Do I Need a Japan Travel Power Adapter?

Although talking about having a Japan travel power adapter is not the most romantic topic, it is something you will need to think about if you’re planning on traveling to Japan.


Japan Travel Power Adapter

Japan Voltage

The voltage in Japan is 100V. Most electronics from North America are 110V to 120V, do not require a voltage converter, and usually have no problem working in Japan. However, you will need a power adapter for electronics that use 220V.

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Typical 2-pin Japanese Outlet

Outlets in Japan

The most common electrical outlets in Japan are Type A, 2-pin ungrounded outlets. It is quite common for older homes and hotels to have non-polarized 2-pin outlets. If you have electronics with a 3-pin plug, then you will need a travel adapter in Japan.

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Typical 3-pin North American Outlet – FASTILY, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Electrical plugs and outlets in Japan resemble those in North America. Plugs on electronics in Japan usually don’t have a ground, and are non-polarized, meaning both pins are equal width. Ground wires, sometimes pins, are found on larger appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and bidet toilet seats.

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Japanese air conditioner plug with ground wire – Hustvedt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Most North American electronics will work without an adaptor in Japan. Phone chargers and computer plugs have AC adaptors that handle a range of 100V to 240V. The only time you’ll run into a problem is if your computer plug has three pins. Then you’ll definitely need an adapter to charge your laptop.

Power Adapter Recommendations

Below are a few options for converting your 3-pin plug to a 2-pin. I’ve used all three types and have never had an issue.

I’m neither an electrical engineer nor an electrician, so there is a chance I may have just been lucky. Do the research needed and choose what is best for your situation. I take no responsibility for any damage that you may incur from using any of my suggestions.

Cheater Plug

A cheater plug is an inexpensive way to convert your 3-pin plug into a 2-pin plug.

These plug adapters are usually a solid piece of plastic and very durable. Great for throwing in a backpack, or just leaving it plugged into your computer cable.

Plug Extender

A plug extender transforms a 2-pin outlet into 3, or more, 3-pin outlets. Though slightly bigger, they’re still durable and very easy to pack.

These are great if you’re traveling with someone that also has a laptop, or if you have more than one thing to charge. You get three outlets with one easy to pack extender.

Global Travel Adapter

A global travel adapter is great if you’re a globetrotter, or just starting out as one. Travel adapters have multiple plug settings and often convert voltage.

This universal travel adaptor is a must have for anyone that travels on a regular basis.


The main issue with plugs in Japan is that you’ll rarely find a 3-pin plug in your hotel room. It is possible that you may find that some newer hotels have one, maybe two, 3-pin plugs, but it’s too irregular to count on. So it’s always best to be prepared.

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