Do I need a Visa to visit Japan?

People with a valid Canadian passport who intend to stay for less than 90 days for tourism/visiting purposes do not require a Visa or any inoculations. If you hold a passport from another country, or have any other questions related to Visas, you can visit the The Embassy of Japan in Canada’s website.

What’s the best way to carry money?

Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, so carrying cash is not a real problem. Travelers Checks are also an option, although it is wise to have these available in either Japanese yen, or US dollars. Travelers Checks may not be accepted by establishments other than major hotels and banks, as establishments must have currency exchange capabilities in order to accept these.

Can I use my credit/debit cards in Japan?

While large stores and restaurants may accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express, many smaller shops may not. ATMs bearing the Cirrus, Plus Maestro etc. stickers can be found at many post offices and convenience stores. Seven-Bank (an affiliate of 7-Eleven) has an ATM locator, which you can access here.

Can I use my mobile phone in Japan?

While you may be able to “roam” with your mobile phone in certain service areas, it is best to check with your service provider directly. You can also rent cellphones from the airport for very reasonable prices. For more information on telephones, click here.

Can I use my electrical appliances, or do I need a converter?

The electrical current in Japan is 100 Volts (compared to Canada’s 120 Volts), and uses a 2-prong plug like the ungrounded plugs in Canada. While many appliances can be used at this similar voltage, you may want to take special care and use a converter with your delicate electronics. For more information on electricity in Japan click here.

Do I need an international driver’s license if I want to rent a car?

Yes. If you plan to do any driving in Japan, you must obtain an international driver’s license in addition to your Canadian driver’s license. These are available from the Canadian Automobile Association.

How’s the weather? What should I wear?

Japan is stretched over several latitudes from the southern part of Russia to Taiwan and southern China, and the climate in each region varies accordingly. There are also 4 distinct seasons and a 3-4 week rainy season in the summer, so planning for the weather depends largely on what area you plan to visit and when. You can see our seasonal breakdown of temperatures and precipitation in major cities, as well as a brief guide to the seasons and what to wear here.

When is the best time to see cherry blossoms?

Cherry blossoms only bloom for a few short weeks in the spring, generally between the end of March and the middle of May. The location and the year can have a big impact on the best time to view. You can check out our Cherry Blooming Forecast to find out the dates of previous cherry blossom seasons, and predict when the trees will bloom this year.

Where can I watch Sumo, and how do I buy tickets?

There are 6 annual Sumo tournaments held in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka, which are televised daily. For information on individual tournament schedules, venues, and ticket information click here.