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US to Japan Power Adapter: What Plug Do I Need? (2024)

US to Japan Power Adapter: What Plug Do I Need? (2024)
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A surprising mix of ultra-modern technology and deeply revered tradition, Japan is a fascinating place to visit. Whether you’re seeking sandy beaches, mountain villages, or vibrant cities – it has a little something for everybody.

But while electricity isn’t something most travelers give much thought to, the Japanese electrical grid has some unusual quirks. Make sure you understand how it works, and determine whether you’ll need a US-to-Japan power adapter or converter to protect your cherished devices from damage.

See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

Which power outlets do they use in Japan?

Japanese power outlet
Here is an actual photo of a Japanese power outlet

Japan is one of the only countries outside the Western Hemisphere to use Type A and B outlets, the same as in the US. Type A sockets are ungrounded and have two flat holes, while Type B sockets are grounded and have a third hole. Unlike in the US, the ungrounded, two-flat-pronged outlet type (pictured) is most common in Japan.

The electrical grid in Japan has two other oddities. Most countries use the same frequency everywhere, but that’s not the case in Japan.

In the eastern part of the country, including Tokyo, the frequency is 50 Hz; in the Western part, including Osaka and Kyoto, it’s 60 Hz. The difference in frequency generally isn’t an issue, but it can prevent clocks and timers from keeping time correctly.

The voltage used in almost every country is either 120V (in North America) or 230V (in most other countries); however, Japan uses a voltage of 100V, the lowest in the world.

Even though the electrical grid in the US uses a voltage of 110V, many American appliances are rated for a range of 100-120V.

What kind of power adapter do I need for Japan?

Japan power adapter
Recommended Japan power adapter available on ➜

“What adapter do I need for Japan?” is a good question if you’re making your first trip to Tokyo or another Japanese destination – but you might not need one at all. Any devices with the plug type with just two flat prongs (Type A) won’t need a US-to-Japan power adapter; they can be plugged straight into any outlet in Japan.

However, an adapter is essential if anything you’re bringing has a plug with a third-round prong (such as a laptop). You may find some Type B sockets, but they’re the minority in Japan. Check the plug on any devices you bring to decide if you need a US-to-Japan power adapter.

If you want to plug in any Type B devices while in Japan, we recommend this Universal Adapter.

Not only will it have you covered during your stay here, but it also works in 100+ popular countries so you won’t need to buy constant replacements for unique outlets. It even comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee, which means it’s the last adapter you’ll ever need to buy!

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Other Japan Packing List Items

In addition to your US-to-Japan power adapter, these items will help you pack with intention and expand the possibilities of your getaway. Also, check out our Japan packing list for more inspiration and ideas:

  • 1. Neck Wallet

    Pickpocketing can happen anytime, anywhere. So it pays to be careful with your valuables, especially in crowded places and at tourist hotspots. Using a neck wallet is the easiest way to keep everything secure. This one can hold all of your cash, credit cards, phones, and passports, which will make travel days way easier. You don’t want to flash your wallet over and over, which can make you an easy target. But this discreet case can be worn under your shirt so thieves won’t even notice it. The internal lining material is also RFID-blocking, which means modern thieves can’t scan your credit cards from afar!

    Neck Wallet

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  • 2. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    Whether you want to take photos of the cherry blossoms or look up the train schedule, you’ll be out of luck if your devices are dead. But all you need to keep them juiced is a tiny charger you won’t even notice in your bag. Bring this lipstick-sized portable charger along, and you can make sure your devices stay powered throughout the day. You never know when an emergency will come up!

    Lipstick-Sized Charger

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Japan has lost millions of dollars to cybersecurity attacks and is only ranked behind the U.S. for the highest world losses due to online theft. Ensure you have a safe connection when you join public Wi-Fi networks at cafes, coffee shops, airports, hotels, and more – because these are breeding grounds for malware, ransomware, and IP theft.

    We use NordVPN because they have unlimited bandwidth and are the fastest VPN provider we’ve tried. They will protect your private data like passwords, credit card numbers, and social security numbers, so you can surf the web with peace of mind. I wish I had known about this before my credit card number was stolen on vacation at (what I thought was a safe) Airbnb. Now, I always use a VPN when traveling and while at home. It’s a small price with a big payoff! And will mitigate any online censorship you experience while abroad.

    how a vpn works

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  • 4. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Most areas of Japan encounter considerable rain throughout the year, with the Summer months being the peak. You’ll want to arrive to Japan prepared for a rainy day or two. This well-made, compact travel umbrella will hold up even on a stormy day. When you don’t need it, it’s small enough to stow in your daypack and comes with a zip case so your other items will stay dry.

    travel umbrella

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  • 5. Jet Lag Relief

    Coming from the US, the time difference can be 15 hours or more, which is a recipe for serious jet lag! Too many travelers end up spending their first days in Japan napping instead of exploring, but that doesn’t have to happen to you. Bring some jet lag relief pills, and you’ll adjust in no time. These are homeopathic with no side effects and use a botanical recipe to calm the system.

    jet lag relief

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  • 6. Travel Insurance for Japan

    Your domestic provider does not extend overseas and you don’t want to risk paying out-of-pocket for lump sums. Nobody wants to think about getting sick or having an accident while traveling, but it happens. This is why we always come prepared with travel insurance to protect the investment we’ve already made in our trip. They cover you for common issues, like medical emergencies, flight delays, cancellations, baggage loss, theft, and the ability to “cancel for any reason.”

    We use Faye because they’ve modernized travel insurance, and are the first 100% digital provider. You can quickly and easily make claims to get reimbursed straight from your phone through their convenient mobile app. Just as you wouldn’t own a home without home insurance, you shouldn’t travel without travel insurance. It’s a small fraction of your trip cost and worth it for the peace of mind alone.

    Faye Travel Insurance

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Packing Cubes

    Thanks to packing cubes, you no longer have to sift through every single item in your bag to find what you’re looking for. Instead, pack each type of clothing in a clearly labeled packing cube (pants, shirts, essentials, etc.), and you won’t have to scramble for that missing sock or concert shirt. It also makes unpacking and repacking a breeze since you can move cubes easily from your suitcase to the hotel drawers to a backpack for daily excursions. This set also comes with bonus laundry bags, and you can opt for the 3-pack if you’re not ready to commit to the full set.

    packing cubes

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  • 8. Luggage Straps

    If you’re new to luggage straps, prepare to have your life changed! For avid travelers, these are a must-have addition to your packing list since they can serve a variety of purposes.

    Secure your luggage so nothing breaks open mid-transit, deter theft, easily identify your bag at the arrivals terminal, tether bags together for easy maneuvering through busy places, create a makeshift handle if anything breaks, and more! Pretty much anything you could use a rope or adjustable belt for, you can use this strap for. It fits on nearly any bag and has unlimited uses, plus a built-in contact card in case anything gets lost.

    luggage straps

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  • 9. Water Bottle with Built-In Filter

    While tap water is supposedly safe in Japan, I never risk it when traveling. Even when it’s bacteria-free, tap water often still contains harmful heavy metals and other pollutants. That’s why I love traveling with my Grayl bottle. It can filter out viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, pesticides, microplastics, and chemicals. You’ll always have a convenient source of clean water, save money, and reduce plastic waste – triple win!

    Water Bottle with Built-In Filter

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  • 10. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    From snorkeling the Keramas Islands to relaxing in the hot springs of a local onsen, you’ll appreciate having a fast-drying travel towel on hand. They are compact and lightweight, so they’re easy to throw in any daybag. I always prefer to bring my own towel on excursions because you never really know how clean are the ones they give out on tours. This one dries 10x faster than cotton and is very multi-purpose.

    travel towel

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  • 11. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    Bathrooms in Japan can range from luxurious to slightly strange. You’ll enjoy the heated seats and high-tech gadgets, but you may not love the limited countertop space or squat toilets (a hole in the ground). Regardless of what bathroom situation you’re up against – use this hanging toiletry bag to stay organized. With a 360-swivel hook, it can hang on any door, wall, or shower pole to create a handy shelf-like system for your self-care items.

    This bag is our favorite because it’s designed in Hawaii by an ethical company supporting women’s education. It’s made by travelers who were looking for a better product, so they designed their own! It has 4 inner pockets for larger items like skincare, haircare, and makeup, as well as 3 external compartments for smaller items like cotton rounds and jewelry.

    hanging toiletry bag

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  • 12. Activated Charcoal

    The cuisine of Japan is incredible! But you’ll also be facing a lot of street food and raw fish. To combat any potential food poisoning, bring these activated charcoal supplements to expel any toxins from your system quickly. Traveler’s diarrhea is common for anyone abroad, but these will help you get back on your feet more quickly.

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 13. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    When flying to Japan, your checked luggage will be out of your hands for many hours. To decrease the likelihood of anyone stealing your belongings in transit, secure your bags with luggage locks. They’re also useful for locking lockers at tourist sites and hostels and are a smart way to keep pickpockets out of your daybag. This 2-pack of TSA-approved locks is durable and won’t cause you any delays through security. You can count on them for your trip to Japan and all of your trips to come!

    luggage locks

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  • 14. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    From kimonos to tea to handmade art – you will definitely want to bring back some stunning souvenirs from your adventures! The “just in case” bag is the perfect solution to overpacking since it can count as your personal item on the flight home. It fits neatly under your plane seat and allows you to skip those pesky carry-on fees! Fill it with gifts for yourself and loved ones.

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

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  • 15. Cooling Towel Set

    Summers can get hot in Japan, and if you’re outside doing any physical activity, it’ll feel even hotter. From hiking at the base of volcanoes to city walking tours, a cooling towel is a refreshing relief whenever you sweat. All you have to do is get the towel wet and wring out excess water, and it instantly becomes ice-cold. Place it around your neck, shoulders, or forehead, and enjoy the cooling relief. It’s deluxe!

    Cooling Towel Set

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  • 16. Travel Sheets

    It’s a long journey to Japan and you may find yourself sleeping in some strange places like planes, trains, buses, hostels, and capsule hotels. In case you don’t have sheets (or they’re not as clean as you’d like) – these travel sheets are a wise precaution. They’re super lightweight but will help you rest, even in the strangest of places.

    Travel Sheets

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What’s the electricity and power supply like in Japan?

Japan Power Plant
Power plant near the water in Japan

As one of the world’s most technologically advanced countries, Japan doesn’t experience unexpected power outages very often. Like any country, Japan is susceptible to power outages caused by heavy storms or natural disasters.

Following major earthquakes in 2011 and 2018, blackouts crippled large parts of the country.

Do I need a voltage converter for Japan?

Whether you need a US-to-Japan voltage converter depends on the devices you plan to bring. You’ll need to check the tiny writing by the plug on each device to see its rated voltage. If the lower end of the range for a given device is above 100V (110-120V is common in the US), you’ll need a converter.

Plugging an American-made 120V device into a Japanese outlet probably won’t destroy it, harm you, or start a fire. But the device may not function or might not work as well as usual, and it could cause minor damage. If you’re bringing anything that isn’t rated for use at 100V, play it safe and get a US-to-Japan voltage converter.

Other FAQs about traveling in Japan

  • 1. When to travel to Japan?

    travel japanEarly spring and late fall are generally the best times of year to travel to Japan. You’ll avoid the heat and rain of summer, as well as typhoon season. Spring is an incredibly popular time to visit Japan due to the cherry blossoms; if you plan to go then, be sure to book ahead. The winter isn’t a bad time to visit most of the country, either. Except in the north, the temperatures aren’t terribly cold, and it’s usually sunny and dry; plus, most places will be uncrowded. Be sure to check current Japan travel advisories before you go.

  • 2. What is the weather like in Japan?

    Japan is made up of four main islands and several smaller ones, and weather patterns throughout the country vary considerably. The northernmost island of Hokkaido is the coldest (with average highs below freezing in the winter) and receives the most snow; the northern part of Honshu, Japan’s main island, has similar weather. The southern islands and even the central and southern parts of Honshu (including Tokyo) are notably warmer year-round. These areas get infrequent snow, and temperatures usually stay above freezing, even in the winter.

    Outside of Hokkaido, most of the country experiences high temperatures and intense humidity in the summer, with heavy rainfall between late spring and early fall. Typhoon season peaks in August and September, primarily affecting the southern regions of the country, including Okinawa.

  • 3. What to do in Tokyo?

    tokyoTokyo is a massive, vibrant city, with no shortage of fascinating things to do. Among the top attractions are Tokyo National Museum (the oldest museum in Japan) and the Imperial Palace, where you might get a glimpse of the Emperor himself. Take in the sights and smells of Tsukiji Market, the world’s largest fish market, and chaos of Shibuya Crossing, the busiest intersection in the world. For another perspective on the city, go up to the observation deck at the Tokyo Skytree, which stands over 2,000 feet tall. For a uniquely Japanese experience, have dinner at the famed Robot Restaurant or watch a traditional sumo-wrestling match. To take a break from the busyness of the city, treat yourself at a traditional onsen or spend some time in Shinjuku Gyoen or one of the city’s other gardens.

    We use Get Your Guide to book all of our excursions. They offer discounts on diverse experiences and a flexible cancellation policy. From foodie tours to adventurous day trips, they have a little something for every type of traveler!

    See all Tokyo attractions at ➜

  • 4. What to do in Japan?

    Outside of Tokyo, the country’s top travel destination is probably Kyoto, which has a whopping 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Considered the Hawaii of Japan, the southernmost island of Okinawa is the place to go for a beach vacation, while Hokkaido is the best spot for hiking, skiing, and enjoying the mountains. Mt. Fuji is another of Japan’s most famous attractions, whether you want to climb up it or just take in the view.

    Japan is steeped in vibrant culture and activities to fill your itinerary. Venture to Mount Fuji via bullet train, enjoy an authentic tea ceremony at a Japanese temple, or visit one of the amusement parks, like Disneyland.
    See all Japanese attractions at ➜

  • 5. How to see the cherry blossoms in Japan?

    Japan cherry blossomThe chance to see the iconic cherry blossoms in bloom is one of Japan’s top draws. The blooms first occur in mid-March in the southernmost part of the country and happen later in the spring the farther north you go. On the island of Hokkaido, they don’t come until early-May. Plan your trip carefully so you’re in the right place at the right time. No matter where you go, be sure to book ahead, because hotels and tours fill up far in advance this time of year.