Pet Travel to Japan

Japan is a land full of incredible sights, fascinating history and, thanks to its brilliant place in the tech world, a place full of exciting career prospects. At present, it is thought that there are approximately 18,000 people classed as permanent or long-term residents of Japan that have come from the UK. Add in the tourists, the backpackers and the digital nomads and this figure could reach much higher. Whilst it is easy enough – subject to visa clearance – to gain entry to Japan as a UK resident, what happens to your pets? Thankfully, the services offered by PBS Pet Travel among others allow for a smooth and hassle-free pet travel experience so your furry friends can join you in Tokyo and beyond.

Rules for bringing pets into Japan

As with many other countries around the world, there are specific rules put in place surrounding the import and export of live animals. Japan is no different, with a strict set of entry requirements, pet owners must ensure certain things are in place before trying to emigrate to Japan with animals in tow. Japan is a rabies-free country so it rightfully has rules that anyone entering with pets must follow.

With microchips, vaccines and blood tests all being needed, getting into Japan with your pets isn’t totally straightforward. At PBS Pet Travel we understand that this can be frustrating and that is why our pet travel services make things much easier for you and less stressful for your pet. It’s a long flight for them after all!

Banned pets in Japan

Japan is welcoming to most animals and unlike many countries does not currently have a list of banned dogs. In theory, you can bring any pet you wish to Japan as long as it meets the import requirements. These rules can change though, so always consider seeking additional advice before securing your pet flights to Japan. At PBS Pet Travel we always have the most up-to-date information relating to pet travel so feel free to check with us at any time.

Vaccines for pets going to Japan

If you plan to relocate to Japan, you will need to ensure your dog or cat is microchipped in advance of any vaccinations. The chip will need to be an ISO 11784/11785 variation, however, should the microchip in your pet not match this standard, you are allowed to bring your own microchip scanner to Japan to help with the process.

Once you have had the microchip inserted, you will need to have your dog or cat undergo 2 rabies vaccinations which must be at least 30 days apart. Your pet must also be at least 91 days old before receiving its first rabies vaccination.

If the 2nd vaccination is given after the first one has expired, your pet will not be correctly vaccinated, and your trip could be in jeopardy.

It is also suggested that you look at having your dog treated against Distemper, Parvovirus and Hepatitis. For a cat, it is worth having them protected against Feline Panleukopenia, Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus. You should also ensure they are treated against ticks and parasites.

Once these vaccinations have been given, you will also need your dog or cat to have a blood test taken. This must be at least 180 days before you plan to travel to Japan for it to be valid. It can though, be taken on the same day as the second rabies vaccination.

Health and import certificates for pets entering Japan

As with many countries, an export health certificate will be needed to gain entry and with Japan, it is no different. This certificate will confirm that there is no presence of rabies and that your pet is fit, healthy and free of any parasites. The form must be endorsed by the UK government and completed within ten days of the flight. It is recommended that you send this certification to the quarantine services too.

To secure your pet import permit for Japan, you will need to let the animal quarantine service in Japan know of your planned arrival. This must be at least 40 days before your departure. You can access the correct paperwork and guidance from the Japanese officials on their website.

There can be a variety of forms to fill out for this and at PBS Pet Travel, we know that it may not be the highest thing on your agenda with all the other relocation tasks. It can also be extremely confusing! That is why we can help! We cover all aspects of pet relocation services including the paperwork.

Once your pet import permit application is completed, it will need to be sent to the AQS (animal quarantine service), you will then receive approval for import. Subject to your pet matching the requirements. Keep hold of this as it will be needed for the import inspection when you arrive.

Pet quarantine for pet travel to Japan

If you are taking your pet to Japan, there is every chance it will need to spend some time in quarantine. Luckily the rules in Japan, whilst tough are also easy to comply with as long as you complete each step properly.

If you are travelling to Japan and the time between the blood test and travel is less than 180 days, you may still enter the country, however, your pet will need to stay in quarantine until that 180-day period is over. Something worth considering, especially if you were planning to move on from Japan in 3 months for example.

If you have waited the full 180 days since the blood test to travel to Japan, your pet will simply stay at a quarantine facility for just 12 hours.

Entering Japan with a pet

Dogs and cats are regularly flown or ferried into Japan. Only certain ports are allowed to grant access to dogs though whereas cats are pretty much free to enter from anywhere.

However, should you require a period of quarantine for your pet, you will only be allowed to have them arrive at an airport with a quarantine facility.

At PBS Pet Travel, we help get your flights or sea shipping into Japan organised, as specialists in pet travel, we can ensure your pet is safely, carefully and efficiently sent from the UK to the correct airport or seaport in Japan. Our fantastic relationships with carriers and ports mean that having your pet complete a journey to Japan from the UK is easy and worry-free for all involved. We ensure that all journeys are completed with your pet in a IATA approved dog crates

At present, dogs can only be flown or shipped into:

  • New Chitose Airport
  • Narita International Airport*
  • Tokyo International Airport*
  • Chubu International Airport*
  • Kansai International Airport
  • Kitakyushu Airport
  • Fukuoka Airport*
  • Kagoshima Airport
  • Naha Airport
  • Tomakomai Seaport
  • Keihin Seaport*
  • Nagoya Seaport
  • Hanshin Seaport*
  • Kanmon Seaport
  • Hakata Seaport
  • Kagoshima Seaport
  • Naha Seaport

As with any official government guidance, restrictions can change and access points may alter so please consider contacting PBS Pet Travel in advance of your trip for the latest information.

Upon arrival, your pet will then be checked over by the Animal Quarantine Service in what is known as the import inspection. From here if your pet matches the entry requirements, it will be kept for just 12 hours of quarantine. If it does not, it may be up to 180 days until you can be reunited with your pet.

(*indicates ports with quarantine facilities)

Bringing other pets to Japan

Japan is welcoming of all types of pets but should it not be a dog, cat or ferret you will need to prove that the animal you are bringing into Japan is not a protected species. If it is, there will be additional permits that you will need to apply for.

Known as CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, this regulation helps protect animals from illegal trade, cruelty and more. We can help advise on whether any animals you wish to take to Japan may fall under this category.

Double check before your pet departs for Japan!

Before you hop on the plane to Japan yourself, you must make sure that all documentation for your pet is correct. Forms with missing sections or incorrect information can see your pet being declined entry to the country. This can be an unwanted pressure so why not allow us to help? With PBS Pet Travel it isn’t just about getting your pet on the plane or boat, it is about every step leading up to it and a few afterwards too. Contact us today to begin the process, with a free pet travel quote, we promise to help secure you the best possible price to help your pet arrive safely in the land of the rising sun.