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Smoking in Japan

Japan Travel Tips 722
Smoking in Japan
For smokers that are planning to travel to Japan, precautions for smoking in Japan are very important. This article will introduce information and tips for smoking in Japan. In general, smoking in Japan is pretty easy and convenient. First of all, Japanese cigarettes are not expensive and smoking areas are very easy to find. Even at the airport, there are well-equipped and elegant smoking rooms available. When you tell others that you may occasionally need a cigarette, they will not be surprised or annoyed, as smoking is not unpleasant to them. The smoking rate in Japan is in the middle and upper levels in the world. If you are a smoker, traveling in Japan is convenient compared to other countries.

Where to Smoke
In Japan, many public places are equipped with smoking rooms including cigarette lighters and air filtration equipment, at airports, large department stores, stations, etc. There is someone that comes to clean up often, so the places are kept clean. Just follow the directions of the smoking signage and you will find the smoking room. In most convenience stores, the shop also has a smoking area near the door.
However, please note that if you smoke on the street at will, it will be considered impolite. In general, on large commercial streets, if there is no smoking area sign, please do not smoke, you may be fined or accused. Smoking in Japan must be in the clearly marked smoking areas. You may be fined by the police if you do not follow the instructions. In addition, all public transportation is non-smoking, including the Shinkansen, public buses, taxis, etc.

Smoking in Hotels
When you stay in a hotel in Japan, please understand the rules for smoking in advance for each hotel. First of all, most of the hotel lobbies have a smoking room, if there is no smoking room in the hotel, usually near the door are smoking areas that are set up. Although many of the high-end hotel rooms in Japan are non-smoking now, you can also ask in advance if there is a smoking room if you do not see one. In addition, at the traditional hot spring hotels, smoking is possible, most of the rooms will provide ashtrays, but in the hot spring area, generally, smoking is not allowed. If you are a non-smoker, it is best to ask about smoking regulations when booking a hotel, because if you are sensitive to the smell of smoke, you will encounter unsatisfactory rooms.

Smoking in the Restaurant
Japanese restaurants are mainly divided into two types, the high-end or restaurants in the shopping center, as they are both generally non-smoking. You will have to ask the staff if there is a smoking room available. But in most smaller restaurants on the side of the road, many allow smoking, because Japan respects the right to privacy. It is up to the boss to decide whether they allow smoking in such restaurants. In addition, you can also observe whether there is an ashtray on the table or ask the waiter if you can smoke. Of course, smoking inside restaurants is not recommended, as it is impolite for non-smokers and children.

Smoking in Entertainment Places
The situation for smoking in entertainment venues and restaurants is similar, all depending on the operator's decision. General bars, night clubs, massage parlors are all mostly smoking, or there are smoking areas or smoking rooms. When there is no clear sign or the ashtray is not visible, the best way is to ask the service staff. They are friendly and you can simply just ask if you can smoke and where to smoke.

Buying Cigarettes in Japan
It is very convenient to buy cigarettes in Japan. Almost all convenience stores, most supermarkets, department stores, cigarette stores, vending machines, etc have cigarettes available for purchase. You may be asked to show proof that you are at least the age of 20 at the time of purchase. But most of the time, taking convenience stores as an example, you usually only need to press a button on the screen at the cash register to prove you're at least 20 years old. There are also many cigarette vending machines on the streets of Japan. The inconvenience of the vending machines is that most of them need confirmation of your age. If you find face recognition or identification of documents inconvenient, the simplest solution is to ask your Japanese friend to help you purchase it. The usage of Taspo is very simple and has a similar principle with the beverage vending machine.

Buying Cigarettes from Abroad
You can bring 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars of 250 grams of shredded tobacco or a total of 250 grams of cigarettes into Japan duty-free. Of course, if you are able to buy your preferred or favorite type of cigarette in Japan, you can purchase it in Japan since the price of cigarettes is usually cheaper than in many countries.

Japanese Domestic Cigarettes
Japanese domestic brands include Mevius, Seven Stars, and so on. Usually, for 20 packs, the price is around 4 US dollars. The special feature of Japanese cigarettes is that you can also find many different flavors of cigarettes, from the most basic mint to blueberry flavored cigarettes. Seven Stars is the most popular cigarette brand in Japan. It is the first cigarette with charcoal filters in a Japanese domestic brand. It has a sweet taste and a milk taste. The most popular among Japanese female smokers is Pianissimo; it is a light-tipped thin-tube cigarette with a slight taste of sweetness. In addition, the most popular foreign cigarettes in Japan are Marlboro, Kool, Black Devil, Davidoff, American Sprit, etc, where the price is not expensive.

About E-cigarettes
E-cigarettes are also very popular in Japan. Because e-cigarettes do not generate a large amount of smoke and are a new trend, regulations have not been clearly defined in many places in Japan. However, it is recommended to follow the general smoking rules when it comes to smoking e-cigarettes in public. You should go to a smoking area and not smoke when you're on the road. Some non-smoking shops in Japan have made it clear that they will treat all e-cigarette users equally, such as TOHO cinemas and restaurants.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the most popular cigarette brand in Japan?
    Seven Stars is the most popular cigarette brand in Japan. It is the first cigarette to introduce a charcoal filter, with a flat, smooth taste in a Japanese domestic brand.
  • Is Japanese cigarette inspection strict?
    Although the Japanese customs inspection of cigarettes is not very strict, please comply with the Japanese regulations. Foreigners can bring 200 cigarettes and will need to pay customs duties beyond the allowed number.
  • Are Japanese cigarettes expensive?
    Compared with most European and North American countries, the prices of cigarettes in Japan is cheaper. The US taxation on cigarettes is different and the quality is different, so it mostly depends on your country.
  • Is e-cigarette smoking in Japan not strict?
    Although Japan does not have clear regulations on e-cigarettes, it is recommended to follow the smoking regulations. It is easy to find a smoking room or smoking areas in Japan.
  • Are there smoking rooms in Japanese airports?
    Most Japanese airports have smoking rooms and are well-equipped. Please follow the signs posted to find the location of smoking rooms.
  • Where can I buy cigarettes in Japan?
    It is very convenient to buy cigarettes in Japan. Almost all convenience stores, most supermarkets, department stores, cigarette stores, vending machines, etc have cigarettes available for purchase.
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