Japanese Laws That Every Tourist Should Know
During the last two years, traveling has been kind of hard because of the pandemic and different lockdowns and flight restrictions around the globe. Prior to this, I was traveling regularly, partly for my job and partly because I love traveling and discovering new places. I’ve visited Japan at least 10 times in the past 10 years (I go to Japan at least once a year); this is because I love the culture and the food there is out of the world.
However, when you are traveling to new countries, you ought to know the rules of the countries you are traveling ad visiting. So, here are some Japanese laws that you should know if you are planning to visit Japan next.
1. Don’t smoke in public places
If you are a smoker like me, then you ought to know this about japan; if you are caught smoking in public, then you might be slapped with a fine as high as 20 000 yen if the authorities catch you. If you are a smoker, you have to look for designated smoking areas that can be found around the country.
You can find a smoking area near office buildings, outside the train station, or even parks. Unlike, in America, you can even smoke inside a restaurant; you have to request a table in a smoking area to do so though. With these restaurants that have smoking areas, you can have a puff or two while enjoying your drink and food, and it is perfect if you are a social smoker like me. You can even find some smoking areas in some cars too on the Shinkansen.
2. Always have your passport when you are going out
In Japan, it is fairly common for law enforcement officers to ask foreigners and locals alike for a piece of identification. They can do this at any time and anywhere. This is done randomly, and with a population of over 126 million inhabitants, the chances of you being stopped are very small, but this doesn’t mean it can’t happen. So, do yourself a favor and have your passport on you at all times when you are leaving your place.
If you are stopped by the police and don’t have any proof of identification with you, you can be stopped and taken to the station to be questioned, and this can take a lot of time. This is an unnecessary amount of stress that you don’t need to put on yourself, and you can easily avoid it by having your passport with you. Be sure your passport is with you even if you are going to the convenience store down the street, and keep it in a secure place like a waterproof bag or purse so that you don’t lose it or for it not to get damaged.
3. Respect the drinking age
In America, the drinking age is 21, while in Japan, it is 20, and in most places around the world and Europe, the legal age to drink is 18 years. This means if you hail from Europe, you won’t be able to go pub crawling and bar hopping unless you are 20. Some tourists usually got away with underage drinking before, but now some establishments ask for proof of identification and age before allowing you to drink, especially if you look young and have a babyface.
If the police catch you, then it sucks to be you, my friend; you will be taken to the local police station where your information will be entered into a database, and you’ll have a record of you breaking the law. Be safe while drinking and be smart about it, especially if you are going to drink while underaged. If you apply for a work visa in the future, this may affect your chances of getting this.
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