Some 160 km (100 miles) of sea partition the Japanese archipelago from the Asian mainland. Japan comprises four main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. Many of the country’s larger cities are located on the coastline and more than half of the country is shrouded by forests and mountain ranges. Consequently, coastal areas have extremely high population densities. Japan has a predominantly temperate climate that varies from north to south of the country.
The official currency of Japan is the yen. The larger denominations come in bills whereas the smaller denominations come in coins of varying sizes. You can exchange your home currency (eg. Singapore Dollar, US Dollar) at a money changer or bank in your native country, or in Japan itself. ATMs in Japan do not accept foreign-issued or international debit, credit or ATM cards.
Narita International Airport and Haneda International Airport are the primary airports serving the Kantō region (Tokyo area) of Japan. Passengers travelling around the Kansai region of Japan can fly into Kansai International Airport in Osaka. Alternatively, Chubu International Airport and Fukuoka International Airport services international and domestic flights in the Chubu and Kyushu regions respectively.
Singaporean visitors can catch a direct flight to Tokyo operated by Singapore Airlines.
Singapore citizens traveling to Japan for a short-term stay of 90 days or less need not apply for a temporary tourist visa. Visas are necessary for stays of more than 90 days, as well as for paid activities in Japan. For the latest updates on visas for Japan, please look here.
You must declare imported goods to the Director-General of Customs and obtain an import permit after examination of the relevant goods. Lodge an import declaration and issue an import permit after the necessary scrutiny, as well as payment of customs duties and taxes. Hazardous materials, plants, perishables, animals and high-value articles need a Japanese import license. Any documents required as proof of compliant with the appropriate Japanese import laws have to be shown at the time of import. For the latest updates, please check here.
Spring, from March to May, is the most popular and busiest time to visit Japan. Temperatures are warm but not too hot, and there isn’t too much rain. The famous cherry blossoms bloom during this time and there are plenty of festivals to enjoy.
Winter, from December to February, is also a popular time for tourists because of lower temperatures coupled with mild rainfall. The temperatures drop as you move north, as the central and northern regions will have snowfall. Southern Japan is relatively temperate and experiences a mild winter.
Summer begins in June and the country experiences a three- to four-week rainy season during which the farmers plant their rice. It is hot and humid during this time and temperatures are often in the high 30s. Summer wraps up in August.
Autumn is from September to November, and is characterised by light breezes and cooler temperatures of around 8-10°C. It’s during autumn that many exhibitions, music concerts and sports tournaments are held in Japan.The rainy season happens from early May in Okinawa, and the rain front goes up north until it reaches Hokkaido in late July.