Japan power adapters - what plugs are used in Japan?

Japanese power outlet

Summary

The type of plug adapter, power converter or charger that's needed when visiting Japan all depends on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to charge with a Japanese power outlet. If you're not sure what voltage your device can use then read the section below on how can you tell if you have a dual voltage or single voltage device before going any further.

  • If your device is 100 volts or is dual voltage and your plug can fit in a Japanese power outlet then you can use it in Japan.
  • If your device is 100 volts or is dual voltage but your plug doesn't fit in a Japanese power outlet then you'll need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Japan such a Type B plug adapter [2]. A plug adapter for Japan (or power adapter) is designed to change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Japan, but can't change the voltage from 100 volts to use with another voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 100 volts and isn't dual voltage then you will also need a power converter for Japan to convert the voltage from 100 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You'll still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Japan if the power converter doesn't have the correct Type B plug adapter.
  • If you want to bring USB devices such as a tablet or cell phone then a USB travel power adapter is recommended and it should be dual voltage, but ensure that you choose a USB travel adapter which includes a Type B plug adapter otherwise you will still need to use a suitable plug adapter for Japan.

Warning: If your device won't handle 100 volts you run the risk of damage to your device, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Before attempting to use your device in Japan check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Background

If you are packing for a trip it's useful to know if you can power your vital devices when you arrive at your destination. However, without knowing which wall socket is being used in Japan you are more likely to bring the wrong adaptor, therefore needing to borrow a potentially expensive charger when you're there. Differing voltages and standards can all lead to confusion when planning to travel to a new country for the first time traveller. With only a handful of different types of plug sockets used throughout the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your electronics in Japan. This page has links to useful instructions demonstrating how to supply power to your devices in Japan by using their standard B or A type Japanese 100 volt 60Hz plug outlets, Type B wall outlets are typically used by most Japanese. You'll discover power sockets will vary depending on which area you are travelling to so we recommend reading the power adapters list for a complete list of regions and countries. We also suggest reading the Japan Wikipedia page [1] for further details on the area.

Japan power adapters

What is the best power adapter for Japan?

The best power adapter for Japan will be a Type B power adapter [2] which allows you to use any 100 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for Japan?

Japan power outlets

What voltage is used in Japan?

The standard voltage in Japan is 100 volts.

What type of power outlets are in Japan?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Japan, these are type B and A with the primary power supply being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can identify the wall socket by the two adjacent slots next to each other where the plug socket blades go.
  • Plug Type B - You can identify the wall socket by two slots adjacent to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the slightly long earth pin.
What type of power outlets are in Japan?

Japan USB chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Japan?

If you are travelling with more than one device the best international travel charger for Japan to buy is a multiple USB adapter which includes swappable plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [4]. Japanese use two different standards of wall outlets (types B and A) and using a travel adapter like this ensures that you are covered for type A.

Because these types of chargers are supplied with interchangeable plugs and can handle 100 volts - 240 volts it makes them ideal for multiple countries around the world just by switching the included heads. If your device can support Fast Charge (note not all USB devices can) then you will benefit from quicker recharging times with one of these types of travel adapters along with compatibility with certain power demanding devices like tablets. This will allow you to power more than one device simultaneously without needing to buy multiple power adapters. Only needing a single USB travel charger will keep the size and weight down, making it perfect to store in hand baggage and on hand for recharging your devices at the airport or on your flight. Because of their versatility these types of chargers can be used when you return home not just abroad so when you're not on holiday they can be used under your bedside table charging multiple smartphones, tablets and speakers without using up an additional wall outlet.

For those travelling to Japan we recommend buying this type of versatile power adapter online. The multipurpose power adapter illustrated here is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [4] which has been successfully tested for powering multiple USB devices in numerous countries around the world.

What USB charger do I need for Japan?

Why use a travel USB charger for Japan?

  • Typically travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, meaning you should only need to bring one charger to charge all your devices. Instead of bringing 4 individual power chargers you only need to pack one 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 devices, thereby cutting down on the weight and size of your baggage.
  • Most travel USB power chargers include swappable plug heads for various regions. This is perfect when visiting multiple countries which will probably use different outlets to Japan.
  • A good USB power charger is lightweight, compact and rugged - perfect for rigors of travel instead of than risking packing a domestic charger which could be hard to repair or replace in Japan.
  • USB chargers can accept the 100 volt power outlets in Japan along with different voltage standards in other countries.
  • It's possible that accommodation or hotel rooms in Japan only have a single power outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports allows you to share the single power supply with all your devices rather than waiting to charge each device one by one.
  • Because of their versatile nature they take the uncertainty out of travelling to any unknown country as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere around the world.
  • Power outlets in airports are often sparse and demand for charging multiple cell phones and tablets from other passengers before a flight can be high, therefore a USB charger with multiple ports and the capability to charge quickly is ideal.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a quality travel charger allows for unexpected spikes and prevents damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded cell phone in Japan might prove to be problematic and costly.
  • Higher priced USB travel chargers should also feature a power outlet strip to use multiple low powered domestic appliances such as laptops, but note these are unsuitable for high powered appliances such as hair dryers or clothes irons. See our guide on using travel appliances in Japan for helpful guidelines on the best power adapter for a Japanese power outlet for high wattage devices.
  • Certain cellphones and tablets could pull more than the usual 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Quality USB chargers will support fast charging should some of your devices need additional power.
  • On returning home travel USB chargers can also be used by recharging multiple mobile phones and tablets on an overnight basis using a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Japan?

The is the most compact option for travellers from around the world who only have USB devices, but for visitors also wishing to use their domestic plugs these power adapters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which can be crucial when visiting regions with unreliable or unstable power grids. These power converters are supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering Continental Europe, America, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, China and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling compact power converter for travellers originating from North America visiting Japan using type B American plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Also having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs. This is a much cheaper alternative to the BESTEK with just one less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • Yubi Universal Power Strip Kit - The Yobi has just 2 USB charging ports but offers a more flexible 6 AC outlets. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, B, E, F, G and I making it ideal for a majority of travellers from around the world visiting Japan.

Power converters for Japan

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Japan?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Japan?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter [5] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your appliance to slot into a power outlet found in Japan, however a heavy and bulkier power converter [6] will convert a 100 volt Japanese power outlet to work with a non-100 volt device.

Do I need a voltage converter for Japan?

When travelling to Japan from a different region ensure your device can be charged using a 100v supply.

  • If your device does not power up or charges slowly when visiting Japan from a different country then check that it is compatible with a 100 volt power supply. Devices which originated from a different country which use a higher voltage (for example 220 volts) may take longer to charge or won't turn on, so check the device is dual-voltage (normally indicated by 100-240 volts) otherwise you may need to use an additional International travel voltage converter [8] to ensure safe and proper use when powering devices.
  • When supplying power to larger appliances if you are visiting Japan from a higher 230 volt location you will need to use a much bulkier Step Up Voltage Converter [7] to convert the voltage from 230 volts to 100 volts.

See the WikiConnections world power outlets page to find out which voltage your country uses.

How can I tell if I have a dual voltage device?

The easiest way to see if your device is single voltage or dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the power adapter, or on the device itself, typically on the rear or near to where the power cord sits. The location might vary depending on the make and model of your unit and should also state on the box or in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices could also say a small voltage range (20 volts diffence) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a larger voltage range seperated with a slash - such as 100/240V.

Travel appliances that can connect to a Japanese power outlet

Clothes iron
clothes iron

Curling iron
curling iron

Hair dryer
hair dryer

Hair straighteners
hair straighteners

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Japanese power outlet

Beats Pill
Beats Pill

Beats Pill 2
Beats Pill 2

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Japanese power outlet

Jabra Solemate
Jabra Solemate

Jabra Solemate Mini
Jabra Solemate Mini

Mobile phones which can be connected to the Japanese power outlet

A mobile phone
mobile phone

Apple iPhones that can connect to the Japanese power outlet

iPhone
iPhone

iPhone 3G
iPhone 3G

iPhone 3GS
iPhone 3GS

iPhone 4
iPhone 4

iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S

iPhone 5
iPhone 5

iPhone 5C
iPhone 5C

iPhone 5S
iPhone 5S

iPhone 6
iPhone 6

iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung Galaxy phones that can connect to a Japanese power outlet

Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a Japanese power outlet

Kindle Fire 1st generation
Kindle Fire 1st generation

Kindle Fire 2nd generation
Kindle Fire 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HD 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HD 6 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD 6 4th generation

Kindle Fire HD 7 2nd generation
Kindle Fire HD 7 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD 7 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD 7 4th generation

Kindle Fire HD 8.9 2nd generation
Kindle Fire HD 8.9 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition tablet 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition tablet 4th generation

Kindle Fire HDX 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HDX 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 4th generation
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 4th generation

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Japanese power outlet

iPad
iPad

iPad 2
iPad 2

iPad 3
iPad 3

iPad 4
iPad 4

iPad Air
iPad Air

iPad Air 2
iPad Air 2

iPad Mini
iPad Mini

iPad Mini 2
iPad Mini 2

iPad Mini 4
iPad Mini 4

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan - Japan Wikipedia page.
  2. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage.
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  4. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  5. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter
  6. Power converter - A step up step down power converter transformer converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  7. https://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&bbn=10967761&camp=1789&creative=390957&fst=as%3Aoff&linkCode=ur2&qid=1451325551&rh=n%3A172282%2Cn%3A!493964%2Cn%3A281407%2Cn%3A173541%2Cn%3A10967761%2Cp_n_feature_keywords_browse-bin%3A2888021011&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=HWUDRS5BKFQ75ACA - Step Up Voltage Converter
  8. International travel voltage converter - Travel voltage converters change the voltage of an electrical power supply by stepping up or stepping down the voltage and are often compact units which support both plug sockets and USB charging.