To visit Japan, you will usually need to obtain a visa before you get on the plane.
However, there are some countries that are exempted from the need for a visa to enter and stay in Japan for a certain amount of time. Also, for some countries there are special visa policies in place, that one needs to know about before planning a visit to Japan. What are the rules?
68 countries are exempted from the need for a visa, and their nationals can travel to Japan without one. They can stay up to a maximum of 90 days in Japan unless otherwise specified. Countries of the European Union and North America (including Mexico) are allowed to travel in Japan for 90 days without any paperwork. Some countries like Austria, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland are allowed to apply for an extension of their stay for up to even 6 months.
For some countries, there are special rules. Citizens of Indonesia, Brunei, and Thailand are allowed a 15-day visa-free travel in Japan; while citizens of United Arab Emirates are allowed 30 days.
For more details about visa exemption and up-to-date information, please check here.
On the other hand, Japanese passports are ranked amongst the top-3 powerful passports in the world according to the Visa Restrictions Index of 2015. Japanese passport holders can travel to 171 countries either without a visa or with visa on arrival. Some countries such as the United States, Australia, India, and Myanmar have a pre-arrival e-visa facility for Japanese nationals. Through this electronic visa facility, a Japanese person can apply online for a visa for these countries, and travel without any hassle.
If you want more information about visas in Japan, you can check the website of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If you want more information about the visa procedures for UK-nationals in particular, you can visit the website of the Japanese embassy in the UK.