Entering Japan Customs / Immigration Forms

JTF_Chris

Administrator
Aug 6, 2018
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JapanTravelForum.com
#1
First off: These pix were taken in late 2013, so they're 5 years old already. I thought I had more recent ones from the last trip but I can't find them. These forms may have changed since then, but the concepts and information will probably be bascially the same.

Before you even land in Japan, you need to do a few things. The flight attendants will (should) come around handing out landing cards, and customs forms. You will need both if you are to get through everything and out of the airport on your way.

NOTE: This is also from this USA citizens point of view. Depending on your nationality/passport you may require additional visas or forms or whatever. I

First off, the customs form. You will hang onto this form and present it to the customs person who inspects your luggage. The immigration counter may also want to see it.

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Fill this out, truthfully, to the best of your ability. You only need to worry about people traveling with you, so the # of dependents, etc. will depend on that. Your "address in Japan" is just the first place you'll be staying, so you should have that handy. Not sure if it really matters much or not, but its good to have it completed.

Unless you're going on business, having a bunch of samples, equipment, and/or hard cash, you shouldn't have to worry about much. Unaccompanied Articles means if you have bags or boxes following you later, say you're actually moving to Japan and have a bunch of stuff coming later....

Read the fine print on the Description of Personal Effects. Unless you've got more than ~$100 worth of booze or smokes on you, don't worry about reporting it.

Prohibited/Restricted articles: This is important to go over. Hopefully you're not foolish enough to bring any of those with you. Let alone get them past TSA.

A couple things to note: Pseudoephedrine, aka Sudafed and its equivalents, are illegal in Japan. Don't bring them. I mean, you probably could slip a single package past customs, and if it got found, you could probably plead ignorance, but just don't.

In five times coming through customs, I've never had my bags searched. Usually the person looks at me, looks at the passport, asks if this is all mine and just sends me on through no problem. If you're acting dodgy or look suspicious, it could be different.

Now, the landing card or "embarkation form"

This one is really important, as part of this (the left section of the front) will be attached to your passport, and you will HAVE to have it again when you leave.

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This is really straightforward. Fill it out, truthfully, to the best of your ability. If you can answer YES to any of the first three questions on the back, you should rethink your visit lol.

The "how much cash" bit is probably not a big deal, but you should fill it out anyway. I mean, what's the big deal.

When you get to the immigration counter, you'll need this card, and your passport. You will get your photo taken, and the fingerprint of each index finger taken. They'll attach that left portion of the landing card to your passport, and attach another sticker inside, where your stamps go, which is your actual visa believe it or not. They will remove the bit from your passport when you leave Japan.

This is what my last tourist visa sticker looked like. I've blurred the important bits. I arrived on May 9th, and since I'm a US citizen my tourist visa is good for 90 days, I could have stayed (were I able to, and yeah I wanted to!) until August 7.

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Let me reiterate: DO NOT LOSE either the sticker (which if its attached to your passport you shouldn't) or that card. Also note that technically speaking, unlike a lot of places, you are supposed to carry your passport with you at all times. Do NOT let your hotel take it and "hold" it for you. If for whatever reason, the keisatsu take you in, you'll need that puppy with that visa sticker in it, if they want to be jerks. It's happened to people.


If this information is out of date, or incorrect at any point, please feel free to make corrections by posting below.
 

JTF_Chris

Administrator
Aug 6, 2018
84
16
8
JapanTravelForum.com
#2
Here's another more recent article that might shed a bit more light on things, and check the new design out!: https://press.ikidane-nippon.com/en/other/11255

In February 2018, the Japanese government announced that the landing permission (immigration stamp) for foreigners changed from the Kirimon (paulownia crest/emblem) to Mt. Fuji and sakura (cherry blossoms).
This might seem trivial but it has a profoundly significant meaning.
 

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