Prospective Students
Prospective Students

Entering and Residing in Japan

Procedures for Entering and Residing in Japan

(1) Immigration

Upon arriving to Japan, you will first go through immigration control, where an immigration officer will assign you a status of residence and period of stay based on examination of your passport and visa.

(2) Resident Cards

Starting from July 9th, 2012, Resident Cards are now issued at Narita, Haneda, Chubu and Kansai airports to those entering Japan with a mid- to long-term resident status. The Resident Card must be carried at all times, so be sure to take it with you whenever you go out.

(3) Permission for Activities not Permitted by Status of Residence

Permission to engage in an activity other than that permitted under the resident status may be given at the port of entry or departure, to persons for whom all of the following apply:
  • Persons entering Japan for the first time.
  • Those entering Japan with a re-entry permit are not eligible.
  • Those who are granted “Student” status with the permitted period of more than 3 months.
If you would like to work at a part-time job in Japan, you should obtain this work permit at the port of entry. However, international students of the University of Tokyo do not need to obtain this work permit when they work as Research Assistants or Teaching Assistants at the University.

(4) Baggage Claim

You will need to go to the baggage claim area to collect any baggage that you checked in with the airline. If your baggage does not appear, notify ann attendant so that you can arrange to have the missing item delivered to you later.

(5) Customs

Next, your belongings will be inspected by a customs officer. If you sent any items to Japan via a shipping service, you need to declare those items as unaccompanied baggage.

(6) Travel from the Airport

You are responsible for arranging your transportation from the airport to the University or your housing. It is a good idea to look up information on routes and fares before you arrive to Japan.

(7) Enrollment Procedures

After arriving in Japan, promptly carry out enrollment and other procedures required by your Faculty or Graduate School.

Import Restrictions

     You should be aware that certain items brought to Japan from abroad are subject to taxation depending on their quantity or nature.
In addition, Japanese law prohibits the following items from being brought into the country. Students who violate this prohibition may be subjected to harsh legal punishment, loss of their scholarships, expulsion from the University, and other penalties, so do not bring any of these items to Japan under any circumstances. Furthermore, please note that prohibited articles vary according to their country of origin. Students and researchers are asked to confirm restrictions in their home country before leaving for Japan.

Prohibited Items
  1. Narcotics (cocaine, heroin, etc.), stimulants, marijuana, psychoactive drugs, etc.
  2. Counterfeit brand articles, forged credit cards etc.
  3. Firearms, swords
  4. Gunpowder, explosives, substances used as raw materials for chemical weapons
  5. Obscene magazines, videotapes, DVDs, etc.
  6. Items that infringe upon trademarks, copyrights, etc.
  7. Wild plants / animals designated as endangered by the Washington Convention (CITES), and products made from them
All plants (including seeds and fruit) and animals brought to Japan must undergo a quarantine inspection. Many plants and animals are subject to import prohibitions or restrictions, so take note that certain plants/animals you bring to Japan may be confiscated.

  • Certain items may not be brought into Japan depending on their country of origin.
  • See the following website for information on these items categorized by country: (Japanese only)
  • People entering or leaving Japan with cash, other means of payment, and securities whose total value exceeds the equivalent of one million yen must submit a declaration form in accordance with the Customs Act. Please ask the Customs officer at the seaport or airport for a blank form.

Japan Customs website: