Most tourists to Japan can get a temporary visitor’s visa on arrival in Japan. Here’s a rundown of what to expect at immigration and whether you’re eligible to extend your visa
日本国査証 © Max Braun
Most nationalities visiting Japan are issued a 90-day visitor visa upon arrival in Japan that cannot be extended within Japan (first list). Obviously, 90 days is more than enough for most tourist purposes. Some lucky countries are issued a 90-day visitor visa upon arrival that can be extended for another 90 days within Japan (second list). Other countries are issued 15-day visitor visas on arrival (third list).
Visitors from the following countries are issued 90-day temporary visitor visas upon arrival:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
Visitors from a few countries are issued 90-day temporary visitor visas upon arrival and can usually extend these for another 90 days at an immigration office in Japan (i.e., you do not have to leave Japan to do this):
Visitors from the following countries are issued 15-day temporary visitor visas upon arrival:
Do I Need To Show Proof Of Onward Travel?
Technically, you must be able to show proof of onward travel when entering Japan. In practice, immigration officers rarely ask to see this. However, if they were looking for a reason to refuse you entry, this would be an easy way to do so (if indeed you didn’t have an onward ticket).
Proof Of Sufficient Funds
You should be able to show proof of sufficient funds to travel for the length of your stay in Japan. This could involve a credit card, a large wad of cash or a bank statement. Again, immigration officers rarely ask to see this, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Note that all foreign visitors to Japan are photographed and fingerprinted upon entry (when you show your passport).
How To Extend Your Visa
If you want to extend your visa or deal with any other immigration-related issue, visit the Osaka Immigration Bureau Kyoto Branch. It located on the 4th floor of the Dai Ni Chiho Godochosha Building at 34-12 Higashi Marutamachi, Kawabata Higashi-iru, Sakyo-ku. It’s a 5-minute walk from the Keihan line’s Marutamachi Station.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)