Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 15 February 2023, 14:12 NZDT
  • Still current at: 4 December 2023

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If you are planning international travel at this time, please read our COVID-19 related travel advice here, alongside our destination specific travel advice below.

Exercise increased caution

We advise New Zealanders exercise increased caution in Japan (level 2 of 4).

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Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant
On 11 March 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused significant damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. There are some restricted areas around the plant, as identified on Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry website. Restricted areas are clearly identified.  New Zealanders considering travel to affected areas are advised to follow any advice or instructions issued by the Japanese authorities on precautionary or protective measures.

Security tensions in the region
Relations on the neighbouring Korean Peninsula can be tense. North Korea has previously conducted nuclear and ballistic missile tests within the region. Further tests, provocations or reactions, including affecting Japan, remain possible.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula could escalate with little warning and New Zealanders in Japan are advised to monitor the media to stay informed of any developments and follow any alerts and instructions issued by the local authorities.

Although crime levels in Japan are low, petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching does occur from time to time.

There have been reports of foreigners being targeted in Tokyo’s entertainment districts of Roppongi, Kabuki-cho, Shibuya and Ikebukuro for drink spiking, excessive charges, credit card identity theft, and robbery. Extra care should be taken to ensure your drink is never left unattended. We recommend against accepting drinks from strangers or recent acquaintances.

Inappropriate physical touching may occur on busy trains and subways. If this happens to you, the police advise that you shout at the perpetrator, attract attention from other passengers and call the train staff. There are women-only passenger cars which operate during rush hour or throughout the day on some subway and train lines.

Natural disasters
Japan is vulnerable to natural disasters due to its topography and climate. Typhoon season is from May to November.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK provides a free smartphone app called "NHK World- Japan" which can be set to receive emergency notifications in English about earthquake and tsunami warnings as well as breaking news alerts. The breaking news alerts include J-Alert warnings and updates on weather-related incidents such as volcanic eruptions and typhoons. After downloading the app, turn on push notifications in the settings menu to ensure activation of the notification function.

Read the advice on preparing for emergencies by Japan’s Cabinet Secretariat for National Security Affairs and Crisis Management. The latest warnings and advisories are published on the  website.

New Zealanders are advised to avoid off-piste skiing and snowboarding in the winter due to the risk of avalanches.

General travel advice
Foreigners in Japan are required to carry their passport or resident card at all times. Information on resident cards is available from Japan’s Immigration Services Agency.

Japan has strict rules relating to the import and export of prescription medication. Ignorance may not be considered a defence. New Zealanders are advised to carry a letter from a doctor describing their medical condition and any prescribed medication. Consult Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for more information.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Japan should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Japan are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Tokyo, Japan

Street Address 20-40 Kamiyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150 - 0047, Japan Telephone +81 3 3467 2271 Email Web Site Hours Mon - Fri 0900 - 1730 hrs

New Zealand Honorary Consulate Fukuoka, Japan

Street Address Hakata Centre Bldg, Hakata Ekimae 3-5-7, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-city, Fukuoka 812-0011, Japan Telephone +81 92 734 1552

New Zealand Honorary Consulate Nagoya, Japan

Street Address Rinnai Corporation, 2-26 Fukuzumi-cho, Nakagawa-ku, Nagoya 454 - 0802, Japan Telephone +81 52 361 8257

New Zealand Honorary Consulate Osaka, Japan

Street Address Kubota Corporation, 1-2-47 Shikitsuhigashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka 556-8601, Japan Telephone +81 6 6648 3131

New Zealand Honorary Consulate Sapporo, Japan

Street Address Kinotoya Co Ltd, Room 202, Wall Bldg, 10-2-7 Kita 2-Jo Nishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-0002, Japan Telephone +81 011 596 6835

See our regional advice for North Asia

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New Zealand Embassy Japan

Street Address
20-40 Kamiyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150 - 0047, Japan

Telephone: +81 3 3467 2271



Hours: Mon - Fri 0900 - 1730 hrs

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