The dosage and quantity
  • Your e-mail address

Passport/Carrying Identification

Make sure you carry your passport at all times during your trip to Japan. It is a legal requirement and local police may ask to check your identification. Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay. If you plan to travel to other countries during your trip, be sure to check the passport validity and visa requirements of each country.

Lost or Stolen Passports

The Embassy is ready to help U.S. citizens replace passports that are lost or stolen. We will work with you to replace your passport as expeditiously as possible. Our ability to issue passports outside of our business hours is extremely limited. More information can be found here.

Emergencies in Japan

Ensuring the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas is the Department of State’s top priority. The Embassy has compiled lists of resources that may be useful in an emergency:

U.S. citizens needing urgent assistance should contact us by using our inquiry form or phone (03-3224-5000). If you need after-hours assistance in an emergency, please call 03-3224-5000 and ask to speak with the Embassy’s duty officer. The Embassy’s extensive list of topics and information may have the answer you’re looking for.

Natural Disasters

Japan is a seismically active country with frequent earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters. In some cases, earthquakes can lead to tsunamis. In the event of a disaster during your travel, authorities will provide guidance on what to do in the immediate aftermath. In some cases, an alarm may sound just before an earthquake or other disaster strikes the area. The Japanese government pushes safety alerts to users via several apps, including at least one that provides English language information: the Japan National Tourism Organization’s Safety Tips app.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has a Disaster Prevention Information website with information on how to respond to a natural disaster in the area.

More information can be found on our website.

Visas to Japan

Visas for U.S. citizens hoping to travel, study or work in Japan are controlled by the Japanese government. While the Japanese Government is the ultimate authority on visa matters, we include some general information on visas for U.S. citizens to aid in your planning. U.S. citizens without a work visa cannot work in Japan. Please check here for detailed information.

The Immigration Services Agency of Japan has established Information Centers and One-Stop Consultation Centers to handle telephone, in-person and e-mail inquiries in Japanese and foreign languages. Contact information for Centers in different prefectures is listed here.

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Disclaimer

The information above is general information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and is subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The U.S. Embassy assumes no liability for inaccuracies in the information above. U.S. citizens wishing to obtain any further or more tailored information must contact the relevant local authority.