Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Japan
When traveling to Japan, every tourist should be aware of the voltage, electrical frequency, and types of electrical outlet and plugs available in the country. The available voltage in Japan is 100 Volts with an electrical frequency of 50 Hertz. But the frequency available in Japan depends on your location. Eastern Japan (Tokyo, Kawasaki, Sapporo, Yokohama, Sendai) uses 50 Hz while Western Japan (Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima) use 60 Hz.
Electrical Plug and Outlet in Japan
There are two available electrical outlet and plug types in Japan. The Type A & B North American and Japanese 2-blade plug. The North American 2-blade electrical outlet and plug is also known as the NEMA 1-15. This type of electrical outlet and plug uses two flat parallel pins or blades. The two flat parallel blades are 6.35mm wide, 1.254mm thick, 15.875-18.256mm long and spaced 12.7mm apart. This kind of electrical outlet and plug is usually rated at 125 V maximum. It is mostly used in North America, east cost of South America. It is used on smaller devices that do not require a ground connection. Early designs allowed the two flat blades to be inserted either horizontal and vertical positions. There are now modern plugs that have neutral blades that are wider than the live blade so that a polarized plug can only be inserted one way. The new polarized Type A electrical plug will not will not fit in old Type A outlets, but both old and new Type A electrical plug will fit into the new Type A and B outlets.
Today, Japan developed an electrical outlet and plug similar to NEMA 1-15. The Japanese 2-blade plug is called the JIS 8303, Class II designed for devices that have 100 Volts (ungrounded) at 15 A. The design and concept of this electrical outlet and plug are the same as NEMA 1-15, though this type has stricter dimensional requirements for the plug housing, marking and mandatory testing and approval. Japanese plugs are compatible with North American electrical outlet types, but North American polarized electrical plugs should be replaced with non-polarized electrical plugs or it may be used with an adapter in order to connect with Japanese outlets.
If you wish to go to Japan with a device that is not compatible with its voltage, electrical outlet and plug, then you would need to bring an adapter and a converter. Bringing a universal adapter and a combination voltage converter is the most convenient. Universal adapters can be used with different types of electrical plug while combination voltage converters are easy to carry and it caters to both resistor-network and a transformer. This kind of converter has a switch that switches the two modes.