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Japan Culture & General Information
In general, Australian Passport holders will be issued a 90 day tourist visa upon arrival in Japan. In most cases obtaining a visa prior to departure is not required. If you are travelling on a non Australian Passport please check with JTB, a licensed Travel Agent, or the Japanese Consulate. Japanese immigration procedures now require all visitors to be electronically finger printed and photographed upon arrival.
The Japanese currency is YEN (¥). Coins are 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500. Notes are 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000. Although Australian dollars can be exchanged at major hotels and banks, it is not recommended to take Australian dollars to Japan, as you will find the exchange rate for cash is very low. We recommend you exchange your money prior to travel to Japanese yen travellers cheques and/or Japanese yen.
International credit cards such as American Express, VISA, Diners Club and MasterCard are acceptable at major establishments. However, credit card transactions are not always accepted outside big cities so obtaining cash beforehand is recommended when you travel to rural areas.
Foreign credit and cash cards can be used at Post Office and Seven Bank ATMs throughout Japan. You can find the Seven Bank ATMs at 7-Eleven convenience stores throughout Japan. This is a 24/7 service. Cash cards from the PLUS and Cirrus networks can also be used. Accepted credit cards are VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB and China UnionPay. It is, however, advised to contact each credit card company beforehand and check the location of each ATM and its availability as these conditions vary from machine to machine.
The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 110 volts, A.C. A convertible type of electrical appliance such as a hair dryer, travel iron and shaver can be used, otherwise a transformer is required to convert the voltage. There are no columnar-shaped plugs or 3-pin plugs used in Japan but 2-flat-pin plugs are used instead. It is therefore advised to purchase a plug adapter beforehand.
Tap water is safe to drink anywhere in Japan. Mineral water including major imported brands can be easily obtained from super markets, convenience stores and other similar places.
As at February 2009, no inoculations are required for entering Japan from anywhere around the world. As situations may change, please check with either JTB or your local travel agent.
To be able to use your mobile phone in Japan you will require a WCDMA compatible handset. JTB can offer special mobile rentals for travellers to Japan. Please check our website for details.
Tipping is not customary in Japan. A 10 to 15% service charge is added to the bill at some hotels and restaurants.
Japan is a country with four distinct seasons. Each season has its own natural beauty in each part of Japan.
Japan is one hour behind Australian Eastern Standard Time. During Australian Daylight Saving time Japan is 2 hours behind AEST.