Heading off on a journey to the mythical and magical “Land of the Rising Sun” is an exhilarating and exciting experience. Japan is a special country filled with ancient shrines, futuristic cities, breathtaking landscapes and seriously delicious food.

But there are a lot of challenges when visiting Japan. Firstly, there is the challenge of being able to afford it (yep, Japan is expensive), the serious language barrier and the endless karaoke. In fact, there is so much to plan and prep before a trip to Japan that you’d be forgiven for forgetting something so simple and yet important to your trip such as the correct Japan travel adapter!

Yet, amidst the excitement, it’s crucial to stay connected and charged. Japan’s unique electrical system and plug type can pose a challenge for travellers, making a reliable travel adapter an essential item on your packing list.

Guy does handstand at entrance to temple in Kyoto, Japan.
Gotta stay charged!
Photo: @audyscala

Understanding Japan’s Electrical System

Right, so you’re planning a backpacking trip to Japan, well, let’s have a look at the exciting stuff first, Japan’s electrical system!

Okay, so Japan operates on a 100V voltage and a frequency of either 50 or 60Hz, depending on the region. The eastern part of Japan, including Tokyo, uses 50Hz, while the western part, including Osaka and Kyoto, uses 60Hz. The country mainly uses Type A and Type B electrical sockets. Type A has two flat parallel pins, and Type B adds a grounding pin to the Type A outlet.

Travellers coming from Europe, the UK, the US and Australia, and other regions with a different standard voltage and plug type will find their devices well and truly incompatible with Japanese outlets!

For instance, European devices are typically rated for 220-240V, and Australian devices are rated for 230V. Using these devices in Japan without an adapter can result in poor performance, and damage to the device, or it may not work at all. Trust me, if you’ve just rocked up for the first day of your working holiday in Japan, this is NOT ideal!

Why You Need a Travel Adapter for Japan

Without a travel adapter for Japan, your devices will most probably not fit into wall sockets rendering them well and truly redundant. Even if your devices have the right shaped pins and do fit, this may not be safe and your electronics might be at risk of damage due to the voltage and plug type differences. It’s a pretty important bit of kit on any backpacking gear checklist!

A reliable travel adapter ensures that you can use and charge your devices safely, keeping you connected throughout your adventure. It’s a small investment that brings peace of mind and convenience, ensuring that your electronic devices are always ready when you need them.

Also, don’t forget to sort out your travel insurance for Japan for all that gear too!

You’ll want your gear charged for these hikes!
Photo: @jammin.out_

Choosing the Right Travel Adapter

With there being so many beautiful places to visit in Japan, you’ll want to make sure you have your camera and phone charged up and ready to go. So you’ve got to make sure you select the correct travel adapter.

When selecting a travel adapter, look for one that is compatible with both Japan’s Type A or B sockets.

Also, ensure that it is durable, has safety features like surge protection (you will pay extra for this, but it’s cheaper than buying a new phone…), and can handle the 100V voltage. 

There are various types of travel adapters available, including universal adapters that work in multiple regions and single-region adapters specific to Japan.

For backpackers and travellers alike looking to pack light, it’s essential to find a compact and lightweight adapter. These are easier to carry around and won’t add unnecessary weight to your luggage.

Personally, I generally use a World Travel Adapter that can be used anywhere on Earth. They are now widely available and really help when it comes to traveling light. Finding one that offers surge protection can however prove to be more challenging.

As I said above, there are loads of different travel adapters out there that will be at least semi-suitable for Japan. However, in our experience, these are the best Japan travel adapters;

Hazoi Universal Travel Adapter

Hazoi Universal Travel Adapter

Travel to Japan with confidence using the HAOZI International Travel Power Adapter.  Made for regular travellers, this adapter ensures your phones, iPads, and other devices stay charged no matter where you find yourself. With versatile plug options including EU, UK, AUS, and US, and a comprehensive range of socket adapters, this travel companion has got you covered worldwide.

The HAOZI travel adapter truly shines with its advanced charging port design. Unlike traditional adapters, it boasts 3 USB 3.0 charging ports plus a Type-C charging port, catering to a wide array of devices, including those that require a Type-C connection like the MacBook, Chromebook Pixel, and Samsung Galaxy S9.

TESSAN Worldwide Travel Plug Adaptor

The Universal, 5-in-1, Travel Adapter is an indispensable accessory for globetrotters, covering over 224 countries and catering to various plug types including Type C for regions like France, Germany, and Israel, Type G for the UK and Dubai, Type I for China and Australia, and Type A for the USA, Japan, and Canada. It is the perfect companion for worldwide travel or business trips, ensuring that you stay connected wherever you go.

Equipped with USB A and dual USB C ports, this international travel adapter offers versatile charging options, with the USB A ports supporting up to 2.4A and the USB C ports providing speedy charging up to 3A. It intelligently detects connected devices to optimize charging, making it ideal for a wide array of electronic devices from cell phones and tablets to cameras and laptops.

Vintar US to Japan Adapter

Vintar US to Japan Adapter

The Type A plug adapter provides a fairly seamless transition from 3-prong to 2-prong plugs in America and is widely compatible overseas in countries such as Japan, the Philippines, Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Thailand and more.

It features two standard American AC sockets with a maximum power capacity of 2500W (250V, 10A), alongside two USB ports capable of delivering 2.4A of charging power. This adapter is smart enough to automatically identify connected charging equipment, allowing up to four devices to be charged simultaneously. It is ideal for a variety of electronic devices including mobile phones, laptops, cameras, and portable power supplies. Boom! (Well, hopefully not!)

However, it is crucial to note that this is not a voltage converter; it operates exclusively with devices compatible with 100V-250V voltage. When travelling abroad, ensure your devices are dual voltage and verify their compatibility before use.

US to Japan Plug Adapter

US to Japan Adapter

This 2-prong adapter is an essential tool for both home and travel, facilitating the transition from a 3-prong to a 2-prong plug. It showcases global compatibility, functioning seamlessly in various countries including Japan, Canada, Mexico, China, and several countries across the Caribbean and South America.

This versatile tool serves as a 4-in-1 Japan Travel Adapter, equipped with 2 standard American AC sockets (supporting up to 2500W, 250V, 10A), and 2 USB ports capable of 2.4A charging. It can intelligently detect connected devices, optimizing charging for up to 4 devices simultaneously, The LED indicator is a thoughtful addition, keeping you informed about the power status.

Designed with stability in mind, this Japan travel adapter ensures a snug fit in the socket, providing extra support for larger, heavier plugs

Go Travel UK Japan Adaptor

Go Travel UK Japan Adaptor

This travel adaptor is expertly crafted for UK travellers heading to Japan and the Americas, ensuring a seamless connection for all British 3-pole earthed plugs with Japanese sockets. Perfect if you’re a Brit like me teaching English over in Japan.

With its sleek design, compact size, and lightweight nature, it guarantees ease of use and convenience for on-the-go packing. Despite its compact size, it doesn’t compromise on safety and meets the latest safety standards (BS 8546), ensuring a secure connection for all your small electrical devices. In essence, it combines safety, ease of use, and portability, making it a reliable travel companion for UK travellers exploring Japan and the Americas.

This universal adapter is robust, reliable, and comes with a built-in USB port. It’s compatible with Type A and B sockets, making it perfect for Japan.

Additional Tips and Considerations

Do consider purchasing your travel adapter before arriving in Japan. This will ensure that you have the time to find a properly suitable quality product and it will most likely also prove a lot cheaper than buying gear inside Japan which is a very expensive country.

That said, Japan is a tech economy and high-quality travel adapters are also available locally if you prefer to buy upon arrival.

To help better ensure the longevity of your Japan travel adapter, take proper care of it and store it in a safe place when not in use. Keep it dry, and try not to drop it too. But you already know that right?

Be wary of cheap knock-offs that can be damaging to your gear and potentially dangerous too. The best travel adapter for Japan will not be the cheapest and investing in a quality adapter ensures the safety of your devices.

Making the Most Out of Your Adapter

Beyond charging your devices, some travel adapters come with additional features like USB ports or built-in nightlights which are really very handy. Either way, it’s a must on any Japan packing list.

However, do take care to ensure safety by not overloading the adapter and always unplug it when not in use. To complement your travel adapter, consider adding other useful travel gadgets like a portable power pack and a universal power strip for charging multiple devices when you’re compiling your travel packing checklist.

Fox water fountain at a temple in Kyoto, Japan.
Keep your gear charged for this incredible country.
Photo: @audyscala

Final Thoughts On Japan Travel Adapters

A reliable travel adapter is a small yet crucial part of your travel gear when heading to Japan. It ensures that you can stay connected, keeps your devices safe, and adds heaps and heaps of convenience to your adventure. 

By choosing the right adapter, taking proper care of it, and being mindful of safety, you can make the most out of your trip. Prepare well, choose wisely, and enjoy every moment of your Japanese adventure with fully charged devices!

See you on the road guys!

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!