Packing Your Luggage

Checklist for Preparing to Enter Japan

Required items

  • Flight ticket
  • Passport
  • Cash
  • Three photographs (L4.5cm x W3.5cm) for various certificates
  • Visa / Certificate of Eligibility

Recommended items

  • Eye-drops / contact lens solution
  • Medicine (over-the-counter medicine such as antacid, coId medicine, analgesics)
  • Formal clothing (Western-style suit, or traditional formal clothes from your country)
  • Map / guidebook
  • Dictionary
  • Plug adapters / electricity transformers
  • Items from your home country (photos and small gifts)

Customs Regulations for Entering Japan

Import prohibitions / restrictions

Your belongings, even if they are for personal use during your stay in Japan, will be examined at customs, and may be subject to duty depending on their quantity or content. Please check the customs regulations carefully.

In Japan, possession of any of the following is prohibited or regulated by law:

Do not violate the law or you will be punished severely.

Prohibited Items

  • Illegal drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines or marijuana
  • Firearms such as handguns
  • Pornography (books / videotapes / DVDs)
  • Forged currency
  • Articles that infringe intellectual property rights, e.g., counterfeits

Restricted Items

  • Animals and plants, or related goods listed in the Washington Treaty and the Invasive Alien Species Act
  • Items that require animal and plant quarantine
  • Hunting rifles and swords
  • Live animals and plants, meat products, vegetables, fruits, rice, etc.
  • Pharmaceutical products, cosmetics (subject to quantitative restrictions)

* The items listed above are notable examples of prohibited and restricted items.

Illegal Drugs Warning

All Drug-related Crimes are Felonies in Japan. We ask that all students, including international students (researchers), and staff who will be coming to Japan in the future read this notice carefully and completely to be aware of Japanese laws on illegal drugs, legal punishments, social norms and attitudes, and the effect that violating the law has on those around you.

Unaccompanied Baggage

“Unaccompanied baggage” contains any articles that you ship to yourself instead of carrying with you when you enter Japan.


Please be sure to label any items you ship to yourself as “Unaccompanied Baggage” on the package or shipping form, and designate the person who will be entereing Japan as the recipient.

When Entering Japan

Prepare the “Declaration of Personal Effects and Unaccompanied Articles” form in duplicate, and present both copies when going through customs. The customs officer will return one stamped copy to you. Please keep it in a safe place. You cannot declare unaccompanied baggage once you have entered Japan. Do not forget to do so.
Even if you have sent yourself items from multiple locations, you need only submit one form in duplicate.

“Declaration of Personal Effects and Unaccompanied Articles” forms are available at each custom’s desk. You can also download the forms in multiple languages from the Japan Customs’ website below.

For more information in English language, please see the Tokyo Custom’s website below.

Receiving Unaccompanied Baggage

  1. By post
  2. By methods other than post

If you fail to declare unaccompanied baggage upon entering Japan, or lose the stamped copy of your declaration form, you will have to perform import procedures for general commercial goods.

If you fail to label your articles as “unaccompanied baggage,” you may receive a notice of duties or duty procedures from the customs office (ex. “Notice of Assessment of Duties and Taxes Postal Matters”). If this happens, before paying the duties please inquire with the customs office that issued the notice, or the air cargo/shipping company.