Visiting Japan

Shirakawa-go Snow Festival

Shirakawa-go, Gifu       Snow Festival, Hokkaido

Visiting Japan Links (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)           Scholarships and Exchange Programmes


‘ Working Holiday


Introduction of Working Holiday Scheme between Japan and Ireland

‘ Travel Information

(The Embassy is only able to offer limited travel information.) 

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)  

The JNTO website will also answer a lot of your questions about sightseeing, food, banking and business hours, as well as giving advice about how to enjoy yourself without breaching local etiquette. You can also contact the London office of the JNTO on +44 207 398 5678, or through their website.

Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto

Tokyo and Narita Branch Custom

Check the Japan Customs website or the Tokyo Customs website, or telephone Tokyo Customs Headquarters on +81-3-3529 0700, or Narita Branch Customs on +81-476-34 2128 (please remember Tokyo is 9 hours ahead of Ireland during winter, and 8 hours ahead during summer). The Embassy is NOT able to advise on customs matters.

Fireworks Display in Miyajima

Fireworks Display in Miyajima, Hiroshima

‘ Visas

Guide to Japanese Visas

A visa is NOT required for Irish passport holders who wish to enter Japan for a period of six months or less for the following purposes: 

Sightseeing, recreation, amateur sports, visiting relatives, inspection tour, participation in unpaid lectures or meetings, study, attending a conference, business contact or other similar activities. Journalists travelling to Japan for a short business trip do not require visas.

On arrival at immigration in Japan, such passports are stamped for a stay of 90 days. This period of stay may be extended for a further 90 days upon application to an immigration office once inside Japan, but approval is at their discretion.  

On entry to Japan a traveller should possess a fixed-date, confirmed return or onward journey ticket, and any supporting documents which can serve as evidence of the purpose of the trip (such as conference details, details of the host organisation etc). Furthermore, a traveller may be asked to show evidence of sufficient funds for the proposed period of stay in the country.

A visa is required if your purpose of travel is as a long term resident, for long term study, for volunteer activities, as a practising attorney, or for employment or other remunerative activities. Please note that overstaying your visa is a serious offence. Should you overstay your visa, you will be deported and may experience difficulty re-entering Japan.   


Matsushima, Miyagi

‘ Criteria of Visa Issuance

In principle, a Japanese visa will be issued to an applicant, when he/she fills all of the following requirements and the issuance is regarded as reasonable.

a) The applicant possesses a valid passport and is entitled for the re-entry to a country of which he/she is a national or citizen or a country of his/her residence. 

b) All submitted documents shall be authentic, completed and satisfactory. 

c) The activities to be engaged in while in Japan, or the civil status or the position of the applicant, and the period of stay shall meet the requirements for the status of residence and the period of stay stipulated in the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. (Cabinet Order No.319 of 1951. hereinafter referred to as gthe Acth) 

d) The applicant shall not fall under any of the items of Article 5, Paragraph1 of the Act.  

‘ Certificate of Eligibility

If an applicant wishes to work, study, or live in Japan, he/she should in principle first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. The Certificate of Eligibility is issued by the Ministry of Justice in Japan. To obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, the applicant must ask a sponsor in Japan (an employer, spouse, school, etc.) to contact the local immigration office and make an application on his/her behalf. The application must be made by a sponsor in Japan.

Once a Certificate of Eligibility has been obtained, the applicant should bring in his/her passport, one passport-sized photograph, and the original Certificate of Eligibility to the Embassy to apply for a visa.

Please note that Certificates of Eligibility expire after three months. An applicant must obtain his/her visa and arrive in Japan within three months of the issue date of the Certificate of Eligibility. If an applicant has not travelled to Japan before the expiry date, then a new Certificate of Eligibility must be obtained before applying for the visa and travelling to Japan.

Further information about visas can be obtained by contacting the Consular Section of the Embassy on 01 202 8309 or 8308 or by e-mail (

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website also has a page linking to a range of practical information for anyone planning to visit Japan. 

‘ Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required to enter Japan except when entering from an area where cholera and typhoid are endemic, in which case a certificate of vaccination against those diseases must be produced.

‘ Prohibited & Restricted Items

The Japan National Tourism Organization and Japan Customs Website give full details of items you are not allowed to take into Japan. In common with most other countries, these include drugs, pornography and weapons. However, two common items freely available in Ireland - Vicks inhalers and Sudafed - are classified under Japanese law as stimulants, and must not be taken into Japan.

Tofukuji Temple

Tofukuji Temple, Kyoto

‘ Bringing mammals (except livestock, dogs, cats, etc.), rodents (hamsters, squirrels, etc.) and birds (parrots, raptors, etc.) into Japan.

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