Situated in northeastern Asia, Japan has a land area of approximately 378,000 square kilometers, nearly equivalent to Germany and Switzerland combined or slightly smaller than California. It consists of four major islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu) surrounded by more than 4,000 smaller islands. Japan's topographical features include coastlines with varied scenery, towering mountains, which are very often volcanic, and twisted valleys that invite visitors into the mysterious world of nature.
Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the mildest seasons. Tokyo has relatively mild winters and hot, humid summers. Rain is more common in June and September than in other months.
September brings freshness with a light breeze and cool temperature after the hot and humid summer, but it is also a month when a lot of typhoons (heavy rains with strong winds) pass across Japan.
Forests change their looks in glorious autumn colors around late October through late November depending on the area. Chrysanthemums create beautiful displays with their abundance of flowers to enchant visitors to parks and gardens.
Many people consider the weather in Tokyo to be perfect during November. Unlike summertime, there's no heat waves or horrible bouts of rain. It feels crisp, slightly chilly, but without any of the cold temperatures experienced in winter. When packing, make sure to add a light jacket or sweater to your suitcase. You never know when it will be sunny and warm or windy and chilly. A nice selection of additional items to wear will get you ready for the November weather.
|Rainy/Snowy Days||Sunny Days|
|early month||late month||early month||late month|
|Sapporo||8C (46F)||1C (34F)||45%||45%||40%||35%|
|Tokyo||17C (63F)||10C (50F)||25%||20%||55%||60%|
|Takayama||13C (55F)||2C (36F)||35%||35%||45%||40%|
|Osaka||17C (63F)||10C (50F)||20%||20%||60%||60%|
|Fukuoka||18C (64F)||10C (50F)||30%||25%||55%||50%|
|Naha||24C (75F)||20C (68F)||25%||30%||55%||45%|
All cities of Japan are in the same time zone. Japan Standard Time (JST) is 9 hours ahead of GMT. Japan does not go on daylight saving time.
Japan has visa-exemption agreements with 68 countries. A citizen of any of these countries who intends to stay in Japan no longer than the period specified in the relevant agreement requires no visa. Click here about visa procedures for ABU Tokyo GA participants.
A direct overseas call can be made from a public telephone displaying International and Domestic Telephone sign. These phones are not widespread, but can be found at airports, hotels, and other key facilities. You will need to purchase a Brastel card (you will get a pamphlet with the instructions in different languages including English) in a convenience store and charge it or insert the coins (10yen, 100yen) during the call. Direct dial calls can be made via a telephone company using the company's access number.
Access and inquiry numbers
|Operator||Direct dial||Credit card||Collect & operator-assisted||Inquiries|
US$ 1= JPY 111.36 / EURO € 1=JPY 120.84 (as of April 2, 2019)
At least twenty major currencies can be exchanged for Japanese yen at Narita Airport's currency exchange centers, open from 6:00 AM until the last flight arrives. US dollars and some other major currencies can be changed at city banks and any large post offices in Tokyo. Bank exchange rates vary slightly. Banks are open 9:00-15:00 on weekdays. Post offices offer foreign exchange service from 9:00-16:00. You can also change money in the evening at some money dealers, as well as at authorized hotels and department stores. Be aware that there are not many exchange corners outside major cities. The currency exchange services can be provided by Travelex and in main tourist areas there is the currency exchange machine service provided by Nippon Express. Changing traveler's checks should be no problem at banks, major hotels and some large stores.
Post offices throughout Japan are equipped with cash dispensers (ATMs). You can withdraw cash in Japanese yen from your bank account via an ATM using debit or credit cards issued in your country. All stores affiliated with the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores and the AEON chain of supermarkets have ATMs as well. The International ATM Service sign and the logos of usable credit cards are displayed on the machines. The ATMs at 7-Eleven stores allow you to withdraw cash 24 hours a day, making them extremely convenient. Please note that some restaurants, shops, etc. do not accept credit card payments so it is advised to carry some amount of cash with you.
Consumption tax (VAT) is 8% (expected to be raised to 10% in October 2019), and usually added at the cash register. Major department stores and electronics shops often offer their products duty-free to overseas travelers if they show their passports (copies are not accepted).
The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 100 volts, A.C.
There are two kinds of frequencies in use;
50 Hertz in eastern Japan (including Sapporo and Tokyo) and 60 Hertz in western Japan (including Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka).
A convertible type of electrical appliance such as a hair dryer, travel iron and shaver will therefore be handy; otherwise a transformer is required to convert the voltage.
There are no columnar-shaped plugs or 3-pin plugs used in Japan, but 2-flat-in plugs are used instead. It is therefore advised to purchase a plug adapter beforehand.
HEALTHCARE & SAFETY
Tap water is safe to drink anywhere in Japan. Mineral water including major imported brands can be easily obtained from supermarkets, convenience stores and other similar places.
No inoculation is required for entering Japan from anywhere around the world.
In case of emergency when you are outside of the hotel, call hotel reception or Ambulance 119 - Police 110
Medical systems and facilities in Japan are well established so that you can expect to receive a high standard medical treatment, should you have a problem with your health during your stay.
Though Japan is ranked at the top of many general safety rakings in the world, travelers still need to be aware of potential dangers and sudden illness & injury. The organizing congress secretariat does not assure any liability. It is strongly advised that you buy your own travel insurance.
Post offices are open from 9:00 to 17:00 on weekdays.
Postcard: ¥62 (expected to be raised to ¥63 in October 2019)
Letter: ¥82 (expected to be raised to ¥84 in October 2019) up to 25g (with a size limit)
International Air Mail
|Type of mail||Asia||North America,
Oceania, Europe, Middle East
(up to 25g)
(up to 50g)
Please note that many facilities require a password for using Wi-Fi for the security reasons. (In an effort to prevent internet-related crimes, service providers are required to identify whom they are providing the services to. Some require long-term contracts which normally are limited to residents of Japan.)
Also, most accommodations are internet-ready, but you might sometimes find a wired internet connector (LAN) in your room. In such case, please use a wireless travel router.
Renting a mobile hotspot device at the airport is another good option. You can use it within a service area
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
The Japan Help-Line
24 hour non-profit, nationwide emergency assistance service for the international community
Japan has three peak vacation seasons when many people travel to the countryside or go abroad: the New Year's holiday period (Dec 29-Jan 3 and adjoining weekends; banks and shops stay open through Dec 31), Golden Week (April 29-May 5 and adjoining weekends), and O-bon (a week around Aug 15). During these periods big cities of Japan tend to be quieter, and city trains and roads are emptier. Note that most of the museums are closed around Dec 29-Jan 3, and that most of the shops and restaurants are closed on Jan 1. From Jan 1 to 3, major temples and shrines are packed with visitors who come to pray for a happy and prosperous year. If you don't mind crowds, Jan 1 is a great opportunity to see women in kimono. The various national holidays in Golden Week are marked by associated events whose venues and nearby areas get very crowded.
List of National Holidays in Japan (2019)
|Jan 1||New Year's Day|
|Jan 14||Coming of Age Day|
|Feb 11||National Foundation Day|
|Mar 21||Spring Equinox|
|Apr 29||Showa Day|
|Apr 30||National Holiday (Only 2019)|
|May 1||Coronation Day (Only 2019)|
|May 2||National Holiday (Only 2019)|
|May 3||Constitution Day|
|May 4||Greenery Day|
|May 5||Children's Day|
|May 6||Children's Day (Substitution of May 5)|
|Jul 15||Marine Day|
|Aug 11||Mountain Day|
|Aug 12||Mountain Day (Substitution of Aug 11)|
|Sep 16||Respect for the Aged Day|
|Sep 23||Autumn Equinox|
|Oct 14||Health and Sports Day|
|Oct 22||Enthornement Ceremony Day (Only 2019)|
|Nov 3||Culture Day|
|Nov 4||Culture Day (Substitution of Nov 3)|
|Nov 23||Labor Thanksgiving Day|
OTHER INFO ABOUT JAPAN
You can refer to any other basic information at the website operated by Japan National Tourism Organization. *You will leave ABU Tokyo 2019 website.