Japan travel checklist

Tickets, money, passport! Your essential Japan to-do list and packing list.

Before you go

A checklist of the most important things you need to do and pack before visiting Japan.

Use the quick links below to navigate the Japan travel guide or download the travel checklist.

To do

  • Passport: Is it up to date?
  • Entry requirements: Will your passport remain valid during your stay? Will you be earning any money in Japan? Do you have any criminal convictions?
  • Vaccinations: Have you checked whether you need any vaccinations?
  • Travel insurance: Are you covered?
  • Health and safety: Have you checked the latest safety advice on the region you're travelling to? Subscribe to the latest Smartraveller updates for safety information on your destination.
  • Money: Have you told your bank you're going overseas, and do you know how you'll be paying for things in Japan?
  • Accommodation: Have you booked accommodation for at least the first night?
  • Transfers: Do you know how you'll get from the airport to your accommodation?
  • Transport: Do you know how you'll get around Japan, and do you need to pre-book any tickets? (Tip: Rail passes must be bought before you arrive.)
  • Driving: If you're planning to drive in Japan, do you have an International Driving Permit? Is driving covered by your insurance? Are you familiar with the road rules?
  • Phone and internet: Do you know if your phone will work in Japan? Have you switched off data roaming and voicemail? If you're planning to use a local SIM, is your phone unlocked?
  • Apps: Have you downloaded offline maps, travel apps or translation apps onto your mobile?
  • Medication: Have you checked that your medication is legal in Japan?

To pack

  • Tickets
  • Money (cash and cards)
  • Passport
  • A copy of your travel insurance details (see which policies we recommend)
  • A list of emergency contacts at home and in Japan
  • Your hotel address written in Japanese (and any other important information such as food allergies)
  • Chargers and a Type A/B power adapter
  • Any regular medication (see note below)

Taking medication?  

There are restrictions on bringing some medications into Japan, including codeine and pseudoephedrine, which are considered illegal drugs. If you're planning to travel with medication, check first with the Japanese Embassy.

No matter where you travel, you should carry all medications (even vitamins) in their original packaging, along with their original prescription. It's also a good idea to carry a letter from your doctor explaining what the medications are (using generic names) and what they're for.