Most travellers to Japan can enter the country without obtaining a visa in advance. These include nationals from 65 countries, including the USA, Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. You'll automatically be granted a temporary visitor visa on arrival, which is valid for up to 90 days (as long as you don’t plan to work while you’re in Japan). Even if you are from one of these visa-exempt countries, you must have a passport that remains valid through the time you stay in Japan.
However, there are plenty of countries that do require their nationals to obtain a visa before their arrival in Japan. These countries include China, Vietnam, the Pacific Islands and Ukraine (among others). Luckily, the visa application process is relatively easy and stress-free as you can apply at your nearest Japanese embassy/consulate. The introduction of e-visas is expected to be launched in the near future, however, they're not available at this time.
Regardless of whether you need a tourist visa to visit Japan, it's important that you get your passport stamped on arrival as this is needed to secure a Japan Rail Pass. If you don't have a stamp, you won't get a pass and that could disrupt your travel plans if it's your preferred mode of transportation around Japan.
Visa entry requirements
As well as having a valid passport with at least 6 months' validity, nationals that need to obtain a visa for tourism purposes have to show the following supporting documentation:
recent passport-sized photo
copy of your birth certificate
travel details, including a return flight
proof of financial stability for the duration of your stay in Japan
Once submitted, the visa approval process usually takes around 5 to 15 business days but it can take longer depending on the visa you're applying for and the Japanese embassy/consulate you're applying at so we recommend starting the process as soon as you figure out your travel plans to avoid any disruptions.
You'll need to pay for your visa upon application and this can be done at your nearest Japanese embassy/consulate. Please note the payment must be received in that country's currency and that fees are subject to change depending on your nationality and what type of visa you're applying for (a single-stay tourist visa, a multi-stay tourist visa etc). However, the average visa application fee is 3,000 Yen or USD$21. Once you've paid, you'll receive confirmation that your application has been submitted.
The page is for general information only and may be subject to change. It is your responsibility to obtain the relevant visa and travel information required for entry, departure and travel to each country or region you visit on your trip. You should confirm these with the relevant embassies and/or consulates.