Visas, Vaccines, and Outlets:

Visas are not required for stays under 30 days, if the travel is a U.S. citizen[1]. The passport used to travel must be valid for the intended period of stay. For stays longer than 30 days and for more information visit the website of the Embassy of Japan.

No vaccines are required or recommended. Travelers must be up to date on routine vaccinations.[2]

The Japanese electrical plugs are similar to the ones in North America[3] and the voltage is identical. No adaptors required.

Social Customs:

This article is a generalization and not all people in Japan follow these social customs. However, they serve as a good introduction to the social customs in Japan[4][5].

  • All non-Japanese are lump together and considered “gaijin” (foreigners)[5]. It is not used to downgrade foreigners.
  • Upon meeting each other for the first time people usually bow
  • First names are usually not used in Japan
  • Blowing your nose in public is considered rude
  • Tipping may be considered rude
  • Oshiya, or “pushers,” are designated people who will push you into a crowded subway car during rush hour
  • In the subway if someone falls asleep with their head on your shoulder, it is common practice to tolerate it

Education System:

School/Level Equivalent Notes
Elementary School 1-6 Grade Primary education is required[6].
Lower Secondary 7-9 Grade Mandatory for all children. The curriculum changes and is now divided by subject matter[7]. The teachers of lower secondary are required to move from classroom to classroom.
Upper secondary/ Vocational 10-12 Grade After completing lower secondary -compulsory, students can choose to enter either a senior secondary or vocational path. Although secondary school is not mandatory 94% of Japanese students attend[8][6]. Admission to secondary school is based on the results of a test and the competition for acceptance into the best schools is fierce[6].
Vocational programs typically last 3 or 4 years
Higher Education N/A Similar to the U.S. undergraduates are awarded Bachelor’s Degree and Graduate Level are awarded a Master’s Degree

1. Visa Information Embassy of Japan in the U.S.A
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
3. Plug & socket types World Standards
4. Nanzan University Some Japanese social customs and attitudes
5. Business Insider
6. Classbase
7. State University Japan – Secondary Education
8. About EducationThe Japanese Education System