While it's recommended to use the Visit Japan web app, it's not mandatory. In fact it may be quicker to use the standard paper immigration forms on arrival in Japan.
Visit Japan Web app diagram
There are now no Covid protocols for Japan. The Japanese government still recommends that visitors to Japan use the Visit Japan Web app, which replaces the paper arrival card and customs declaration, but you DO NOT HAVE TO USE THE VISIT JAPAN WEB APP.
On our last entry to Japan in October 2023, those not using the app actually moved faster through immigration and customs. So, it's really up to you: use the app or just go old school and fill out a paper arrival card and customs declaration (and if you don't get them on the plane, you can pick them up at immigration and customs).
Visit Japan Web
Visit Japan Web app
Time required to fill out and instruction manuals
When you first download the app and look at the instruction manual, you may get the impression that it’s going to take a long time to complete Visit Japan Web. In practice, it takes about 15 minutes and is pretty intuitive. I suggest using the simplified manual and quarantine section manuals linked below.
Three parts to Visit Japan Web
Note, Visit Japan Web actually consists of three parts: 1) immigration information (ie, disembarkation card information), 2) customs information (ie, customs declaration), and 3) tax-exemption section. When you successfully complete these sections, you will receive three QR codes. The first two you will show at the airport upon arrival. The third you will show at shops that offer tax-free shopping to tourists.
You will need a charged smartphone with internet access for Visit Japan Web to work at the airport when you arrive. Japanese airports have free wifi, so connectivity is not an issue, but be sure to charge your phone before flying. Just in case something goes wrong with your phone or you cannot get online at the airport, it’s a good idea to do two things to print out your immigration and customs QR codes to show at the airport.
Important Visit Japan Web Links
- Here’s the Visit Japan Web download site.
- Here’s a detailed manual for using Visit Japan Web.
- Here’s a simplified Visit Japan Web Manual (scroll down for instructions).
Where Are These Places Located?See these places on the Inside Osaka Google map:
- Open the Osaka map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Osaka Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Osaka guide
- Check Osaka accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Osaka
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Osaka's Kansai International Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- View my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare flight prices and timings to find the best Japan flight deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, you might save money with a Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
- Get a prepaid Icoca card to make travelling around Osaka easy – here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world