Sakura in JapanGeneral Information

Japan is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy with a population of 127Milion.. Major religions include Shinto and Buddhism. The time zone is UTC+9, internet TLD is .jp and the main language is, of course, Japanese.

VISAs and Immigration

Australians and New Zealanders can travel for 90 days in Japan under the VISA waiver program. For more information on Japan’s VISA and Immigration regulations please go to the bottom of this page to find our “Useful Links” section. 


Mt. Fuji and the coastJapan has four main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. It also has over 4,000 other, smaller islands. The biggest island is Honshu and contains Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Nara, Kobe and other major cities.


Voltage in Japan is 100 volts with 50 hertz frequency in eastern Japan and 60 hertz in western Japan.  

Calling Code

Japan’s international calling code is +81.


Japanese standard time is GMT +9.


The Japanese currency is the Yen. With notes in ¥1,000, ¥2,000, ¥5,000 and ¥10,000 denominations and coins either ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50, ¥100, ¥500.  

Currency exchange is available at major banks and exchange bureaus can be found throughout Tokyo. Please check for the most current rates but as of November, 2012 AUD$1 = ¥85. A local beer costs around ¥400 but can be more in major cities.

Public Telephones

Public phones accept 10 and 100 yen coins or magnetic prepaid cards.  Emergency numbers include 110 for police, 119 for ambulance/fire.

Public Restrooms

There are two types of restrooms in Japan which offer either traditional Japanese-style squat toilets or Western-style. Many modern restrooms will include both types although visitors to the countryside will often find only the traditional type is available.

Credit Cards

Credite cards accepted at most hotels, department stores, duty free shops and restaurants although in the countryside it’s a better idea to rely on cash.


Tipping is not customary in Japan.


Japan is an extremely safe country with an extremely low crime rate. Even so, it’s still wise to make sure that you take care of your belongings and be aware of your surroundings.

National Holidays – 2015 & 2016

2015 Dates Week Day Name
Jan – 01 Thursday New Year’s Day
Jan – 12 Monday Coming of age day
Feb – 11 Wednesday National Foundation day
Mar – 21 Saturday Vernal Equiniox day
Apr – 29 Wednesday Showa day
May – 03 Sunday Constitution Memorial Day
May – 04 Monday Greenery day
May – 05 Tuesday Children’s Day
May – 06 Wednesday Constitution Memorial Day (Substitute holiday)
Jul – 20 Monday Maritime Day
Sep – 21 Monday Respect for the aged Day
Sep – 22 Tuesday Bridge Public Day
Sep – 23 Wednesday Autumnal Equiniox day
Oct – 12 Monday Health Sports Day
Nov – 03 Tuesday Culture Day
Nov – 23 Monday Labour Thanksgiving Day
Dec – 23 Wednesday The Emperor’s Birthday


2016 Dates Week Day Name
Jan – 01 Friday New Year’s Day
Jan – 11 Monday Coming of age day
Feb – 11 Thursday National Foundation day
Mar – 20 Sunday Vernal Equiniox day
Mar – 21 Monday Vernal Equiniox day (Substitute holiday)
Apr – 29 Friday Showa day
May – 03 Tuesday Constitution Memorial Day
May – 04 Sunday Greenery day
May – 05 Wednesday Children’s Day
May – 06 Friday Constitution Memorial Day
Jul – 18 Monday Maritime Day
Aug – 11 Thursday Mountain Day
Sep – 19 Monday Respect for the aged Day
Sep – 22 Tuesday Autumnal Equiniox day
Oct – 10 Thursday Health Sports Day
Nov – 03 Thursday Culture Day
Nov – 23 Wednesday Labour Thanksgiving Day
Dec – 23 Friday The Emperor’s Birthday


Useful Resources

Japanese Embassy in Australia (you can find VISA requirements on this website).

Australian Government’s Travel Advice for Japan

Japanese Immigration Bureau

Japan Customs

List of Prohibited Items by Japan Customs

Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) – A company whose job it is to promote travel and give information about Japan.

Japan-accesible – The site run by NPO Japan Accessible Tourism Center