Japan is an incredible country, but I’ve seen more people confused by their first visit than any other country. The trains are amazing but confusing. The food is fabulous but can be a bit overwhelming. The people are friendly, which means that overcoming language difficulties is a lot easier. Anyways. I digress. I’m here to discuss power adapters for Japan. We carry around laptops, phones, kindles, and all sorts. Keeping them charged is key for our travels. And so one of the key items for when we arrive in a country is how to charge our electronics. So here’s all you need to know about Japan power adapters. I’ll cover Japan plug adapters, whether you need an adapter for Japan, and Japanese electric adapter requirements too. Ready?
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So let’s start with the basics. People from all over the world travel to Japan, so I’ll try and cover all the bases.
Electric supplies differ throughout the world. Voltage ranges from 100 to 240 volts. If you’re using an appliance that’s rated for a different voltage to the one that’s being received it can be dangerous – these are mainly heating appliances like hairdryers and you may need to use a transformer, or a voltage converter for your hairdryer to work safely. (with hairdryers its best to use what the hotel provides) And then there’s the fact that Japan may have a different power plug and wall socket than your home country.
Taking the right power adapter for Japan is one of the key things that you’ll need to do before you head to Japan – for other things to do before you travel, our Japan travel checklist is here.
What’s the Electricity Supply like in Japan?
In Japan, the electricity supply is 100 volts. This is different to most of the rest of the world.
The voltage in Japan is different from North America, which is 120 volts. Japan’s voltage is different from Central Europe, which is 230 volts. The United Kingdom operates at 230 volts. Australia operates at 220 -240 volts. New Zealand operates at 230-240 volts.
This SK Ross travel adapter supports Japan, and 204 other countries around the world. It will cover you regardless of the plug type you’re using and what you need to plug into. It does NOT convert the voltage. Voltage converters tend to be heavy and expensive. You’ll only usually need them for some items like hairdryers – and your hotel will provide a hairdryer.
The Japanese Electrical Standards
- Electric plug type A
- Voltage 100 volts
- Frequency 50Hz – 60Hz
What does it mean that the voltage is different in Japan?
It means that you will need to use a power converter to safely use devices – especially if they are heat-generating (like hairdryers). Many devices have a safe operating limit and you might see technical information that states “Voltage 100 volts to 240 volts”. This is usual for phone chargers, cameras, and laptops.
Devices that will NOT work as well include curling irons and hair dryers.
What types of plugs are used in Japan?
Two types of plugs are used in Japan. Type A and Type B. Primarily you’ll find Type A used.
Plug Type A has two parallel flat pins. A Type A plug looks like this
Plug Type B has a round grounding pin and two flat parallel pins. A Type B plug looks like this
What types of sockets are used in Japan?
While the primary type of electric socket you’ll find in Japan is Type A, you may also find a Type B socket. Here’s what these sockets look like
Does Japan use the same plug as the USA?
Possibly. Japanese sockets and plugs are similar to those in the USA. There are sometimes differences in prong length, which may mean that your device might not charge. In the main Japan uses a two-pin plug and socket. Most commonly they are two-pin, non-polarised, and ungrounded. This means that your plug will fit in a socket.
Some American appliances will work ok in Japanese sockets without an adapter. Some won’t.
It is recommended to use an adapter ESPECIALLY for those heating devices – hairdryers, straightening irons, etc, as these devices tend to overheat. Many – if not all – hotels will provide hairdryers in rooms. Even the Nine Hours Capsule Hotel that I stayed at provided hair dryers.
Do you need a voltage converter in Japan?
Possibly, it depends on which devices you are planning on taking. Most people traveling with laptops, phones, and other such devices – like us – simply use a plug adapter. Japan works on a completely different voltage than most of the rest of the world. Some of your devices may be certified to “work” at 100 volts, but some of them won’t. 99% of travelers manage with just a plug converter. Voltage converters tend to be heavy and expensive and most devices that we use every day are fine with a plug converter
What type of plugs are needed in Japan?
You’ll find several types of sockets (and plugs) in Japan, most of them have two flat parallel pins and are often non-polarized.
If you’re traveling on Japanese trains (and making use of the JR Pass), you’ll need a plug that fits in a Type A socket.
What is the recommended power adapter for Japan?
A recommended power adapter for Japan will ensure that your plug then fits into the socket in Japan. We’ve used SK Ross devices around the world for more than 9 years now, and this power adapter has covered us in all the 110 countries, that we’ve traveled to, including Japan.
Read our other guides to what plug adapters you’ll need when traveling
- Bulgarian Plug Adapters
- Costa Rica Plug Adapter
- Plug Adapter for Japan
- Colombia Plug Adapter
- Sri Lanka Plug Adapter
Travel Tips for Exploring Japan
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
- Download and install a VPN BEFORE you travel to Japan > discount coupon here
- Read our guide to the Japan Rail Pass here
- Check the details of the 2023 Japan Rail Pass Increases here
- Buy your Japan Rail Pass before you arrive in Japan
- Book the best tours and guides in Japan on, GetYourGuideand Klook
- Learn to cook Japanese food in Chef’s kitchens in Japan
- Save money in Japan with a Wise debit card
- Find the right accommodation for you via Booking.com
- Book an incredible ryokan experience in Japan
Final Words on Travel Adapters for Japan
Japan is unique in using 100 volts for its electricity, which means that while some of your devices will be compatible when charging in the country, not all of them will be. Also, depending on which country you and your devices are from, your plugs might not fit the electric sockets that you’ll find in Japan. So plan ahead. It’s pretty tough to try and find an electrical adapter once you’ve arrived in Japan and it’s best organized and bought before you leave home.
Stock images in this article are courtesy Deposit Photos.
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