- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
Latest Travel Alert
The Japan Meteorological Agency is currently forecasting that Typhoon Haikui will approach the southern islands of Okinawa Prefecture from the evening of Friday 1 September (Japanese time). A High Wave warning is in place and advisories for Heavy Rain, Storm, and Storm Surge.
Typhoons are often accompanied by high tides and landslides that can occur during continuous periods of heavy rain.
Travellers in the region should pay attention to local travel information and consult the website of the Japan Meteorological Agency which provides information in English. You should also check with your airline or transport operator before travelling.
COVID-19 Entry Requirements
Those arriving in Japan who display symptoms of COVID-19 may be required to take a COVID-19 test. However, there is no longer any requirement to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter Japan. No quarantine arrangements are in place.
General Travel Advice
Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter Japan for up to 90 days, as long as their trip is not for employment remunerative purposes.
Passports should be valid for the duration of stay in Japan. No additional period of validity beyond this is required. Passport cards cannot be used.
For more information on visa and passport, please see the “Additional Information” section.
Visitors to Japan are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
Japan is located in an active earthquake zone and earthquakes of varying sizes occur frequently throughout the country, with further risks of tsunami and volcanic eruptions. Please see our “Natural Disasters and Climate” section for further information.
Flooding and landslides are a risk in Japan, particularly during typhoon season (June-October), and you should always follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media for updates. Further up-to-date weather and earthquake information in English can be found on the website of the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The Japanese Government continue to maintain exclusion zones close to the site of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Illegally entering these zones is a punishable offence. See further relevant information in the “Natural Disasters and Climate” section.
Political events on the Korean peninsula can affect Japan. The likelihood of tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalating to impact the lives of those in the Japan is low. However, recent missile tests carried out by North Korea are a cause for concern and regional tensions can escalate with little warning. Please monitor the media to stay informed of any developments and follow any alerts and advice of local authorities. See further relevant information in the “Safety and Security” section.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Japan by dialling the relevant number below:
- Police: 110
- Fire brigade: 119
- Ambulance: 199
Tokyo Police have English-speaking officers available from Monday to Friday 08.30 – 17.15 at (03) 3501 0110.
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Crime remains low in Japan but you should take sensible precautions.
You should be aware that there have been numerous reported instances of drinks being spiked in certain districts in Tokyo, in particular in Roppongi and Kabuki-cho. Late at night, Western tourists in these areas may be approached on the street and brought to bars or clubs, served strong or spiked drinks, and then either robbed or asked under duress to pay large sums of money. We recommend you exercise vigilance late at night in these areas.
Personal attacks, including sexual assault and rape, are rare, but do happen. Japanese law places a high burden of proof on the victim to demonstrate that the sexual relations were not consensual and committed through assault, intimidation or force.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Japan, report it to the local police immediately. Note that the police may initially refuse to issue you with any document which proves a report has been made. Please contact the Irish Embassy in Tokyo if you need assistance.
Should you require professional counselling services we advise you to contact TELL Japan who offer free, anonymous telephone counselling and support across Japan.
Like Ireland, driving in Japan is on the left hand side of the road. If you’re planning to drive in Japan, the roads are well maintained and the rules of the road are broadly similar to Ireland.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your international driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- There are severe penalties against drink-driving or allowing someone else to drink and drive by, for example, being a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver.
- Longer-term residents who wish to drive in Japan will need to obtain a domestic driving licence within their first year in the country. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police website provides useful information about obtaining a Japanese licence.
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Political tensions/Nuclear and missile tests by North Korea
While the likelihood of an incident remains low, we encourage you to be prepared and to be familiar with established safety procedures.
You can read detailed information about what to do and how to prepare on the Japanese Government’s Cabinet Secretariat Civil Protection Portal site. As in any emergency, the Embassy strongly advises you to follow the instructions of local authorities.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Illegal drug use is a serious crime in Japan and can lead to long prison terms, stiff penalties or deportation. We advise against purchasing medicines or other substances from overseas via the internet which can be a crime in Japan leading to prosecution.
Customs and laws concerning the consumption of alcohol in Japan are broadly similar to those in Ireland. There are severe penalties against drink-driving or allowing someone else to drink and drive by, for example, being a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver.
You should also be aware that there have been several reported instances of drinks being spiked in certain districts in Tokyo.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
Earthquakes and tsunamis
Japan is in a very active earthquake zone and earthquakes of various sizes occur frequently throughout the country. Irish citizens travelling to or resident in Japan should familiarise themselves with the measures to take in the event of an earthquake.
The following may also be useful sources of information for visitors to Japan:
- NHK News media outlet (in English)
- Japan Meteorological Agency
- Japan Safe Travel (JNTO)
- Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, Tourism Disaster Portal
- English language disaster information is available via the notifications feature on the NHK World News App
Restrictions around the Fukushima nuclear power plant
The 2011 earthquake and tsunami severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. The Japanese authorities implemented exclusion zones around the plant, and illegally entering these zones is a punishable offence. Further information on these areas can be seen on this Japanese government website. The Japanese authorities carry out comprehensive monitoring of possible contamination of water and food and are imposing strict controls where necessary. The situation has stabilised, although it will take decades to decommission and decontaminate the plant.
Elsewhere in the north-east of Japan, the situation has largely returned to normal and there is no reason to avoid or postpone travel to this region.
The Japanese typhoon season runs from June to October, with the period between August and September seeing the most typhoon activity. Typhoons that hit Japan are often accompanied by high tides and landslides that can occur anywhere during continuous periods of heavy rain.
Travellers to Japan (particularly southern regions) should pay attention to local travel information and consult the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), which provides information in English. You should also check with your airline or transport operator before travelling.
Japan has several active volcanoes. You should follow advice given by the Japanese authorities about travelling in volcanic areas. Please check latest volcano warnings on the website of the Japanese Meteorological Agency.
Passports should be valid for the duration of stay in Japan. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.
A visa waiver agreement between Ireland and Japan is currently in force and Irish citizens seeking to enter Japan for a short stay of up to 90 days (extendable up to 6 months on application within Japan) may do so without first obtaining a visa in advance. However, if Irish citizens wish to enter Japan to take up employment, exercise a profession or other occupation, or engage in public entertainment (including sport) for remunerative purposes, or if they wish to enter for a period longer than 6 months, they will need to obtain a visa in advance of travel though the Embassy of Japan in Ireland.
Irish citizens with Status of Residence in Japan and who leave or have left Japan with a valid re-entry permit are allowed to re-enter Japan subject to entry requirements.
Further information on current entry restrictions can be found in the Overview section of this Travel Advice. For full information, please consult the website of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Information on extension of short term stays in Japan and other immigration matters can be found on the website of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan.
Information on Entry Requirements
In accordance with a partial amendment to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, from November 2007, all foreign visitors entering Japan will be fingerprinted and digitally photographed during entry procedures.
Those refusing to be fingerprinted or photographed will be denied entry to Japan. Persons under the age of 16, special status permanent residents and those performing actions which would be performed by those with a status of residence, "diplomat" or "official government business" will be exempt from these procedures.
Full information may be found on the website of the Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice.
There is a risk of sustained local transmission of COVID-19 in Japan. If you are in Japan, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities.
- The Embassy continues to advise Irish citizens in Japan to monitor developments closely and to follow the advice of local and national authorities for details of specific measures in force, in order to assure their own health and that of others.
- Information on COVID-19 in Japan can be found on the website of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare: COVID-19 Information and Resources. Please note that counter-measures may be introduced in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.
- Irish citizens in Japan should register with the Embassy via the citizens registration portal
- Follow us on twitter @IrishEmbJapan for further information and updates.
The Japan National Tourism Organization also run a 24-hour hotline (+81 50 3816-2787) which provides support and advice in English for visitors in Japan including on COVID-19.
For specific travel health advice relating to Japan, including on vaccinations, we would advise those travelling to Japan to contact their GP or travel clinic. Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Japan.
There are restrictions on the importation of some over-the-counter and prescription medicines and this may include certain types of allergy and sinus medication. If a visit to a doctor is required, there are a number of clinics with English-speaking personnel who widely advertise their services. However, it may not be possible to obtain the same brand-name medication that is available in Ireland.
There are numerous English language schools in Japan recruiting teachers from overseas. The Department strongly advises job applicants to scrutinise the details of the terms and conditions of their prospective contracts and of their prospective agency/ employer, in order to ensure that they are fully satisfied of the good standing of those agencies/employers and that their conditions of employment will be met.
Cash and banking
We advise you to contact your financial institution in advance of travelling to Japan and check that your cards will be valid upon arrival as some visitors experience difficulties accessing funds using cash cards issued in Ireland. It is advisable for visitors to have an alternative means with which to access funds should such situations arise (e.g. a credit card with a cash advance facility or travellers' cheques).
Please note that if you require assistance in the case of emergency while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, 03 3263 0695, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox.
This mailbox will be monitored regularly.
Embassy of Ireland
Monday – Friday 10:00am to 12:30pm and 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Honorary Consulate Contact
Mr Seiji Kasama
Honorary Consulate of Ireland
C/O ID Partners Company Limited.
3F Takimoto Building
Kita 1-jo Nishi 7-chome 4-banchi
Chuo-ku Sapporo 060-0001
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.