General Japan Info

Japan is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy with a population of 126,760,000. Major religions include Shinto and Buddhism. The time zone is UTC+9, internet TLD is .jp and the main language is, of course, Japanese.

VISAs and Immigration

New Zealanders can travel for 90 days in Japan under the VISA waiver program. For more information on Japan’s VISA and Immigration regulations please go to the bottom of this page to find our “Useful Links” section.


Japan has four main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. It also has over 4,000 other, smaller islands. The biggest island is Honshu and contains Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Nara, Kobe and other major cities.


Voltage in Japan is 100 volts with 50 hertz frequency in eastern Japan and 60 hertz in western Japan.

Calling Code

Japan’s international calling code is +81.


Japanese standard time is GMT +9.


The Japanese currency is the Yen. With notes in ¥1,000, ¥2,000, ¥5,000 and ¥10,000 denominations and coins either ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50, ¥100, ¥500.

Currency exchange is available at major banks and exchange bureaus can be found throughout Tokyo. Please check for the most current rates but as of May, 2017 NZ$1 = ¥75. A local beer costs around ¥400 but can be more in major cities.

Public Telephones

Public phones accept 10 and 100 yen coins or magnetic prepaid cards. Emergency numbers include 110 for police, 119 for ambulance/fire.

Public Restrooms

There are two types of restrooms in Japan which offer either traditional Japanese-style squat toilets or Western-style. Many modern restrooms will include both types although visitors to the countryside will often find only the traditional type is available.

Credit Cards

Credite cards accepted at most hotels, department stores, duty free shops and restaurants although in the countryside it’s a better idea to rely on cash.


Tipping is not customary in Japan.


Japan is an extremely safe country with an extremely low crime rate. Even so, it’s still wise to make sure that you take care of your belongings and be aware of your surroundings.

National Holidays 2019 – 2020

Date Week Day Name
29 APR 2019 Monday Showa Day
30 APR 2019 Tuesday Observed
1 MAY 2019 Wednesday Emperor Naruhito’s Ascension to the Throne
2 MAY 2019 Thursday Observed
3 MAY 2019 Friday Constitution Memorial Day
4 MAY 2019 Saturday Greenery Day
5 MAY 2019 Sunday Children’s Day
6 MAY 2019 Monday Observed
15 JUL 2019 Monday Marine Day
11 AUG 2019 Sunday Mountain Day
12 AUG 2019 Monday Observed
16 SEP 2019 Monday Respect for the Aged Day
23 SEP 2019 Monday Autumnal Equinox Day
14 OCT 2019 Monday Health Sports Day
22 OCT 2019 Tuesday Emperor Naruhito’s Enthronement Ceremony
03 NOV 2019 Sunday Culture Day
04 NOV 2019 Monday Observed
23 NOV 2019 Saturday Labour Thanksgiving Day
1 JAN 2020 Wednesday New Year’s Day
2 JAN 2020 Thursday Bank holiday
3 JAN 2020 Friday Bank holiday
13 JAN 2020 Monday Coming of Age Day
11 FEB 2020 Tuesday National Foundation Day
23 FEB 2020 Sunday The Emperor’s Birthday
24 FEB 2020 Monday Observed
20 MAR 2020 Friday Spring Equinox Day
29 APR 2020 Wednesday Showa Day


Useful Resources

Japanese Embassy in New Zealand (you can find VISA requirements on this website).

Consulate General of Japan in Auckland (you can find VISA requirements on this website).

New Zealand Government’s Travel Advice for Japan

Japanese Immigration Bureau

Japan Customs

List of Prohibited Items by Japan Customs

Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) – A company whose job it is to promote travel and give information about Japan.