Japan power adapters - what plugs are used in Japan?

Japanese power outlet

What adapter do I need for Japan?

Use a Type B plug adapter [3] for Japan if the plug you wish to use doesn't fit into a Japanese power outlet.

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

  • If you're from the US travelling to Japan then all US devices and appliances should work without an adapter or a power converter. One recommendation however is to use a USB travel power adapter as it will allow you to recharge multiple devices using only one power charger.
  • If your device is 100 volts or is dual voltage and the plug fits in a Japanese power outlet then you can use it in Japan.
  • If your device can run on 100 volts or is dual voltage but the 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 [3]. A plug adapter for Japan (or power adapter) only changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Japan, but doesn'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 will still need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Japan if the power converter doesn't have the correct Type B plug adapter.
  • If you simply need to power USB devices such as a tablet or cellphone then a USB travel power adapter is recommended and it should work with any voltage, but ensure that you choose a USB travel adapter which has a Type B plug adapter otherwise you will still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Japan.
  • Excessive use of a phone during a vacation will leave you with a flat battery quickly, we suggest packing a portable charger [4] if you wish to keep your phone battery charged throughout the day whilst visiting an unknown location.

Warning: If your device won't handle 100 volts you run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your device or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your device in Japan please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Japan power adapters

Power adapters for Japan

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.

What is the best power adapter for Japan?

The best power adapter for Japan is a Type B plug adapter [3] which is suitable for powering any 100 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for Japan?

What is a power adapter?

A power adapter is a small and cheap plastic adapter which allows an electic outlet in Japan to accept a different shaped power plug from an appliance from a foreign country.

Do I need a power adapter for Japan?

If the type of Japanese power outlet is different to the power outlet in your home country then you will need a power adapter.

Will I need a power adapter for Japan if I'm visiting from America?

A US plug won't require a plug adapter as it can fit in a Japanese power outlet.

Will a power adapter change the voltage in Japan?

No - a power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 100 volt Japanese power outlet and is unable to convert the power to a different voltage. If you need to safely use a 220-240 volt appliance then you will also need to bring a step up power converter for Japan along with the right power adapter.

What does a power adapter for a Japanese power outlet do?

A power adapter enables visitors travelling from a different country to use their electronic and electrical appliances and devices in Japan by adapting the shape of the power plug from one type to another.

Where can I buy a power adapter for Japan?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for Japan?

Power adapters are typically available in most major airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

On arrival power adapters can be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Japan power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Japan?

Type A and B power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Japan?

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

  • Plug Type A - The wall socket, also known as a type A power outlet, can be recognised by two slots adjacent to each other.
  • Plug Type B - This power socket, also known as a type B power outlet, can be recognised by 2 slots adjacent to each other where the live and neutral blades slide into with a hole below for the slightly long grounded pin.

Do US plugs work in Japan?

Yes, a US plug will work in a Japanese power outlet and won't require a power converter or a power adapter.

Is a plug socket in Japan the same as in the US?

A US plug will fit into outlets found in Japan, the voltage range and frequency are both the identical to the US.

How do I use a 220 volt appliance in Japan?

Use a step up power converter if you wish to bring a 220V, 230V or 240V appliance to Japan.

Is the voltage in Japan the same as the US?

The voltage in Japan is 100 volts, whereas Americans use 120 volts. Even though these are similar it is recommended to check the voltage on your US power charger or appliance supports voltage fluctuations between 100-127 volts or that it can handle dual voltage.

What frequency is used in a Japanese power outlet?

The frequency used in a Japanese power outlet is 60Hz.

How reliable is electric in Japan?

Although power outages are unpredictable, the power supply in Japan is classed as dependable and there is no history of frequent power blackouts.

Are electrical outlets common in Japan?

Japan has 100% access to electrical power throughout the country.

Should I bring a power bank to Japan?

A power bank

Should I bring a power bank to Japan?

Whilst electrical blackouts in Japan aren't common and electricity is available throughout the country, visitors are still recommended to bring a power bank to recharge cell phones and other devices.

  • During a trip increased reliance on smart phones for taking photographs, storing calendars, social network sharing, GPS and playing games can syphon off power more excessively than normal. A flat cell phone battery can potentially leave you in an unknown location without adequate power to make emergency calls or being able to use a GPS app to get directions to your hotel or accommodation. Bringing a portable charger [4] alleviates those concerns as it allows you to keep your cell phone powered on the move.
  • A 10,000mAh portable charger [4] can supply enough energy to power around three full charge cycles whilst a 20,000mAh power bank [9] should keep an average smart phone powered for roughly 7 days. A mAh value shows the capacity of the battery and gives an indication of the number of charges the portable charger can do.
  • If you need to charge your laptop in Japan and your laptop uses a USB-C charging port then use a portable charger for a laptop [10] marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies at least 20 Wh. Be aware that some airlines won't allow you take power banks on an aircraft with more than 100Wh of power and must not be kept in the hold so please check ahead with the airline.
  • Consumer power banks aren't strong enough for use with high powered items that generate heat, although a rechargeable hair dryer [7] or gas hair straighteners [8] can be used for travelling.
Do solar battery chargers work in Japan?

Solar bags will recharge most USB devices

Do solar battery chargers work in Japan?

The climate in Japan could be suitable for a solar power bank [12], however is likely to take time to recharge. The reduced surface area of the cells means a solar power bank will need to be left in powerful daylight for an extended period of time in order to provide enough energy for a single charge cycle, and this might prove inconvenient to continually pack and unpack a solar power bank then wait for it to recharge between cloud cover.

  • The bigger cells found on a solar backpack [11] will give the bag the ability to create more electricity within a faster period of time, and might still generate a smaller charge during overcast weather.
  • A phone which has been plugged directly into the USB port of a solar backpack will gradually top up the battery during sunny spells in Japan, but this might prove inconvenient to have the phone continually connected in the bag should it be used frequently. Unlike a small solar power bank which requires unpacking facing the sunlight, a solar bag is continually exposed to daylight therefore can be topping up a power bank [4] throughout the day.
  • A bag that is suitable for Japan should have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or greater, be able to generate at least 6 watts of power and includes a compatible power bank of 10,000mAH or stronger.
  • Solar bags are found in rucksack, laptop messenger and backpack styles making them perfect for work, domestic and travel use.
  • The durable and flexible solar cells used in solar powered bags are made to survive bending and scratching, unlike normal rigid solar panels.

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Japan 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 charging multiple USB powered devices when 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 [13]. 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 4 Port USB Wall Charger [13] 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?

  • Most travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, meaning you now only need to bring a single charger to charge multiple devices. Instead of bringing 4 individual power chargers you only need to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger to power up to 4 devices, thereby cutting down on the weight and size of your baggage.
  • Most travel USB power chargers should include interchangeable plug heads for various regions making them ideal when visiting different countries across Asia which will probably use different outlets to Japan.
  • A good power charger is lightweight, compact and rugged - perfect for rigors of travel instead of than risking bringing a domestic charger which could be hard to repair or replace in Japan.
  • USB chargers will accept both the 100 volt power outlets in Japan along with different voltage standards in other countries.
  • It is possible that hotel bedrooms or accommodation in Japan only have a single power outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share the single power supply with all your devices rather than waiting to charge one device at a time.
  • Because of their versatile nature they take the uncertainty out of visiting an unknown country as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere around the world.
  • Power outlets found 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 fast charge 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 mobile phone or tablet in Japan might prove to be problematic and costly.
  • Larger USB chargers will also feature a power outlet strip to use multiple low powered domestic appliances such as laptops, however these are unsuitable for high powered appliances such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Read our guide on using travel appliances in Japan for useful advice 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 supplied by a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. More expensive USB travel chargers will support fast charging should some of your devices need additional power.
  • On back at home travel USB power chargers can also be used by recharging multiple mobile phones and tablets on an overnight basis using one 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.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers a more flexible 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it ideal for a majority of travellers from around the world visiting Japan.

Power converters for Japan

What is a power converter?

Power converters for Japan enable travellers to use a 220, 230 or 240 volt electric device with a 100 volt Japanese power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

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

A heavy and bulky power converter [14] will convert a 100 volt Japanese power outlet to work with a non-100 volt appliance, but a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to fit into a power outlet found in Japan.

Do I need a power converter for Japan?

If you are travelling to Japan from a different region please check the device can be used with a 100 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step up power converter [15] if you are travelling to Japan from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your appliance doesn't support 100 volts. See the WikiConnections world power outlets page to discover the voltage is used in your country.
  • You won't need a power converter if you are already using either a single voltage appliance that works with 100 volts or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Devices which originated from a different country which use a higher voltage such as 230 volts and used with 100 volts sometimes take longer to charge or simply won't turn on. If your device charges slowly or does not power up when you are travelling to Japan from a different region then check that it can be used with a 100 volt Japanese power outlet otherwise you will need to bring a step up power converter [15].
  • You won't need a power converter if you need to charge a smaller electrical device such as a mobile phone as these are normally designed for international use and support dual voltage, however you should always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For supplying power to high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example clothes irons or hair dryers) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [16] to allow it to be used with a 100 volt Japanese power outlet.
  • Buying a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance will be more practical and cost effective than investing in a much heavier high wattage power converter just to use your existing domestic appliance in Japan.
  • For more information read our travel guides on travelling with clothes irons, curling irons, hair straighteners and hair dryers in Japanese power outlets which includes guides on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter if I'm travelling to Japan from the US?

You won't need to bring a power converter because the voltage from a Japanese power outlet is in the same 100-120 volt range as the US.

What converter do I need for Japan?

You will need to buy a step up power converter [15] which will allow you to use any 220-240 volt appliance in Japan.

What is the difference between a power transformer and a converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power transformer and a converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 100 volts to 220 volts

  1. Use a step up power converter [15] to allow you to use 220, 230 and 240 volt appliances with a 100 volt Japanese power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Japan before plugging that into a Japanese power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage from 220-240v.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 220-240 volt appliance can now be used with a 100 volt Japanese power outlet.

What voltage does Japan use?

Japan uses 100 volts in their standard power outlets.

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

Single voltage hair straighteners

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 difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V.

What can I connect to a Japanese power outlet

Travel appliances that can connect to a Japanese power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Japanese power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Japanese power outlet

Mobile phones which can be connected to the Japanese power outlet

Apple iPhones that work with a Japanese power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that can connect to a Japanese power outlet

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

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

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting Japan, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [18].

  1. https://www.japan.travel/en/ - Japan National Tourism Organization Web Site.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  8. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  9. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  10. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  11. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  12. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  13. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  14. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  15. Step up power converter - A step up power converter allows a 220-240 volt appliance to be used in a 100-120 volt power outlet.
  16. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  17. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  18. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets