Japan Business Travel Guide

Japan Flag

The Japan Business Travel Guide provides business travellers with an array of business related resources and useful tools designed to assist them on their trips. The guide contains visa information, facts on Japan, business customs, useful tips and other resources. An understanding of other cultures, languages, customs and etiquette can be of great importance to business travellers and give a real advantage to ensuring a successful business trip.

Japan is located in East Asia; the country has one of the most advanced and developed economies in the world with a number of business opportunities. Japan has one of the world's largest economies and is a member of It is one of the G7, G8, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), OECD and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Major trading partners include China, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and USA. Japan is an island nation, to the north is Russia, to the east and south is the Pacific Ocean and to the west is South Korea and China.

The country has a variety of landscapes including mountains including the Japanese Alps, forested areas, lakes, beaches across the coastline and a range of flora and fauna. Famous attractions include Tokyo Skytree, Meiji Shrine, Sensō-ji, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo Imperial Palace, Yoyogi Park, Tokyo Disneyland, Harajuku, Rikugien Garden, Tokyo Tower in the capital Tokyo and Mount Fuji, Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, Osaka Castle, Tōdai-ji, Itsukushima and Himeji Castle.

Japan Guide

Quick Facts on Japan
Japan Travel Advice
Visa Requirements
Business Customs and Etiquette
Travel Advice and Tips
Public Holidays
Japan Map
Japan Weather & Climate

Quick Facts on Japan

Country: Japan

Capital: Tokyo

Currency: Yen (1 yen = 100 sen/1000 rin)

Population: 126.4 Million (UN, 2012)

Area total: 377,835 sq km

Languages: Japanese

Time Zone: GMT +9

Electricity: 100V 50/60Hz

Dialling Code: 81

GDP: USD 4.920 trillion (World Bank, 2013)

Religion: Shintō, Christianity, Buddhism.

Political System: Constitutional Monarchy

Internet Domain: .jp

Japan Travel Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers travellers useful advice when travelling to Japan. You can find further information on entry requirements for Japan, advice on local laws and customs, health considerations, tips on safety and security and the address and contact details of the British Embassy in Japan. The information is updated on a regular basis making it a good reference point for both business and leisure travellers looking for the latest travel advice and information on Japan. For more information please see: Japan Travel Advice

Visa Requirements

No visa requirement for UK nationals and most European states, Canada and USA and a number of other counties worldwide as part of visa exemptions arrangements, this applies to short term visits of no longer than 90 days or 3 months in most cases, with 6 months for UK nationals. Visa requirements are subject to change with changes in requirements and rules for further information please see: Japan Embassy UK

Business Customs and Etiquette

Business meetings should be booked in advance, business dress widely observed and is conservative with dark suit colours the norm. Smart dressing is viewed as extremely important. Punctuality is important for meetings and greetings for business usually consist of either a handshake that is increasing used or a bow, if your hosts bow you should reciprocate the bow. It is usually safe to refer to people using their surnames and to add 'San' to the end for both men and women, should a more informal approach be used would need to wait for hosts to invite its use.

During meetings there may be silences that can be unnerving, silence is used as an important part of Japanese communication, so no need to be unnerved by this. Personal space is deemed as important in Japan and this should be observed. Business cards are very important and may be offered using one or two hands, ensure you have plenty to go around and you need to be careful to offer one is someone offers you one, otherwise it can be deemed as though you are not interested in having a business relationship. Blowing your nose in public should avoided as it is considered improper.

Business meetings may take place over lunch or dinner and corporate entertaining is usually done in restaurants. Many Japanese business people may speak English however translators are available if needed.

Travel Advice and Tips

Most trips to Japan for both business visitors and tourists are likely to pleasant and incident free. Japan is on the whole a very safe country to visit, with relatively low levels of crime. However you should be aware of pick pockets and thefts of valuables. You should not show valuables in public and ensure that that you are alert and aware of your surroundings and environment at all times.

Travel Checklist: See our Travellers Checklist containing useful tips and reminders to ensure you have everything you will need on your trip.

Travel Vaccinations: It is recommended you check with your GP on whether you require any travel vaccinations up to eight weeks before you travel. For more information and advice on travel vaccinations please see the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Tipping: Tipping is not widely practised in Japan and hotels and restaurants usually add a 10% service charge and consumptions tax to the final bill.

Hours of Business:

For Businesses:
09.00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday (some offices open on Saturdays but the majority do not).

For Shops:
10.00 to 19.00 Monday to Sunday

For Banks:
09.00 to 15.00 Monday to Friday

NOTE: Shops & department stores may close on a weekday, but open on Saturday and Sundays.

Public Holidays

Public Holidays (2015):

January 1: New Year's Day
January 12: Coming of Age Day
February 11: National Foundation Day
March 21: Vernal Equinox Day
April 29: Showa Day
May 3: Constitution Memorial Day
May 4: Greenery Day
May 5: Children's Day
July 20: Marine Day
September 21: Respect-for-the-Aged Day
September 22: Autumnal Equinox Day
October 12: Health & Sports Day
November 3: Culture Day
November 23: Labour Thanksgiving Day
December 23: Emperor's Birthday

Japan Map

Tokyo Map, Japan

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Japan Weather & Climate

Japan's is located in East Asia and its geography results in a range of climates. Japan has a number of climatic zones across the country, the subtropical Okinawa area, the humid continental climate is found on the northern island of Hokkaido characterised by cool summers and snowy/icy winters. The majority of the rest of Japan has a mainly temperate climate, that includes four distinct seasons. Spring and autumn time in Japan offers mild temperatures without the extra heat and humidity of the summer, making it an ideal time to visit.

Summer time from June to September is when temperatures are peaked and it can be hot to very hot and humid, there are also typhoons and cyclones that can occur during the June to October period. Much of Japan enjoys a pleasant climate for most of the year ensuring it is a destination that can be visited at most times throughout the year.

Lightweight cotton and linen clothing can be warn in the summer months; can get very hot and humid in summer, plenty of hydration, sunscreen and sun hat are needed. Rain wear with raincoats and umbrellas are advisable throughout the year. Mountain/Alpine wear clothing is required in the mountain regions throughout the year. Additional layers and warmer clothing is required during the autumn and winter months.

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Disclaimer: The information given in on this website is given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge. If there are any discrepancies in no way do we intend to mislead. Important travel details and arrangements should be confirmed and verified with the relevant authorities.
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