Travel to Japan
1. Which documents does a Belgian national need to travel to Japan?
A valid Belgian passport is sufficient. However, if you have scheduled a transit through another country in Asia, please take into account that most other Asian countries require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival.
2. Can I travel to the US with my Belgian passport?
You should have a machine-readable zone on your passport and be registered in the ESTA system. You will find more information on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Brussels: http://belgium.usembassy.gov/visa_waiver_program.html.
3. Which means of payment can I use in Japan?
- When travelling in Japan, don't always count on your credit card, but also carry a sufficient amount of ready cash (yens).
- You can pay with the most common credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Diners Club en American Express) in big hotels and shops, but not everywhere.
- Changing money is also possible.
For useful addresses, please check the website of the JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization): www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/money.html.
4. Withdrawing money from ATM’s
Before your departure, verify with your bank that your (Belgian) debit card MAESTRO can be used outside Europe.
Further details are available in Dutch or in French at the following website:
In some cases, you will have to ask your bank to authorize the use of your debit card in Japan. As for Japan you need ask your bank for a temporary activation of the Maestro function on your debit card for use outside Europe before your departure.
The following cards can basically be used, during opening hours, in practically all Japanese post offices: Visa, Visa Electron, Plus, MasterCard, Cirrus, American Express, Diners Club International, JCB.
Convenience stores: you can withdraw money from Seven Bank ATMs (which you can find in Seven Eleven convenience stores and in Itoyokado supermarkets) or Aeon Bank ATMs (which you can find in Ministop convenience stores and Aeon supermarkets) with most types of foreign Credit Cards and Maestro/Cirrus cards.
For more information, please see the following websites:
Seven Bank: www.sevenbank.co.jp/intlcard/index2.html
Japan Post Bank: www.jp-bank.japanpost.jp/en/ias/en_ias_index.htm
5. What is the procedure to take my cat or dog to Japan or to Belgium?
To import a pet in Japan, it should have been implanted with a microchip with an individual identification number and its owners should have a health certificate and a rabies vaccination certificate. In addition a blood test must have been carried out at least 6 months prior to entry into Japan. If the pet does not meet these conditions, a quarantine lasting from 14 to 180 days can be imposed. You should notify the Japanese Animal Quarantine Service with jurisdiction over the intended air(sea)port of arrival at least 40 days prior to the arrival of your pet in Japan. You can consult the updated regulations on the website of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Don’t forget to contact the Animal Quarantine Service of your airport or seaport of departure before leaving: www.maff.go.jp/aqs/english/animal/dog/export.html.
The rules applying to pets entering European countries from third countries are harmonized within the European Union: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/pets/nocomm_third_en.htm. Your pet can enter Belgium with a valid rabbies vaccination certificate issued by a Japanese veterinarian, and whose signature is legalised by the relevant Japanese authorities. It is very important that the animal enter Belgium at least 21 days after the vaccination, but before its validity expires. The animal will not be placed in quarantine. Your animal must also have a microchip (transponder) or a tatoo with an individual identification number.
You will find more information on the website of the relevant animal health authorities in Belgium: www.health.belgium.be/eportal/AnimalsandPlants/travellingwithyourpets/Animauxdomestiques/index.htm.
6. Can I drive in Japan with an international driver's license issued in Belgium?
No. Japan does not recognize international driver's licenses issued on the basis of the Convention of Vienna on Road Traffic of 8 November 1968.
However, holders of a Belgian national driving license, planning to stay in Japan for a period of less than one year are allowed to drive in Japan with their Belgian license, provided that a Japanese translation is attached to it. A translation can be obtained at the Japan Automobile Federation (http://www.jaf.or.jp/e/translation/with.htm).