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Japanese electrical plugs 2004/10/18 19:06

I have North American electrical plugs with two pins. Will it work fine in Japan without adapter? I need it for head drier and iron.

Thank you in advance.
by Maja  

Plugs and voltage 2004/10/19 22:59
There are two issues with using your appliances in Japan.

One is whether the plugs will fit the outlets. Japanese outlets are similar, but not identical, to North American outlets.

In particular: Most North American appliances these days come with polarized plugs, in which one prong is longer than the other. Japanese appliances have two prongs of the same size and shape as the *smaller* prong on a North American polarized plug. The upshot: If you have a polarized plug on your North American appliance, it will NOT fit into a generic Japanese plug. (I've seen some Japanese outlets that are designed to accept polarized plugs, but these are the exceptions, and you can't count on finding them.)

If you have a three-prong plug on your North American appliance, it also will not fit into a standard Japanese outlet, as these only have two holes.

So if your plug is polarized or three-pronged, yes, you need an adapter.

The other question is whether your appliances will work at Japan's 100 Volts, which is less than the North American standard of 120 Volts (and if you're in eastern Japan, 50 Hz for the frequency rather than 60 Hz). [To adjust for voltage differences would require a transformer, not just a plug adapter.]

If you've got a typical iron and hair dryer, they should be fine at this lower voltage. Your appliances might indicate what the input range of tolerated voltages is, but regardless, unless there's some fancy electronics in these things, I don't think there's a way these the lower voltage would cause problems in this situation. (Of course, since I pretty much never iron my clothes or use anything other than a towel to dry my hair, I've not actually done this.)

You can find some information on Japanese electrical service on this web site at:

For electricity around the world, check out:

by kiteflyer rate this post as useful

One more thing... 2004/10/22 01:21
Since the voltage is lower in Japan than in North America, your iron and hair dryer are not going to be as hot, probably noticeably so (heat output will
be about 70% what you find in North America if there's just a simple heating circuit).
by kiteflyer rate this post as useful

. 2005/3/4 11:09
HELP! I just arrived and realised that I forgot my adapter, can anyone recconmmend (store name) that I can find a US-Japanese adapter, MY will not fit because of the larger polarised one. I'm in Shinjuku if anyone can recommend a nearby place, or one near by a trainstation, where I can go hop off and grab one. STORE NAME?

by HELP!!!!! rate this post as useful

Plug adaptor 2005/3/4 11:59

In Shinjuku, Tokyu Hands in the Takashimaya Times Square (south side of the station) is probably the best place.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

Adapter 2005/3/4 12:42
Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera, etc.. Also if you are staying in a hotel, most will loan you one for no cost. Just ask at reception or housekeeping.
by Steve in Azabujuban rate this post as useful

may you help me? 2005/7/31 08:45
I checked some links about electricity in Japan with 100Volt. and that is less than 120Volt. but how about 115Volt. would it work in Japan?

I would be really happy for help. Thank you in advance.
by Kira rate this post as useful

help! three prong adapters available?? 2005/9/5 18:50
I just arrived as well and need to get an adapter for my three pronged plug on my laptop. Does anyone know if I can get the plug converter (3 to 2) in Tokyo?
by merenwen rate this post as useful

.. 2005/9/5 19:17
If you are in Tokyo just hop on a train to Akihabara theres a million shops there.
by .. rate this post as useful

what about desktop pc`s? 2005/9/6 02:40
i brought my desk top from canada and i tried to set it up. when i turn it on it works for about 5 minutes and then the power kicks out. is this a power issue? if so, what will correct it?
by geoff rate this post as useful

110 vs 240 volt power 2005/9/26 04:58
Many desktop PCs have a switch on the back of the power supply unit(PSU) (where the main power cord goes in) to choose between 110 and 240 volts. Make sure it's set to the 110. I've seen some where this switch is glued in place and needs picking at to unglue. The switch is usually a red sliding one. Otherwise, if your power supply doesn't handle 110V, then either get a power adapter for the mains supply to convert 110 to 240 (expensive!) or buy a new power supply to fit inside your computer. This will require you to unplug loads of connectors inside your PC, fit a new PSU, and plug in all the new connectors like the old ones - daunting if you don't know your way round the inside of a PC.
by Chris rate this post as useful

Buying an adapter in Hakodate 2006/5/1 16:10
I just arrived in Hakodate and realized I forgot to get an adapter to connected by grounded electrical cord to the plug. Any suggestions where I might be able to buy one? I'm staying downtown, near the Hakodate JR Station. Thanks!

by Eric rate this post as useful

more questions 2006/6/19 14:22
Hi all,

I have a mac g4 laptop that I will be bringing to Japan. What do I need to get for adapters? Do I need a transformer as well and just the plug adapter?
by Jon hardy rate this post as useful

. 2006/6/20 03:12
What country model is your Mac?

If its North American standard you should be ok if it has a Two prong (not a 3 prong) plug.
by .. rate this post as useful

For J Hardy -- G4 laptop 2006/7/12 22:38
Haven't been on the forum for a while, so I don't know if you still need an answer. In case you do , here it is.

Your G4 laptop will work fine on Japanese electrical service. You just need to make sure you have a plug that will go into Japanese outletsm, that is a plug with two flat, equal-sized prongs.

The G4 laptops have shipped with various plugs, so if you don't have the right kind, you can just get an adapter (from Apple or a 3rd party).
by kiteflyer rate this post as useful

Japanese electrical plugs 2006/7/13 00:00
just arrived in Hakodate and realized I forgot to get an adapter to connected by grounded electrical cord to the plug. Any suggestions where I might be able to buy one? I'm staying downtown, near the Hakodate JR Station. Thanks!
by Salil Ray rate this post as useful

voiding warranty 2007/8/20 04:30
The easiest thing you can do (in my opinion) is cut off the 3rd pin on most grounded appliances, note: this will immediately void the devices warranty. The problem is the ground is a safety against power surges and shorting, so what i don't understand is why did so many countries abandon the 3rd pin?
by Mike W rate this post as useful

Elect 2007/8/20 17:43
Some japanese appliances have a grounding wire.. that somehow you should ground.
Not important though but for safety it really should be grounded.
by Kevin rate this post as useful

both in one 2007/8/21 12:15
I do agree with the whole ground on the plug being basically the same as an american one. But when I think of it, I have never been to Japan but other foreign country's, and do they have GFI's like we do in america?
by Alex rate this post as useful

US appliances in Japan answ 2008/4/21 00:50
When I lived in Japan there was no problem using my American appliances...my Vitamix blender did get a simple 3 prong to two prong converter, but TV, computer, DVD player, etc. worked fine. The hair dryer too, but as stated probably a lower temp...in that case since they are cheap not a bad idea to buy a local one. Most electronic equipment Hrz have a range...
by Serena rate this post as useful

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