Basics for Travelers

Before Your Trip

Passport

Please check before departure that there is sufficient period remained until the expiration date of your passport. During your trip, have your passport with you at all times. You may be asked to present it for identification.

Losing your passport

Visa

Make sure whether you need a visa or not in order to to travel from your country to Japan (Okinawa). Please check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website for more information.

VISA / Residing in Japan (External link)
Exemption of Visa (External link)

Travel Insurance

Join a travel insurance before your trip to prepare for troubles during your trip. You may sometimes need to pay a large sum of medical fee due to injury, illness, or hospitalization during your trip. For the specifics on insurance coverage and conditions for subscription, please contact the insurance companies.

Customs procedure

It is the duty of those entering Japan to know what items are forbidden or regulated in Japan, and to make accurate declaration for items asked in the form.
Please check the list of forbidden or regulated items in the Japan customs website.
Examples of regulated items: cash, counterfeit brand products, chemicals, live animal or plant, drugs, cosmetics, etc.

Procedures of Passenger Clearance (External link)
Goods with Prohibitions, Controls and Restrictions (External link)
Prohibited and Restricted Things in Okinawa


Local situation

Currency and currency exchange

The Japanese currency is yen. You will need to make declaration in order to bring in cash worth more than 1 million Japanese yen. Small shops might not accept credit card. Please prepare necessary cash at the airport or at currency exchange booths at different locations in the prefecture.

Kinds of money

Coins: 1 yen, 5 yen, 10 yen, 50 yen, 100 yen, 500 yen
Bills: 1000 yen, 5000 yen, 10000 yen
Although quite rare, 2,000 yen bills are sometimes used.

What to wear

Okinawa can get very hot with lots of sun. Please be equipped sufficiently to avoid heat stroke and sun burn. Weather varies depending on season. Please check beforehand and prepare.

Okinawa Seasonal Calendar

Voltage and plugs

When you bring equipments that need to be plugged in, make sure they are compatible with Japanese voltage and plug holes. Japanese electricity plugs are A type. The voltage is 100V, and frequency is 60Hz. Please come prepared with a transformer, or use products that is compatible with Japanese voltage.

Internet

If you need internet during your trip, you have the following options.

Be.Okinawa Free Wi-Fi

This is a free Wi-Fi service recommended by Okinawa prefecture. You may have free wi-fi connection in the city or in the vicinity of tourist facilities.
Access area map
User Guide [PDF:30MB]
Please contact the respective facilities to find out about how to use them.

Portable wi-fi

There are services that rent portable wi-fi routers. You may be able to pick them up or return them at the airport. Please contact service providers for more information.

Sim card rental

By inserting sim card into your device, you will be able to use internet and phone in Japan. Please contact the service providers for the details such as rate plans or how to purchase the cards.

Safety related information

Please go over points to keep in mind when you encounter disaster during your trip.
Typhoon
Earthquake and Tsunami
Disaster information (External link)


Information for when you are in trouble

When you lose your passport

If you lose your passport, submit a lost items report to the Japanese police.
Then contact your country’s foreign embassy, legation, or consulate in Japan, and go through the necessary procedures.
Foreign Missions in Japan (External link)

Emergency contacts

#110 Calling the police to report an accident or crime.
#119 Calling an ambulance or fire engine in case of injury, illness or fire.
#118 Calling Coast Guard to report an accident in the sea.

Consultation regarding illnesses and injuries that does not require ambulances

Be.Okinawa Inbound Medical Interpretation Contact Center

This is a service provided by the Okinawa prefecture, that listens to symptoms on the phone and then gives you advice or refer you to clinics that provide services in foreign languages.
TEL:03-6635-0233 (in Japan)
Available languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai

Consultations regarding consumer issues

Consumer Hotline for Tourists

Feel free to call this hotline if you encounter consumer issues involving stores, restaurants, bars, transportation, or lodging during your visit.
TEL:03-5449-0906 (* Standard call rates to the call center will apply.)
Languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese
Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (closed weekends, national holidays, and Dec. 29 – Jan. 3)

Questions regarding sightseeing in Okinawa (for tourists)

Be.Okinawa Multilingual Contact Center (Email,  Call, Skype)

For those of you who want more tips and useful information about the trip.