As with any country, there are restrictions regarding what what items can be brought into Japan. When you arrive at Narita, you will be given the option of taking the “green” route or the “red” route. The green route, or express customs line, is reserved for arrivals who do no have anything to declare or are carrying goods which can be admitted free of customs charges. The red route is for all other passengers. Save yourself the agony and don’t try to skip the red line unless you’re sure you can.
Here are some general guidelines regarding what can be brought into Japan. As customs regulations are subject to change, it is wise to verify information before you travel. We’ve linked to the Narita Airport Customs page below.
- Alcohol. You may bring three bottles of approximately 760 cc each into the country.
- Cigarettes. You may bring a maximum of 500 grams of tobacco into Japan. If you’re counting, this works out to about 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars.
- Currency. There is no limit on the amount of currency which can be brought into Japan. However, if your cash exceeds ¥1,000,000, it must be declared.
- Perfume. Two ounces is allowed.
- Personal Items. You can bring clothing and other items designated for your personal use. Cameras and other portable equipment may be brought into the country, provided it is for your own use.
- Other Items. You can bring other items, such as gifts, as long as the total value does not exceed ¥200,000. Individual items whose value is less than ¥10,000 are not counted toward the ¥200,000 limit.
Do not attempt to carry drugs into the country — penalties are swift and harsh. Certain cold medicines, like Sudafed, are subject to restriction. Local mores regarding pornography prohibit the importation of materials from outside Japan. Leave the guns at home, and don’t bring items that infringe upon someone’s trademark or copyright.
Plants and animals are restricted. Do your research before attempting to import them into Japan.