Legal Drinking Age in Japan For Foreigners

August 22, 2020

Curious if the drinking age in Japan is different for foreigners than locals? Read ahead

Japan and alcohol go together extremely well, alcohol plays a huge part of every day life in Japan. Being a foreigner and on holiday you probably want to have a few yourself.

Legal Drinking Age in Japan

To be able to legally consume alcohol in Japan you need to be 21 or over, tourists are required to carry their passports at all time so you may be asked to present your ID however this is extremely rare.

In convenience shops such as seven eleven and family mart, when purchasing alcohol no matter your age you will be asked to tap a screen on the cash register to confirm you are over the age of 21, no ID will be asked for.

Alcohol can be purchased 24/7 in Japan unlike countries such as the UK which have a limit from 10pm till 10am.

Popular drinks in japan are

  • Sake
  • Chu hai
  • Whisky
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Shochu

Alcohol is pretty cheap in Japan compared to the UK, you can find a single can of chu hai which ranges from 3% to 12% in alcohol content for around ¥110. Beer is priced similar with the higher quality cans at ¥250.

Whisky is also cheap, a 750ml bottle of basic black nikka will set you back ¥300.

Drinking in Japan happens all year round, from after work parties to hanami picnics (cherry blossom picnics) - its almost a right of passage for young japanese, especially salary men who are notorious for working hard and drinking even harder.

If you are a foreigner in japan and thinking about drinking then please abide by the local laws, if you are found to be intoxicated and underage you could be heavily fined and deported immediately with a possible re-entry ban.

More to come...


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