Visitors from countries whose citizens must have visas should apply to a Japanese consular office or diplomatic mission in their respective country. For details, please contact your travel agent or the local consular office in your country.
*Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
*Embassy or Consulate General of Japan
Japan has four distinctive seasons. Hokkaido is one of the places, where you can see and feel the changes clearly. Throughout the year, Hokkaido is relatively cool and has low humidity. Summer in Hokkaido is milder and can be the most comfortable place among the rest of Japan.
*Temperatures of Sapporo
||Avg. 13.6°C / H 24.5°C - L 5.5°C
* The sunlight is warm, but the wind is still cold. The weather is similar to that of Honshu (mainland) in April. It is better to have outerwear.
||Avg. 15.9°C / H 28.5°C - L 6.9°C
* The nice weather continues and various flowers start blooming all at once. There may be times when you can wear a half-sleeve shirt but it depends on the day.
Japan's tap water, particularly in Hokkaido, is known for its quality. You can drink it almost everywhere in Japan without worrying about getting sick. Fresh spring water in Hokkaido is quite popular and many people filling their bottles on the mountains are often seen on weekends. Although Japan has good-tasting water, bottled-water has become popular in recent years, too.
The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 100 volts AC. The frequency is 50 Hz in eastern Japan including Sapporo and Tokyo, and 60 Hz in western Japan.
Japan uses on 100 volts power. This is different from most of the world and means that you will need an adapter for sensitive equipment like computers if you are coming from the U.S. or Europe.
Japan does not use three‐pronged plugs, so it may be necessary for you to buy an adapter to use Japan’s two pronged outlets.
Yen(¥) is the currency used in Hokkaido and throughout Japan. There are four kinds of bills; 1,000yen, 2,000yen, 5,000yen, and 10,000yen. The 2,000yen bill is quite rare and might not be accepted in some vending machines. All the coins; 1yen, 5yen, 10yen, 50yen, 100yen and 500yen coins are evenly accepted. In general, ticket machines at the train or subway stations accept the 10,000yen bills, while drink vending machines don't take them. Please note that either 1yen or 5 yen coins cannot be used for any type of vending machines.
Upon your arrival to Japan, if you want some local money, you should go to the exchange counter at New Chitose Airport. It is better to exchange your money at your transit International airport; Narita International, Kansai International, or Haneda Airport because other airports in Hokkaido don't have exchange counters. It is also recommended to exchange your money at the airport or the bank before you leave. Unlike many popular tourist destinations, exchange counters are rarely seen in Japanese cities and only a few hotels offer exchange services. Major banks provide exchange services from 9am to 3pm on weekdays, however they close on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Credit Cards and Traveler's Checks
VISA, Master Card, Diners Club, and American Express are widely accepted at hotels, department stores, shops and restaurants. Traveler's checks are accepted only by leading banks and major hotels in principal cities, and the use of traveler's checks in Japan is not as popular as in some other countries.
In Japan, tips are not necessary anywhere, even at hotels and restaurants.