There a number of things that citizens who plan on traveling to Tokyo should know before arriving in Japan’s capital city in order to ensure a relaxed and stress-free trip. One of the first things any potential traveler to Japan’s biggest metropolis should check is whether or not they require a Tokyo visa to enter Japan.
Citizens of 68 countries are able to travel to Tokyo without a visa for short stays for tourism and business purposes, with the amount of time permitted depending on the traveler’s nationality. All other foreign nationalities are required to apply for a Japan visa for Tokyo in order to travel to the capital.
One they have obtained the correct travel document for Tokyo, travelers will be able to plan other aspects of their trip, including things to do in Tokyo and how to get to Tokyo city from the airport. Travelers are also advised to find out contact details for their country’s embassy in Tokyo in case of an emergency.
Is a Visa Required to Travel to Tokyo?
Whether a traveler needs a visa for Tokyo or not depends on their nationality, and they should check the Japan visa requirements to be sure.
Citizens of several countries, including the United States, Canada, and Mexico, are able to stay in Japan for up to 90 days without a visa.
Citizens of several other countries, including Ireland, Germany, and the United Kingdom, are able to stay in Tokyo without a visa for up to 6 months. However, even those who do not need a visa to travel to Tokyo are still required to present a valid passport and return flight tickets upon arrival in order to gain access to Japan.
Citizens of non-visa-exempt countries, as well as visa-free citizens who wish to spend longer periods in Toyko, are required to apply for one of the Japan visa types from an embassy or consulate. Those who plan to visit Tokyo for a short holiday are required to apply for a Japan tourist visa, which allows a stay of up to 90 days and is available as either a single or double-entry visa.
Business travelers to Japan are able to obtain a business visa for Toyko, which is also available for a stay for up to 90 days as either a single or double-entry visa.
At the moment, it is necessary to apply in person for a business or tourist visa for Tokyo from the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate, and the processing time can take up to 5 days. However, this will change from April 2020, the expected launch date of the Japanese eVisa for Tokyo. This electronic visa is being introduced in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will allow eligible citizens to obtain an electronic visa online without having to visit an embassy.
Arriving at Toyko Airports with a Visa for Japan
There are 2 airports in Tokyo that receive international arrivals, Haneda Airport, officially known as Tokyo International Airport, and Narita International Airport, also known as New Tokyo International Airport.
Tokyo International Airport is a domestic airport with some international flights, located in Ōta, 14 kilometers south of Tokyo Station, the capital’s main railway station. It is the primary base of Japan’s two major domestic airlines, Japan Airlines, and All Nippon Airways.
New Tokyo International Airport is Toyko’s primary airport for international flights and is located in Narita, 60 kilometers east of Tokyo. As Narita handles around 50% of all of Japan’s international passenger traffic, the majority of international visitors to Tokyo will arrive at New Tokyo International.
Non-visa-exempt travelers arriving at either airport will be able to present a copy of an approved Japan visa for Tokyo alongside their passport at border control to gain entry to the country and travel onwards to Tokyo. Although it is further away from Tokyo city center than Haneda Airport, there are are more direct public transportation options from Narita.
Those who arrive at New Tokyo International Airport are able to choose from 2 public train services to the city, the Narita Express and the Narita Line Rapid Train/Sōbu Line Rapid Train. The Narita Express allows travelers direct access to major stations across Tokyo, including Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, and Shibuya Station. It takes around 60 minutes to reach Tokyo Station on the Narita Express. It takes around 90 minutes to reach Tokyo Station on the Narita Line Rapid Train/Sōbu Line Rapid Train, although it is significantly cheaper than the Narita express.
Travelers who arrive at Haneda International Airport are able to reach destinations across central Toyko by using either the Keikyu or JR Yamanote train lines or the Tokyo Monorail. However, all of these options require a transfer to reach the major Tokyo train stations. For more information about arriving at airports in Tokyo, please see the article on Japan airport information.
Major Embassies in Tokyo
It is always a good idea to be aware of your country’s diplomatic representation at your travel destination in case of any emergencies, and it is no different for Tokyo. Find below contact information for the embassies in Tokyo of the countries whose citizens make up the greatest number of tourist arrivals to Japan.
U.S. Embassy Tokyo
1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 107-8420 Japan
Telephone: +81 3-3224-5000
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Japan
3 Chome-4-33 Motoazabu, Minato City
Tokyo 106-0046 Japan
Telephone: +81 3-3403-3388
Australian Embassy Tokyo
2 Chome-1-14 Mita, Minato City
Tokyo 108-8361, Japan
Telephone: +81 3-5232-4111
Embassy of the Republic of Korea
1 Chome-2-5 Minamiazabu, Minato City
Tokyo 106-0047, Japan
Telephone: +81 3-3452-7611
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan
5 Chome-20-2 Shirokanedai, Minato City
Tokyo 108-0071, Japan
Telephone: +81 3-3280-7811