Do Australians need a visa for Japan?
Australians visiting Japan as tourists for less than 90-days could qualify for a visa waiver. In order to qualify for a visa waiver you will need to have an Australian passport that remains valid for the duration of your trip, provide evidence that you have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay, and that you have a valid return ticket, or ticket for an onward journey. You may also be asked to provide details of your accommodation arrangements. If you intend studying or working in Japan, or if you intend visiting for longer than 90-days, you will need to contact or visit the Embassy of Japan in Canberra for up-to-date visa information.
Is it safe to travel to Japan?
Japan is a relatively safe destination for foreign tourists who are generally advised to exercise normal safety precautions. Natural disasters that could affect Japan include earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, and severe weather during the typhoon season, which stretches from May through to November. The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, located some 240 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and a high degree of caution is recommended for any travel in areas close to the power plant. Visitors to Japan should familiarise themselves with the steps and precautions to take should any area be affected by a natural disaster during their stay. Having travel insurance will provide some benefit should you need medical treatment, or even a medical evacuation, during your trip.
Where to ski in Japan?
There are approximately 600 ski resorts throughout Japan, but the Niseko and Furano resorts on the north island of Hokkaido tend to be the most popular, if a little more difficult to get to. Travelling to the north island requires additional flights and road travel, or a 10-hour train journey, while many ski resorts on the main island can be reached via bullet train straight out of Tokyo. If you’ve never been skiing in Japan before, you may want to make the arrangement via an agency or tour operator, which will ease the burden of figuring out how to get to the resort, and where to stay. The ski season for most resorts lasts from December through to April, but at Shiga Heights you can expect a ski season that runs from mid-November until early in May, along with more than 800 kilometres of ski trails.
Do I need travel insurance for Japan?
Despite Japan being a low-risk destination most of the time, travel insurance is still recommended for any Australians planning on visiting the country. Travel insurance will benefit you should you need any medical treatment, have any of your luggage lost, delayed, or stolen, and if any of your travel plans need to change unexpectedly due to a natural disaster, or severe weather. If you take out travel cover at the same time as you book your trip, you could even be covered for having to cancel your entire trip before departing. And if you intend skiing in Japan, or taking part in any other high-risk activities, you will definitely want to include travel insurance in your budget.
What to know before traveling to Japan?
Dexamphetamine (found in some ADHD medications) and pseudoephedrine (found in some cold and flu tablets) are banned in Japan, while narcotics such as codeine and morphine must be accompanied by a Narcotic Certificate, which must be applied for well ahead of your trip. If you take any other legal prescription medication, you are advised to carry a copy of the prescription, along with a letter from your doctor stating what each medicine is for. It is always recommended to visit a travel clinic or your doctor eight weeks ahead of any foreign travel, and this applies to travel to Japan too. They will be able to advise you whether any vaccinations are recommended for your destination country. If you are going to be staying in Japan for longer than 90-days, you will need to register your details with the Immigration Bureau of Japan ahead of your arrival. You will be issued with a residence card once you present the correct landing permission, and this must be carried with you at all times. Visitors staying for less than 90-days need to carry their passport with them at all times.
We also offer insurance for other destinations such as Thailand