Last updated: 28 Sep 2020

Japan

About

Blending the old and the new, Tokyo is a city that is difficult to define. Cutting edge technology stands beside ancient temples, flashing neon lights bathe kimono-clad women, and shining skyscrapers tower above stunning Shinto shrines.

Tokyo Disneyland is a faithful replica of the Californian original, complete with Adventureland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, as well as shows, parades and firework displays. The unique DisneySea Park is set against the backdrop of Tokyo Bay.

Roppongi Hills has been created as a city within a city, and this very popular complex offers visitors a taste of Tokyo's future. Every inch of Roppongi Hills has been beautifully designed; visitors can wander through peaceful Japanese gardens and beside water walls, then eat and shop in one of more than 200 restaurants and boutiques.
Capital:  Tokyo (TYO)
Currency:  Japanese Yen (JPY)
Language:  Japanese. English is widely understood, but may not always be spoken. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 81
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +9 (7 hours ahead of South Africa)
Public Holidays 2020: 

Jan 1, 13; Feb 11, 23, 24; Mar 20; Apr 29; May 3-6; Jul 23, 24; Aug 10; Sep 21, 22; Nov 3, 23

Side of the Road: Left. An international drivers permit is required, and you should carry your South African drivers licence. 
Best Time to Go: March – May and September – November. Avoid the peak times during this period (cherry blossom and autumn foliage times, Golden Week and Obon)  
Best for: Traditional Performing Arts, Architecture, UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Plugs: 100 volts, A.C. There are two kinds of frequencies in use; 50 Hertz in eastern Japan and 60 Hertz in western Japan (including Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka). 2-flat-pin plugs.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Bottled water is widely available. If travelling to the Fukashima area, avoid drinking tap water and bottled water sold in the area. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services upfront. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. Medications containing stimulants or codeine are illegal. Should you bring medication on your travels, you should check to make sure that they do not contain these ingredients (certain medications which are commonly available in South Africa, such as nasal sprays, will therefore not be allowed into Japan – check with the Japanese embassy if unsure). If you are bringing medication on your travels, it should be in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it.
Customs: Japan has a strict social etiquette and expect visitors to be polite and respectful.  Shoes should be removed when entering a person’s home or restaurant. Bowing is a common greeting, but handshakes are becoming more common. Table manners are important – if using chopsticks do not position them upright in the bowl. Do not douse your rice in soy sauce. The Japanese people are very tolerant of visitors, and will appreciate attempts to respect their social values. 
Local Offences / Laws: Identification should be carried at all times. Penalties for crimes tend to be severe and prison life is strict. There is a zero-tolerance for drug-related crimes. 
Travel Tips / Warnings: If travelling to Fukashima, avoid buying food and water.  The most common dangers to travellers are natural disasters – typhoons (August – October) and earthquakes.  Although credit cards are accepted in major hotels, restaurants and stores, Japan is a cash society.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Japan by travellers 20 years of age and older without incurring customs duty:
• 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500g of tobacco or 500g of a combination of these.
• 3 bottles (approximately 750ml each) of alcohol.
• 60ml of perfume.
• Other goods up to the value of ¥200,000
Prohibited Imports: Prohibited items include narcotics, firearms and ammunition, explosives, counterfeit money, obscene material, and articles which infringe upon intellectual copyright. Restricted items include animals, plants, medicines and cosmetics, hunting guns, air guns and swords. You should be aware that in Japan cold and flu medication containing stimulants are illegal. You are not permitted to take commonly available nasal decongestant medication such as Sudafed and Vicks inhalers into Japan.
Prohibited Exports: Narcotics and stimulants, child pornography and goods that violate design copyrights, trademarks, patents, breeding and intellectual copyrights

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Foreign nationals may not enter - limited exceptions apply. Visas are suspended. For updates check: www.japan.travel/en/coronavirus

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

a) Embassy of Japan
259 Baines Street, Corner Frans Oerder Str.
Groenkloof, Pretoria, 0001
Private Bag X999, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 452-1500 /1619
Fax: (012) 460-3800
E-mail: consul@pr.mofa.go.jp
Website: www.za.emb-japan.go.jp
O/hrs: Submissions: 0900-1230 Mon-Fri / Collections 0900-1230 & 1400-1600

b) Office of Consul of Japan
21st Floor Office, The Towers,
2 Heerengracht Cnr, Hertzog Blvd,
Cape Town 8001
Tel: 08000 60109 (visa related queries)
Website: www.za.emb-japan.go.jp
O/hours: Consular: 0900-1230 / 1400-1600 Mon-Fri
(Closed between 1230 and 1400)

 

Visa Requirements

Visas are required by SA passport holders.

PROCEDURES:

TEMPORARY VISITORS (Business and Tourism)
(a) Visa applications will only be officially accepted by the Visa Section if fully completed application forms, together with the required attachments, are submitted together. THE FLIGHT ITINERARY FOR EACH APPLICANT IS TO BE SUBMITTED.
(b) No Scanned Photos are accepted.
(c) Applicants must present themselves in person once when applying for a visa with the following exceptions:
i. An employee of a member company of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Japan in SA, or a
company that holds stock, or that has business relations with such a company;
ii. An employee of a company that has regular business relations with a company listed on the Stock
Exchange in Japan, or an employee of a company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange;
iii. A dependant of such an employee (spouse and/or children under the age of 20), when applying
at the same time or later as the employee.
iv. In addition to the normal documentation required below, an applicant must also submit an
Organigram of his/her employer company that shows the applicant’s designated position.
v. Also required is an official letter on a valid, original company letterhead signed by superiors other
than themselves requesting an exemption from personal appearance at the Visa Section.
vi. The Embassy of Japan reserves the right to request an applicant to appear in person in certain
instances.
vii. An applicant may use a Visa Company or a Travel Agency for the submission or the collection
of a visa, depending on whether they prefer to present themselves in person on submission or collection.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS FOR VISA APPLICATIONS:

Submit supporting documents (no staples) in the following order:

*Passport (valid min 3 months from date of application) Make sure that there are at least two blank pages available.
*1 Application form fully completed and signed by the applicant
*1 photograph ( 45x45mm) (faced straight towards camera against white/off-white background).NB paste photograph on application (no staples)
*Employer's/university/school letter
* Invitation letter , as well as  copy of host's Japanese Residence Card (front & back) when staying with family/friends in Japan.
*Fully detailed day to day itinerary as well as flight itinerary from Travel Agent
* Most recent bank statement, showing a positive bank balance. A copy is accepted (no need to be certified).
*Proof of hotel accommodation.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:
BUSINESS VISA
(a)ORIGINAL letter from applicant’s company/employer in SA stating the nature of the visit, as well as the names and addresses of companies the applicant will visit in Japan. The letter must also confirm that the company will bear all costs for the visit
(b) Invitation letter from a company in Japan that the applicant intends to visit
(c) Daily itinerary FROM the inviting company in Japan. 
(d) Business letter to be addressed to : Embassy of Japan, Visa Section Pretoria

TOURIST VISA
(a) Daily itinerary of places where applicant will visit in Japan
(b) Names and addresses of hotels with copy/copies of booking vouchers
(c) Most recent bank statement (one month) with confirmation of sufficient funds
(d) Copy of invitation letter, should applicant be invited by a friend/family (additional documents may be requested)
(e) Copy of invitees Alien Registration Card if the invitee is a foreigner staying in Japan OR copy of invitees passport if the invitee is a Japanese citizen.

MULTIPLE VISA
(a) In addition to the requirements for a Business Visa, the applicant (South African Passport holders only) must be a manager or higher or employed by that company for longer than one year.
(b) The official company letter must also confirm the employment period of longer than 1 year or that the applicant’s position is manager or higher.
(c) Non-South African passport holders living in South Africa can apply for a Multiple Visa in certain circumstances. Contact the Visa Section for details on (012) 452-1500.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO AVOID DELAYS

PASSPORT
You must enclose your passport. Please check that it is valid. Make sure that there are at least two adjacent empty pages available.

VISA APPLICATION
Type or complete the application in CAPITALS
Must be FULLY completed – if a question does not apply to you, answer “Not applicable”
If you are a tourist or visiting family, enter your hotel, or family address, as guarantor or reference in Japan.
If you are traveling for business purposes, enter the name and address of the Japanese company that has invited you, as guarantor or reference in Japan.
If you are traveling for both business and sightseeing always apply for business visa.

PHOTOGRAPHS
Should be 45X45mm, face front, against a white or off-white background.
Please do not staple your photograph to the application form.

ITINERARY
Should be on Travel Agency or Airline stationery. E-Tickets are usually accepted.
One itinerary is required for each applicant.
Must show departure from SA and entry/departure to and from the destination country(s)
Copies of faxes or emails are usually accepted
Tour brochures are usually not accepted
Do not write notes on the itinerary before submitting.

BUSINESS LETTER
If traveling on business an original business letter of financial responsibility is required.
The letter should be addressed: Embassy of Japan, Visa Section, Pretoria, South Africa
The letter should contain four brief paragraphs:
- The purpose of the visit (business negotiations)
- The name and address of the host company in Japan
- A guarantee of the applicant’s financial support while visiting Japan.
- A guarantee of the applicant’s return transportation or repatriation if required.
- The letter should be signed by a company manager other than the applicant.

BANK LETTER
Should be ORIGINAL bank letter. BANK Statements are also acceptable. 

Visa Processing Time

3-5 working days (CPT) / 2 working days (PRY)

Visa Validity

3 Months

Visa Cost

Single Visa R360.00
Multiple R715.00
Payment strictly cash only - to be paid on collection.

SA Representative

South African Embassy
4th Floor, Hanzomon First Building
1-4 Kojimachi-CHIYODAKU, Tokyo
102-0083
Tel: 0081 3 3265 3366
E-mail: visa@dirco.gov.za
Web: www.sajapan.org

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Japanese Encephalitis (Not available in SA), Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio