Electrical Outlets In Japan – The Ultimate Guide by Experts
Which plugs and electrical outlets should you bring with you when visiting Japan? Do you intend to bring your current socket or purchase a travel adapter? Whatever decision you make, you have to ensure your own electrical devices work in Japan.
In this article, we will discuss the voltage, frequency, and electrical outlets in Japan as well as tips to help you use electrical appliances in Japan more safely and effectively.
The Voltage And Frequency In Japan
In Japan, all electrical outlets offer a standard voltage of 100V as well as a frequency of 50Hz and 60Hz. If the typical voltage in your home country ranges from 110 to 127V (which is the case in the United States, Canada, and the majority of South American countries), you can use your electrical devices in Japan.
If the standard voltage in your nation is between 220 and 240 volts (it’s commonly found in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa), you may need a voltage converter in Japan. It’s said that using your electronics in Japan without a converter is a risky decision.
The devices may not function to their fullest capacity if the voltage is incompatible, especially with electronics that have hot parts, including curling irons, hair dryers and similar items. This does not imply that your appliances are damaged; rather, it just means that they cannot function properly at a lower voltage. Use a converter if you want to avoid any risks.
In Japan, frequencies of 50Hz and 60Hz are standard. Be careful whilst plugging in your gadgets if this frequency is different from the frequency found in your country. To find out if your device is compatible with this frequency or not, read the appliance’s small print.
The voltages that your item may operate with are displayed in a small print on the power adapter or the device. If the adapter is printed 100-240V 50/60Hz, it has been designed to function with any voltage in the world. Please be aware that electrical plug adapters do not change voltages; they only convert plug types.
The frequency differs by area in Japan. Eastern Japan, which includes Tokyo and Yokohama, utilizes a frequency of 50Hz. On the other hand, Western Japan, such as Osaka and Kyoto, operates at 60Hz. The majority of small electronics can handle both frequencies, but to make sure, please read the charger’s or the appliance’s small print.
Japan Electrical Outlet And Plug Types
Most electrical outlets in Japan are similar to those in North and South America. Despite Japan’s 100V voltage being lower than the voltage of 110V in North America and 230V in some European countries, they are mostly still compatible and working properly.
The compatible plug types for Japan are both types A and B. Type A – Typically used in the United States, Canada, Central America, China, and Japan. An outlet of type A will not accept any other plug types. Compared to type A, type B has an additional pin for grounding. Utilized mostly in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and Japan. A type B outlet can handle type A plugs as well.
Despite the fact that both the United States and Japan utilize type A and type B plugs and outlets, they are not exactly the same. In comparison to Japanese plugs, one of the 2-pins on US plugs is bigger. This indicates that Japanese plugs can likely operate in the US, though, the US plugs may not be compatible with Japanese power sockets.
Electrical outlets type A with two-pin ungrounded are the most widely used in Japan. Older hotels and houses frequently use non-polarized two-pin outlets. You will require a travel adapter in Japan if your devices use a three-pin plug.
Most North American devices will operate smoothly in Japan without using an adapter and vice versa, nevertheless, other devices, particularly those that require heat (such as hair dryers), may not function effectively or may sustain damage. If you want to purchase electrical appliances in Japan to utilize outside of Japan, it is advisable to search for devices created specifically for international travelers.
Do I Need A Travel Adapter (Plug Adapter) In Japan?
While certain North American electronics will function in Japan without the need for a travel adapter/plug adapter, it is generally advised to pack one with your trip. Straightening irons, hair dryers, and other electrically heated devices sometimes overheat or malfunction when plugged into Japanese electrical outlets without a plug adapter/travel adaptor.
Additionally, several hotels also offer special amenities like blow dryers that are designed especially for use by foreign visitors.
In general, visitors from the US and Canada do not require a plug adaptor, however, Japan utilizes two frequencies, and they may need a frequency converter. Visitors from other countries are likely to need a plug adaptor as well as a frequency and voltage converter.
Japan uses both type A and type B plugs and electrical outlets. You have no need for a travel adapter if your home country’s power plugs and electrical used are similar to Japan’s.
You won’t need your country-to-Japan power plug adapter for any electronic devices using the Type A plug, which has just two flat prongs and may be plugged directly into any electrical socket in Japan.
An adapter is necessary if the devices you’re bringing include a third-round prong plug (for example, a laptop). Type B plugs might be available, however, they are uncommon in Japan. Everything you should do is find out if the power plugs and electrical outlets used in Japan are different from those in your home country.
In the case of having differences, a travel adapter is required. To determine if you’ll need a travel adapter in Japan, test the plug on any equipment you want to pack with you.
Most visitors from nations except the United States and Canada need to have a plug adaptor for their electronics. If you often travel abroad, you probably already have one. If not, you can buy a variety of travel adapters on Amazon for reasonable costs and honest reviews. Make certain that the plug adapter you select is a universal one so that you may use it in other countries as well.
Recommend best travel adapters on Amazon:
The Foval Converter, a 2-in-1 converter and adapter, is exactly what foreign travelers need to keep their electronic devices charged. You may also convert the plug for a type A (US), type G (UK), or type I (AUS) adaptor, depending on where you are. The item can adjust voltage from 220V – 240V to 110V – 120V, allowing it to function with outlets in over 150 different nations.
One of the most affordable options on this list, this cost-effective universal travel adapter has double USB ports, an integrated LED power indicator, and safety fuse protection. However, despite the fact that the small adapter does not convert voltages, the fuse safety will still ensure that it won’t harm your devices. It is reasonably priced and comes with four plug adapters that are compatible with more than 150 countries.
This all-in-one power adaptor has received more than 9000-star ratings on Amazon and is a fantastic choice for travelers. With just a compact design that fits in the palm of your hand, it provides power adaptable in more than 150 nations. The greatest feature is that it has four USB ports, as well as one USB-C port, and one AC socket, so you can charge many devices at once. Because it’s not a voltage converter, it just should be used with small electrical devices including cameras, tablets, and phones.
Do I Need A Voltage Converter In Japan?
If your home country has a similar frequency and voltage as Japan, you don’t need to bring a voltage converter to your Japan trip. If your nation’s voltage or frequency is different from Japan’s, the next step is to check whether your electronic devices are dual voltage or not. Many modern electronics, including hair styling products and chargers for phones, tablets, laptops, iPads, and e-readers, are dual voltage, though you should always confirm this before using the device abroad.
To find out if an appliance is a dual voltage or not, you should read the small print on it. The device or power adapter is printed with 100-240V 50/60Hz, it is undoubtedly dual voltage and will function regardless of voltages and frequencies in the world.
Utilize a voltage converter if your appliance or power adapter is not dual voltage and the frequency or voltage in Japan is different from your nation’s.
If the device or its power source is not dual voltage, to utilize a single voltage device safely and efficiently (except for the 100V appliances of Japan), you should use a voltage converter or transformer.
Transformers and converters both serve a similar purpose, although they have different uses. While most transformers may be utilized with appliances that run continuously, converters are often used for devices that function for a short time (1-2 hours).
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Recommend best voltage converters on Amazon:
Your greatest option for everything including charging your laptop to simultaneously charging many phones will be this all-purpose universal voltage converter. The accompanying extension cord may be utilized not only with the universal adapter and converter but also can be unplugged and used as a wall plugin that will fit between the hotel nightstand and your bed.
With its four USB connections and three AC outlets, this set can charge up to seven devices at once and is compatible with more than 150 countries worldwide. This product works well for small electrical equipment up to 220V, however, it shouldn’t be used with high-energy devices such as hair dryers.
This premium voltage converter may cost a bit more than the other choices, but it’s definitely worth it for tourists seeking a converter that is reliable and capable of handling most modern electronics. This international converter can handle anything from hair straighteners to cameras without getting the risk of a fuse blowing. Moreover, you can power up six devices at once with two AC outlets and four USB ports.
The Key Power Voltage Converter includes multiple adaptors that adapt to international electrical sockets, unlike the majority of typical converters. Additionally, it works well with a lot of big, high-energy products, like curling irons and hair dryers. You have plenty of room to charge all of your electronic devices with the four USB ports. You can charge phones as much as twice faster thanks to its unique technology. If you are a multi-device user who travels regularly such as someone who works on the road, this item could be the best choice for you.
What’s The Difference Between A Travel Adapter And A Voltage Converter?
With the aid of a travel adapter, you may use your electronic equipment in other countries with various plug types for electrical outlets. It doesn’t impact the voltage.
On the other hand, a voltage converter is a device that changes the voltage of electrical current from one particular level to another level. It is essential if you are visiting a location where the voltage is different from what your electronics are compatible with.
For example, you would require a voltage converter to operate your 110V equipment if you were traveling from the US (the standard voltage of 110V-120V) to a European country (220V-240V voltage).
It’s crucial to remember that some electronics, including laptops and cellphones, can handle both 110V and 220V since they are dual voltage devices. In this case, a travel adapter is enough to help your device operate smoothly and you won’t need a voltage converter. Before traveling abroad, it is recommended to check the voltage needs of your electrical appliances.
Where To Buy Plugs And Converters In Japan
Most major cities have establishments like BicCamera, Yodobashi, and Yamada Denki, as well as smaller local electronics retailers where you can find many kinds of plugs, converters, and electrical products sold. Now, more and more major stores offer Duty-Free counters along with staff that can speak many languages in addition to English and Chinese.
If you are looking for anything “electrical” related in Tokyo, electrical areas like Akihabara may be the finest spot to explore. Although the majority of convenience stores generally offer smartphone chargers, voltage converters or type A plugs just sold on extremely rare occasions. Nevertheless, airport convenience shops, such as in Haneda and Narita Airport sell them.
These devices are also available at an affordable price of around 300 to 500 Yen (~$2.5 to ~$4). Additionally, don’t forget to inquire at your hotel, many places provide it to their customers.
1. Are electrical outlets in Japan the same as those in the US?
The answer is yes. The electrical outlets in the US and Japan are the same; both utilize outlets and power plugs of types A and B. You aren’t required to use a voltage converter because Japan’s voltage and the United States’s are as well compatible.
2. What would happen if a 110V appliance was plugged into a 220V outlet?
For example, if we plug a 110V device into a 220V socket, the device would burn since it is not designed for that voltage. A voltage transformer or a voltage converter will be required in this case. They will change the 220 volts from the electrical socket to the voltage of 127V that your equipment may use.
3. Can I use my US plugs in Japan?
You do not require a power plug adaptor to use electrical outlets in Japan if you reside in the United States. Your plugs are compatible. It is advised that you bring a three to two-prong adapter in case type B plugs are not accessible.
4. Can you use 220V devices in Japan?
You require a voltage converter in Japan if the standard voltage in your nation is between 220V and 240V (Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia). Some claim that using your electronics in Japan without a converter may lead to risks. They probably won’t be damaged but they might not perform at their best.
5. Are there electrical outlets on Japan’s Shinkansen train?
Most Shinkansen train carriages have electrical outlets installed. You may use your computer or charge your smartphone for a few hours while you’re on the Shinkansen. The outlet can be found at the foot of the walls, next to the window.
6. Can 100V appliances be used in North America?
Because they feature plugs that fit into American outlets, these appliances seem to be compatible with North America, but appearances can be deceiving. Although Japanese electronics can be generally used in North America without a converter, not all of them. For several items, when plugged into a 120V American outlet without the proper converter, Japanese appliances that have been designed to function on 100V voltage might burn out.
7. Can I charge my iPhone or other smartphone in Japan?
iPhone, Android, and other smartphone chargers typically have dual voltage, allowing for global use. To plug the phone charger into a Japanese outlet, you might still need an adapter.
8. Can I use a Japanese electrical socket to charge my laptop?
Yes, as long as the electrical outlet is consistent with the voltage and plug type of the laptop’s charger, you can use your laptop charger in Japan. As the majority of laptop chargers are dual-voltage devices, they can operate with Japanese outlets without any problems. However, when using your laptop charger abroad, make sure you double-check the voltage standards.
9. Can a hair dryer or curling iron be used in Japan?
The power plug type the appliance has and whether it is compatible with the voltage and frequency utilized in Japan will determine whether you may use your personal hair equipment, such as a hair dryer, hair straightener, or curling iron there or not. If your hair styling devices are incompatible with the voltage or frequency in Japan, you might require a voltage converter.
Sadly, travel adapters and voltage converters do not always function well with high-power appliances like hair dryers, hair straighteners or curling irons because they can be risky to use with these equipment. Thus, a dual voltage travel-specific hair dryer, hair straightener, or curling iron that is compatible with all voltages would be a safer choice.
10. How can I determine whether my electrical appliance is dual voltage?
To determine if an electrical appliance or power adapter is dual voltage or not, you should need to read the tiny print on it. This device or power adapter is dual voltage and can operate in every voltage and frequency utilized across the world if it has been printed with 100-240V 50/60Hz. If the appliance or power adapter doesn’t provide this information, you might be able to look it up in the manual or by getting in touch with the manufacturer.
In brief, electrical outlets in Japan allow 100V voltage and 50 or 60 Hz frequency. Whether your device is compatible with electrical outlets and power plugs in Japan depends on the frequency and voltage in your country. Before traveling to Japan, check your electrical appliances carefully and consider a converter if necessary.