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Military action is underway in Ukraine. If you’re in Ukraine, shelter in place until it’s safe to depart.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is ongoing. The security situation continues to be volatile and is deteriorating rapidly. Heavy fighting, including bombardments, explosions and missile launches, is ongoing throughout Ukraine, including in major cities. Infrastructure and military facilities have been struck by rocket attacks. There have been many civilian casualties. Foreigners have been killed and may be targeted, including in areas not directly affected by fighting. Do not travel to Ukraine, there is a real risk to life. If you’re in Ukraine, shelter in place until you judge it’s safe to depart. Continue to monitor advice on Smartraveller and reputable local and international media. Where it is safe to do so, you should leave Ukraine.
Use your judgement to decide the best time and safest means of exit. Expect some congestion on routes, at checkpoints and lengthy queues. Roads may be crowded, exposed to military action or have damage, including to bridges and facilities. Make sure you have an adequate supply of food, water, medication and fuel.
The Australian Government will not be able to evacuate you from Ukraine.
Be aware that some borders may close without notice. Information may change and will be updated as details become available. You should also read the travel advice of the destination you’re travelling to - entry requirements may differ when entering by road, rail or air. Before leaving Ukraine, verify if the local authorities of your destination have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation.
Expect some congestion on routes, at checkpoints and lengthy queues. Make sure you have an adequate supply of food, water, medication and fuel. Use your judgement to decide the best time and safest means of exit. Roads may be crowded, exposed to military action or have damage, including to bridges and facilities.
In most cases, Australians departing Ukraine must present a valid Australian passport.
Read our advice about Ukraine border regions.
+61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
1300 555 135 from within Australia
Call 110 or contact the local police at the nearest police station.
For Tokyo English-speaking Police, call 3501 0110 (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:15pm).
Health advice is continually changing as we learn more about COVID-19 and new variants may be discovered. Rules and restrictions to prevent outbreaks can change quickly. It’s important to regularly check the rules in the destinations you’re travelling to and transiting through, as well as the requirements at the Australian border. These may differ between state and territory jurisdictions.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Tensions in the region, including with North Korea, could worsen with little warning.
To stay safe:
Japan has a low crime rate. Bag snatching happens from time to time.
Bars and nightclubs, especially in the Roppongi and Shinjuku (Kabuki-cho) entertainment areas of Tokyo, may target you with:
Be wary of street touts that try to get you to go into a venue.
You may be served drinks with higher alcohol content than normal. Some victims have woken in unknown places and discovered high credit card charges. Other victims have been taken to ATMs and made to withdraw a large sum of cash while under the effects of drink spiking.
In these situations, you may find it hard to get a police report for your bank and travel insurer.
To stay safe:
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Japan has heightened security measures in place at key facilities, such as:
Trekking and mountaineering can be dangerous.
Every year, many people die while trying to climb Mount Fuji.
Japanese Emergency Services warn against climbing from September to June. This is when it's most dangerous.
Check your travel insurance covers you for extreme activities, such as mountain climbing.
Bears have been seen in some areas of northern Japan.
If you plan to trek in the Japanese Alps:
It's dangerous to ski or snowboard off-piste, either inside or outside a ski resort's boundaries.
Many travellers have suffered serious head injuries they could've prevented by wearing the right equipment.
Check your insurance policy covers you for snow sports.
Local ski resorts govern rules in each ski region. You can be arrested and detained for unruly behaviour. See Travel
If you're skiing in Japan:
In an emergency, consular help may be severely limited.
Be prepared to deal with emergencies by:
The Japan National Tourism Organization provides disaster preparation safety tips for visitors to Japan and other useful emergency information.
The following stations broadcast emergency information in English:
Japanese public broadcaster NHK provides a free smartphone app, which can be set to receive emergency notifications in English. This includes earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption and typhoon warnings.
If there's a natural disaster:
The typhoon season is from May to November.
Local authorities broadcast current typhoon information through the local media and the Japan Meteorological Agency website.
A typhoon's precise path and strength is hard to predict and can change quickly.
If there's a typhoon:
If there is heavy rain, stay indoors. If necessary, evacuate to a place on the second floor or higher. Find an evacuation shelter if there's one in your local area.
Keep away from areas with:
Be careful of fallen electrical lines.
There's a constant risk of earthquakes and tsunamis.
The Japan Meteorological Agency provides information in English about earthquakes and tsunamis.
Get emergency plan information in your area from local or prefectural government offices, such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Disaster Prevention (Japanese).
Local authorities are responsible during a crisis for helping people living or travelling within their jurisdictions.
If there's an earthquake:
Japan has 110 active volcanoes.
The Japan Meteorological Agency provides a list of the latest volcano warnings.
If you plan to visit a volcanic area:
Parts of Japan experience heavy snowfalls and extremely low temperatures in winter.
Conditions can change suddenly.
Each year, people are injured or killed in snow-related incidents, including:
Walking alone or under the effects of alcohol, or straying from marked trails, can be fatal.
Avalanches are common and heavy snowstorms can create deep powder snow drifts.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Different environments, unfamiliar customs and language barriers may worsen existing mental health conditions. They may also trigger new issues.
Mental health treatment and services can differ to those in Australia.
If you need counselling services in English while in Japan:
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
Japan has strict rules about bringing medication into the country. These affect both medication imports and medication you carry for personal use.
There are 5 categories (PDF) of medicine. These are:
You may need a permit or certificate to take medication into Japan. This will depend on the medication's classification, name and quantity.
Some medication is banned, including:
Authorities could detain you if you're found with them.
For narcotic medications, including codeine, morphine and oxycodone, apply for a Narcotic Certificate. If you don't have this certificate when you enter Japan, authorities may take the medication.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Japan. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating:
There's a risk of local transmission of COVID-19 in Japan. Authorities have confirmed a large number of infections and some deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Wear a face mask in public places, particularly on public transport and when in enclosed spaces.
Monitor your health closely. Follow the media for updates affecting your health and obey any instructions issued by local authorities. If you have symptoms of respiratory illness, contact a doctor immediately.
For further information on Japan's COVID-19 vaccination program, refer to the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Vaccinations will be managed by the city office where your residence is registered. You should consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
Restricted areas exist around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The 2011 earthquake caused the release of lethal radiation. Radiation levels in most parts of Japan, including Tokyo, are within the normal range.
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) provides details on radiation in Japan. ARPANSA has assessed the radiation levels in most parts of Japan, including Tokyo, to be within the normal range.
Japanese encephalitis occurs in Japan's rural areas. Get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis before you travel.
To protect yourself from disease:
Make sure your vaccinations are up to date before you travel.
Medical facilities are of a high standard. You can find medical facilities with English-speaking staff in most major cities.
Medical care in Japan can be expensive. You may need to pay up-front or give a guarantee that you'll cover costs before you're treated.
The Japan National Tourism Organization lists hospitals with English and other foreign language-speaking staff.
There are many hospitals with decompression chambers in areas where diving is popular.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
See the Australian Embassy Tokyo website for more information about arrests in Japan.
Be aware that you won't be allowed to make a phone call if you are arrested in Japan.
Authorities can charge you if they find trace amounts of illegal drugs in your blood or urine.
Japanese family law, including divorce and child custody, is very different to Australian law. For example joint custody of a child after divorce is not a legal option, and there are limits to access for a non-custodial parent. The Family Courts in Japan generally consider that it is in a child’s best interests for them to remain in their “usual place of residence”. Courts therefore usually give sole custody to the parent that has taken care of the child most recently.
If you're involved in custody or other family disputes, consult a lawyer before you leave Australia or if you are already in Japan. We have produced some general information about issues around custody, child abduction and parental rights.
Australia and Japan are both parties to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
If you're concerned that your child has been wrongfully removed or detained in Japan, contact the Attorney-General's Department in Australia.
Some employment agents mislead and encourage foreigners to work in Japan without:
This could leave you open to exploitation.
Authorities have arrested Australians for working in the entertainment industry while in Japan on tourist visas.
If you want to travel to Japan for work:
Police can stop you on the street, demand identification and search you and your belongings.
If you're in a public place, police can seize:
If they find any of these items on you, it’s likely that police will detain you.
If you're arrested, police can detain you for up to 23 days without charge. This includes offences you may think are minor. Police might hold you for weeks or months while they investigate and undertake legal proceedings.
The initial police interview may last several hours. Police might record it in writing rather than electronically.
Under Japanese law, you can:
However, police can question you without your lawyer present.
English interpreters may be substandard. Get a list of English-speaking lawyers around Japan from the Australian Embassy website.
If you're staying for up to 90 days, you must always carry your passport.
If you live in Japan, you must always carry your residence card.
It's illegal to:
These activities are also illegal:
Penalties for serious crimes, such as murder, include the death penalty.
Other sentences can include:
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Japan recognises dual nationality until the age of 22, after which the dual national must decide which nationality to retain.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, including COVID-19 vaccinations and tests, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Japan is easing travel restrictions, but tourists remain unable to enter. You can enter if you have a valid Japanese residence card and re-entry permit.
Fully vaccinated business travellers and students may also be able to enter Japan. Before a visa will be considered, the travel must be sponsored by a receiving organisation in Japan. The sponsoring organisation in Japan must inform the Japanese Government of its intention to sponsor your travel before a visa will be granted. Contact your nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate for more information.
Fully vaccinated travellers from Australia who have received a booster no longer need to quarantine or isolate upon arrival in Japan.
If you haven't received a booster or aren't fully vaccinated, you must isolate at home (or at your chosen location) for 7 days. The first day of quarantine is counted from the day following arrival. If you can present a negative result from a COVID-19 test on your third day, you can end your isolation period.
Travellers from other countries may still need to quarantine at a designated quarantine facility for either 3 or 6 days and continue to self-isolate at home for the remainder of the 7-day period.
Contact your nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate for further information.
Entry and quarantine requirements are changing regularly. Information on border restrictions can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, or by contacting your nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate.
If you're travelling from Australia, you must present a negative COVID-19 (PCR or quantitative antigen) test result taken within 72 hours of departure for Japan. The 72 hours starts from the sampling time to departure time of the flight. Test result certificates can be in English. The certificates must include all the information contained in the sample on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The certificate must include the signature of the doctor/clinician.
You'll be denied entry into Japan if you're unable to provide evidence of a negative pre-departure test result. Airlines have been asked to deny boarding if you're unable to produce a negative certificate. You're also required to undergo a COVID-19 test on arrival.
If you're required to quarantine, you can use public transport on arrival directly from the airport to your accommodation. You must refrain from using public transport for the remaining period of isolation.
You'll need to make a “Written Pledge” and may be asked to install a video call and location-based app onto your smart phones upon arrival. This will be used for contact tracing.
You must complete a health questionnaire from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare prior to travelling to Japan. The completed questionnaire generates a QR code that you'll need to present upon arrival.
If you breach quarantine measures you might have your name, nationality and other information made public. Visa status (including those holding residency) can also be cancelled and offenders may be deported. These measures are in place to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
You're asked to monitor your health for 14 days before departure for Japan. You must arrange private travel insurance prior to entering Japan that covers medical expenses. You're exempt from this requirement if you're eligible for Japanese national health insurance.
There's still widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Japan. Local COVID-19 restrictions may remain in effect in some prefectures and broader restrictions may be reimposed if the COVID-19 situation deteriorates. Monitor media and be alert to the advice of local authorities. Practice good anti-infection measures (such as social distancing and mask wearing).
Visa extension arrangements are in place for foreign nationals. This includes a “grace” period of 3 months from the current date of expiry on your visa. You're still required to submit a visa extension application. More details about who falls within the scope of this “grace” period is available from the Immigration Services Agency of Japan.
If you think you may have COVID-19, you can access information in English by calling the Japan National Tourism Organization hotline on 050 3816 2787.
If you're staying in Japan:
Flight schedules may change at short notice.
It's still possible to transit through Japan for some travellers who are not entering Japan and are transferring directly to a third country. For transit only, you are not required to submit any documents and undergo inspections.
You can only transit if your outbound flight leaves from the same airport as your arrival. You cannot transit between different airports.
Please confirm any questions about transit directly with your airline.
You'll be photographed and fingerprinted electronically when you arrive, even if you're a permanent resident in Japan. If you refuse, immigration officers could deny you entry.
Travellers aged under 16 years, or who hold a diplomatic or official visa, are exempt.
If you will stay in Japan longer term, you need to register your details with the Immigration Bureau of Japan before arriving.
Once you present the correct landing permission, you'll get a residence card. You must always carry it with you.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The Japanese currency is the Yen (JPY).
No restrictions apply to bringing foreign currency in or out of the country. Declare all amounts more than JPY 1 million or equivalent, when you arrive or leave. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
Cash is preferred in most places.
Hotels accept major credit cards but many shops and services don't. Credit cards are not widely accepted outside major cities.
Some ATMs at banks and convenience stores don't accept foreign cards.
Ask your bank if your cards will work in Japan.
Check the Japan National Tourism Organization for emergency updates in English. The site also has advice on safe and hassle-free travel in Japan.
There are some restricted areas around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. This is due to the 2011 earthquake that resulted in the release of lethal radiation. The Japanese Government specifies these areas.
If you must stay overnight in restricted areas, ask local authorities for advice on how to minimise health risks.
Monitor and follow the advice from local authorities.
To drive in Japan, you must hold either:
After 365 days, you need to get a Japanese licence.
Get your IDP before leaving Australia.
Roads and vehicles are mostly well-maintained and traffic is orderly.
Vehicles travel on the left-hand side like in Australia.
Heavy snowfalls and ice in the winter can make driving dangerous.
Check your travel insurance policy covers you for riding motorbikes.
Always wear a helmet.
It's safe to use taxis in Japan.
Taxi drivers usually open and shut the rear passenger doors remotely.
Japan has modern and reliable rail and bus services.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Japan's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 110 or contact the local police at the nearest police station.
For Tokyo English-speaking Police, call 3501 0110 (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:15pm).
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
If a report is hard to get, seek advice from a lawyer or the English-speaking Police.
Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Call TELL Lifeline services in English 5774 0992.
Call TELL Counselling services in English 4550 1146.
English information on living in Japan is available from:
In Tokyo, for advice from the Foreign Residents' Advisory Centre, call (+81 3) 5320 7744.
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)’s Tourist Information Center accepts telephone enquiries 24 hours a day. Call (+81 3) 3201 3331.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
You can also contact the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan’s Consumer Hotline for Tourists. Call (+81 3) 5449 0906 from Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm, excluding national holidays.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Tokyo or Australian Consulate-General in Osaka.
2-1-14 Mita, Minato-ku
Tokyo 108 8361
Phone: (+81 3) 5232 4111
Fax: (+81 3) 5232 4057
Facebook: Australian Embassy Japan
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
16th floor, Twin 21MID Tower
2-1-61 Shiromi, Chuo-ku
Phone: (+81 6) 6941 9271 or (+81 6) 6941 9448
Fax: (+81 6) 6920 4543
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.