Visa & Passports
The good news is that UK passport holders can enter Japan without a tourist visa and stay for up to 90 days. On arrival, you’ll need to present a valid passport with at least one blank visa page, and an onward ticket to prove you’re not trying to emigrate. The expiry date of your passport must cover the proposed length of stay in Japan. If you own a passport issued by another country, please check with your relevant embassy before travel.
Handy Hint: before departure make copies of your passport, bank cards and insurance documents and leave them with family or friends in the UK. Also keep a copy in your luggage, in a separate place from your original documents, and e-mail yourself scanned copies too. This will make things easy if you lose any paperwork during your visit.
The currency of Japan is the Yen (JPY). There are notes of 10,000, 5,000, 1,000 and coins between 1 and 500 JPY. ATMs are available in all big cities in Japan, and we recommend using ATMs in post offices, international airports, AEON banks and 7-Eleven supermarkets – these are more likely to accept foreign cards. It’s good to know that there are different opening hours for access to ATMs, so it’s always good to have some cash on you. When shopping, it’s usually better to pay with cash, although AMEX, Visa, MasterCard & Diners Club are widely accepted in almost all hotels, big restaurants and shopping centres.
Tipping is not a part of Japanese culture, and your kind gesture will often be met by confusion and polite refusal – the price is the price, why do you want to pay more? However, if you feel that you have received exceptional service from a guide or hotel worker, then it is acceptable to place the tip in an envelope and hand it directly to them. It is considered rude to simply hand cash over without an envelope.
Eating in Japan
As with any holiday, the cost of eating out can differ greatly depending on where you are and the type of restaurant you choose to eat in. If you’re on a budget there are good options wherever you go, and often you’ll find you can get by on spending as little as £10 per person per day on good local food. Popular noodle dishes, like Ramen, Soba and Udon, are regularly priced at around £3! Supermarkets and local convenience stores are also popular places to pick up reasonably priced snacks, particularly for lunches.