Japan is an island country in Asia.
Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, and there is a long tradition of students and busy professionals sleeping in public. You can pitch a tent in city parks and you will not be disturbed. See Wikivoyage’s guide to Urban Camping in Japan for more.
While on the road, you will often find yourself at either a michi no eki (道の駅, serving the toll-free national roads) or service area (SA, on the highway) at the end of the day. Both are usually great for camping as they have food, 24 hour toilets and vending machines. Staff will usually not care about you pitching a tent, although asking permission first is a good idea. A short tento wo hatte mo ii desu ka? (テントを張ってもいいですか？) will suffice. Generally, the person who you ask this to will point out an area where you can put down your tent for the night.
If you don't feel like sleeping outside but still want a guaranteed budget option anywhere in Japan, you can go to the internet cafe (ネットカフェー). These places offer free drinks, a private cabin with a tatami floor, and sometimes shower, usually for a mere ¥2000 per 9~12 hours. These are always located in bigger towns very close to the station area. Ask around (nettokafee arimasu ka? ネットカフェーありますか？). From a service area, you generally have two ways of getting to one. The first is to get out of the service area and search for a busy local road lined with shops. Ask any local you run into. Another option is to ask the staff of the service area for the nearest bus station: chikaku ni wa basutei mo arimasu ka? (近くにはバス停もありますか？). You might end up being driven there by the staff. Busses from a service area will generally go to nearby train stations, where you can find an internet cafe.
- Visitors from 59 countries can visit Japan without a visa, including most Western nations, and can obtain a 90-day "landing permission" on arrival (many European nationalities are permitted up to 180 days).
- Passport valid for the duration of intended stay in Japan required by all nationals.
- (a) 1. nationals of Austria, Germany, Ireland, UK (UK citizens), Liechtenstein, Mexico and Switzerland for a stay of up to 6 months*;
- (b) 2. nationals of all other EU countries not mentioned under (a) for a stay of up to 3 months (except persons whose passport was originally issued in present or former Portuguese colonial territories who do require a visa);
- (c) 3. nationals of Andorra, Australia, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Lesotho, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Surinam, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay and the USA for a stay of up to 90 days;
- (d) nationals of Brunei for a touristic stay of up to 14 days.
Types of visa and cost
- Tourist visa: application to be obtained from the embassy of Japan on hand. The visas will be issued on the third day of submission of application.
- Business Visa: application to be obtained from the embassy of Japan on hand. The visas will be issued on the third day of submission of application.
- Employment Visa: application to be obtained from the embassy of Japan on hand. The visas will be issued on the third day of submission of application.
- Notes: As the type of documents required for the application may differ according to the purpose of your visit, the applicant is advised to check with the Japanese Embassy or consulate beforehand.
- Whether or not they hold a visa, visitors who do not possess visible means of support for their stay, onward or return tickets and other documents for their next destination may be refused entry.
Japan Embassies and/or Consulates
255 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9E6
Email: mailto:[email protected]
2520 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20008-2869