Introduction to Japan

Capital: Tokyo
Population: Approx. 127 million people
Area: Approx. 378,000㎢
Official Language: Japanese
Religion: Most people follow Buddhism or Shintoism, but there are also many atheists
Climate: There is a cool and temperate climate with four seasons: Spring, summer, autumn and winter. Japan is long from north to south, so there are a variety of different climates.
National Flag: The national flag depicts a red circle in the center of a white background. This represents the sunrise.
Geography: Mountainous areas account for approx. 70% of the country. Japan is an island nation. The nation consists of many large and small islands centered on Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku.
Language: Japanese is the official language. English is widely comprehended, but few other languages are understood.
Climate: There are distinct features in each season.
・ Spring (March to May): The temperature is warm and mild. This is the season when the cherry blossoms bloom.
・ Summer (June to August): This is the hottest season in Japan. There is also a high level of humidity and a rainy season called "tsuyu."
・ Autumn (September to November): This is the season when the temperature starts to drop. You can also see the autumn leaves in this season.
・ Winter (December to February): This is the season with the lowest temperature in Japan. Many regions see a large amount of snow.

Emergency Numbers:
The main emergency numbers are below.
  • Police: 110
  • Ambulance: 119
  • Fire Department: 119
Alcohol and Smoking: Only those aged 20 and over can smoke or drink alcohol by law.

Currency: Bills: ¥10,000 / ¥5,000 / ¥2,000 / ¥1,000
*There are also ¥2,000 bills in circulation, but they are not common.
Coins: ¥500 / ¥100 / ¥50 / ¥10 / ¥5 / ¥1
Currency Exchange / ATMs: You can change money at currency exchange counters, hotels, banks and post offices, etc.
There are also an increasing number of convenience store ATMs where you can change money
Credit Cards: Major Brands: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Diners Club and UnionPay, etc.
There are some places in regional areas where you cannot use credit cards, so it is best to check with this site.
Tips: Tips are basically not necessary
*A fixed service charge may be added to your bill in luxury restaurants.
Communications (Wi-Fi): You can purchase SIM cards in consumer electronics stores. In addition, there are also stores and facilities with Wi-Fi available for free or a fee.
Postal Service: There are extensive courier delivery services available. This means you can send your packages from convenience stores and post offices across Japan.
Voltage/Current: Voltage: 100V / Current: 50A in eastern Japan and 60A in western Japan
Drinking Water: It is possible to drink the tap water. Water is generally provided free of charge in restaurants. However, this is unlikely to be carbonated water.
Restrooms: There are extensive public restrooms available. This means you can use restrooms in stations, parks and elsewhere. These are used by many people, so they may be dirty.

Transportation

Taxis: There is a fixed rate for journeys up to two kilometers. The basic fare is about 730 yen in the city.
*This differs by city.
Buses: There are extensive short and long distance bus services available. These are often used to commute to work and school. However, you will need to take care because announcements may only be in Japanese.
Trains: Trains have been extremely developed as public transportation. Limited express trains and Shinkansen (bullet trains) are often used for long-distance journeys. In addition to regular railways, there are areas with subways, monorails and trams for short distance journeys within cities. Payment by e-cards has become the mainstream in recent years.

International Airports (Eastern Japan) Narita International Airport (NRT)
Tokyo International Airport (HND)
International Airports (Western Japan) Kansai International Airport (KIX)
Import Restrictions and Duty-free Limits You are prohibited from bringing in illegal drugs (e.g. opium, cocaine and marijuana), firearms/ammunition (e.g. handguns), obscene materials, fake brand-name goods, and certain plants and animals, etc.
Duty-free Limits (Per Adult)
Alcohol: Three 760ml bottles
Tabaco: Cigarettes only = 400 (200 Japanese-made cigarettes and 200 foreign-made cigarettes) / Cigars only = 50 / Other = 250g
Perfume: 2oz (1oz = Approx. 28ml)