Can You Use A Power Adapter Designed For USA In Japan?

Can You Use A Power Adapter Designed For USA In Japan

If you’re looking to travel from the US to Japan, you may be wondering, “Can you use a power adapter designed for the USA in Japan?”

This is because Japanese power sockets “appear physically identical” to US ones, although they do use a different voltage.

Let’s find out in this article!

Can You Use A Power Adapter Designed For the USA In Japan?

The short answer is yes, you can use a power adapter designed for the USA in Japan. The physical plug shape of power adapters from the USA and Japan are generally the same, so there should be no problem with physically connecting them to sockets in Japan. 

However, it’s important to distinguish between the physical plug shape and the voltage requirements of your device.

You will need to check that each device you want to plug into a socket in Japan supports the voltage and mains frequency provided by Japanese power outlets – normally 100-240v, 50/60 Hz.

Power Socket in Japan

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash 

If it does, then your device should work just fine when plugged into an outlet in Japan using a US-designed adapter. 

But if it doesn’t list this range of voltage and frequency, then you will need to purchase a different adapter in Japan. The adapter should be designed for the local mains frequency. 

The answer also depends on the power adapter in question. 

If the label on the device says for example 100-240v, 50/60 Hz (as it says on most laptop power supplies), then it WILL work in Japan. 

This voltage range means that it is compatible with both European and US standards, so you have no worries about whether or not it will be suitable.

However, if the label says 110 or only 240v, then there is a high chance that it won’t work since Japan uses a different mains frequency than either Europe or USA. 

Different parts of Japan use different mains frequencies: 60 Hz which is used in the USA, and 50 Hz which is used in Europe. 

So make sure to check the label of your device to ensure compatibility.

The good thing when going from Europe (240v) to Japan (100v) is that you most likely will not ruin your equipment if you plug it in and it cannot work with 100v.

The other way around would fry your device in most cases. If you’re unsure, consult an expert or buy a converter specifically designed for use in Japan before traveling. 

This will ensure that all of your devices are compatible and ready to go once you arrive! 

All in all, an international power adapter designed for the USA will usually work just fine with Japanese outlets. 

That said, it pays to double-check whether your particular device is suitable.

This is because some larger appliances may not be compatible due to the different voltages involved. 

A good option would be one of those multi-socket adapters with USB charging capabilities like this one which should provide plenty of flexibility.

Parameters Type B Power Plug Adapter Universal Travel Power Adapter Travel USB Wall Charger
Can it be used in Japan? Yes Yes Yes 
Does it fit in a Japanese power outlet (Type B)? Yes Yes Yes
What are the types of plugs included? B A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I
No. of USB Ports 0 2 4
Can it power a 100-V electric appliance in Japan? Yes Yes Yes
Can it convert voltage? No No No
What are the number of compatible countries? 45+ 150+ 150+

Where Can You Buy A Power Adapter In Japan?

Electricity Shop in Japan

Photo by Ryan Kwok on Unsplash 

Power adapters in Japan are widely available in electrical high street shops and drug stores. However, it is important that you check the build quality first as safety standards might be different than what you’re used to. Shopping in an unknown location might not be practical due to time constraints.

Thus, other options should also be considered. Many hotels will have a power adapter available for either sale, hire, or complimentary use for guests. 

However, availability will vary depending on the hotel so this may not always be an option. 

If neither of these options appeals, there are many online vendors who sell international travel adapters compatible with Japanese power outlets.

Shopping online is a great way to purchase an adapter before you head overseas, allowing you to avoid the hassle of shopping around when you arrive. 

No matter which option you choose, it is important to remember that having access to an appropriate power adapter can be essential for your trip.

It will also ensure that devices such as phones and cameras are kept charged so that you can capture your memories.

Note: It is important to check the quality of any power adapter purchased as safety standards may differ from country to country.

What Power Outlet Does Japan Use?

While most countries in the world follow a fairly standard protocol for electrical sockets, Japan has its own unique system. Most of the country uses Type A and B outlets, which are similar to those used in the United States and Canada. 

Type A sockets are ungrounded and have two flat holes, while Type B sockets are grounded and have a third hole

Unlike in other countries, the ungrounded type with two flat-pronged outlets is more common in Japan. 

In addition to using different types of outlets than other nations, the electrical grid in Japan also has two other oddities: there is a different frequency depending on what part of the country you’re in. 

In the eastern part of the country, which includes Tokyo, the frequency is 50 Hz; while in the western part, including Osaka and Kyoto, it is 60 Hz.

So if you’re visiting Japan and plan on plugging something into an outlet there, make sure to double-check what kind of power outlet you’ll need as well as what frequency your device runs on. With that knowledge in mind, preparing for a trip to Japan will be a breeze!

What Type Of Power Adapter Do You Need In Japan?

If your device has a two-pronged plug (Type A) then it will be able to fit into any outlet in Japan without the need for an adapter. However, for a three-pronged (Type B) device, you will need an adapter to enable it to fit into the outlets in Japan.

Type B devices are devices like a laptop or a hairdryer.

You may find some Type B sockets in Japan but they are comparatively rare. 

Therefore, it’s best to invest in an appropriate power adapter, ideally a Type A adapter.

Do You Need A Voltage Converter When Traveling To Japan?

The answer is that it depends on the device. The Japanese electrical outlets provide 100V power, while American-made devices are rated for 110-120V electricity. If the lower end of the range for a given device is above 100V, then you will need a voltage converter

If you plug an American-made 120V device into an outlet in Japan, it may not be completely destroyed or cause damage.

However, it won’t function as well as usual and could cause minor damage. 

So it’s important to check each device before departing and make sure that they will work in Japan’s power system. 

If you do need a converter, think about getting a multi-voltage device or one with multiple adapters. 

This will make sure you have the right voltage no matter where your travels take you!

Here is everything you need to know about voltage converters and their compatibility:

Can it be used in Japan? Yes
What are the types of plugs included? B
Number of compatible countries 230+
Can it fit in Type B Japanese power outlets? Yes
Can it power USB devices? No
Typical number of AC outlets 2
Can it convert voltage? Yes
Does it provide surge protection? Yes
Typical weight 20 pounds
Can it be carried in hand luggage? No

Tips For Using Electronic Devices From The US In Japan

Here are some tips for using electronic devices from the U.S. in Japan without any hassle:

Tip 1: Be Aware Of The Voltage Difference

If you are traveling to Japan from the United States, it is important to be aware that the voltage in Japan is 100V while in North America it is 120V

This difference in voltage means that your devices could be at risk of being damaged if used without a converter or special plug adaptor.

In order to ensure that your devices are safe when using them in Japan, we recommend checking each device’s specifications before you travel. 

If the manufacturer states that the device can handle both 100V and 120V then you will not need a converter or special plug adapter

However, if your device does not state this then you should consider investing in an electrical converter for any electronic appliances with heating elements.

Tip 2: Make Sure Your Devices Can Handle The “Japanese” Voltage

In Japan, the electrical outlet is rated at 100V and it uses the two-flat-prong system instead of the common three-prong plugs used in the US. 

If you’re bringing a device from outside of Japan, make sure it has 110/120V printed on it to ensure it’s compatible with Japanese electrical outlets.

Tip 3: Bring A Power Strip Or Outlet Converter For Multiple Devices

Since most walls don’t have more than one receptacle, having an extra power strip or an outlet converter will come in handy when using multiple devices at once. 

Because some appliances are quite large, like hair dryers and electric shavers, it may be wise to check if the outlet converter has enough wattage to accommodate the device.

Tip 4: Have a Surge Protector or Voltage Regulator

Japan is known for having strong earthquakes and other natural disasters, so it’s wise to have an extra source of protection for your devices

A voltage regulator can help you regulate the amount of electricity supplied from the wall socket, which will prevent any damage caused by sudden power surges.

Tip 5: Check If Any Electronic Appliance You’re Carrying Requires A Permit In Japan

Permit Form

Photo by Unseen Studio on Unsplash

It’s also important to remember that certain electronics like microwaves and washing machines may need special permits to be used in Japan

Be sure to check with your local embassy before bringing these types of appliances into the country.

Additionally, if you’re traveling with a pet, be sure to research the regulations for bringing them into Japan. 

Tip 6: Avoid A Fire Hazard

If an item is a dual voltage, then you can use an adapter and converter to convert from 110/120V to 230/240V. 

Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your electronic device or even causing a fire hazard by plugging it into a wall outlet without being properly converted. 

Tip 7: Purchase Export Models Of Electronics Duty-Free In Shopping Areas 

For 230/240V markets, there are shops in Akihabara Or Shinjuku that sell export models of electronic products. If you purchase a Japanese electronic item at a regular shop to use in a country with 230/240V, you are taking a calculated risk. 

To avoid this, these shops sell export-ready models of electronics duty-free (no tax).

Additionally, many of these shops have staff that can help you find the right product for your needs. 

Tip 8: Check For Warranties Before Purchase

Though it is important to be aware of the voltage differences when purchasing an electronic device from Japan or the US, manufacturers sometimes offer warranties on their products.

This is in case something goes wrong due to voltage inconsistency. 

Be sure to check for any applicable manufacturer warranties before making your final purchase.

This way you’ll know what you are getting into!

What Are The Different Types Of Power Adapters?

Power adapters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the most common types include AC/DC (alternating current/direct current), USB, and DC Plug. AC/DC power adapters are typically used to convert alternating current from an outlet into direct current.

This can be used by electronic devices such as laptops, gaming consoles, and even cell phones. This type of adapter is usually quite small and easy to carry around with you. 

USB power adapters are designed for use with digital devices such as cameras, tablets, smartphones, and other portable devices that use USB cables for charging purposes.

USB power adapters plug directly into your device’s USB port or wall socket and provide additional power to charge your device quickly.

DC Plug power adapters are often used to provide direct current from a wall socket to devices such as CCTV cameras and home security systems. 

This type of adapter is typically larger than the others, but it is still quite portable and easy to use. 

No matter what type of power adapter you need, it’s important to make sure that you purchase one that is compatible with your device and its specifications.

Fortunately, most electronic stores carry a wide variety of adapters at reasonable prices.

Thus, finding an appropriate model shouldn’t be too difficult. 

It’s also wise to keep an extra power adapter on hand in case you ever need it!

What Are The Different Types Of Plug Sockets Used In Japan?

When traveling to Japan, it is important to understand the different types of power outlets used in the country. The two main types of power outlets used in Japan are type A and type B. Type B is the most commonly used plug socket in Japan.

It can be recognized by its two thin slots next to each other with a semicircle hole below for the slightly long grounded pin. 

The Type A sockets are less common than type B in Japan. 

They look similar but have two slots adjacent to one another instead of the two thin slots found on type B plugs. 

Both types use alternating current (AC) at 100 volts and 50 Hertz frequency.

However, as with anywhere else, it’s advisable to check your appliance ahead of time to make sure it’s compatible with the Japanese power system. 

It is important to know the types of plug sockets used in Japan so that you can bring the right adapters before your trip. 

Travel adapter plugs are widely available online and at most electronics and travel stores.

Thus, if you don’t already own one they should be easy to come by. With the correct adapter, any item with a type A or B plug socket should work just fine in Japan

Now that you know what types of plug sockets are used in Japan, you can prepare for your trip confidently knowing that all your devices will have power wherever you go!

What Is The Power Supply and Electricity Like In Japan?

Power supply and electricity are reliable in Japan. A combination of thermal power plants, hydropower, wind power, solar energy, and other resources provides electricity to the country’s large population. There is a comprehensive network of underground cables that allows for the effective distribution of electricity throughout the country. 

However, like any other country with a high dependency on technology, Japan experiences power outages due to natural disasters or extreme weather conditions. 

The earthquakes in 2011 and 2018 caused widespread blackouts across the nation. 

In response to these events, significant investments have been made into renewable energy sources.

Such sources include solar panels and wind turbines in order to improve the country’s resilience against similar future disasters. 


Can I Use A Power Adapter Designed For the USA In Japan?

The answer to this question is yes and no. It depends on the type of adapter, as well as the voltage rating of your device. Generally speaking, a power adapter designed for use in the US will work in Japan if it has a voltage range between 100-240 volts.

This is what most modern-day adapters do. 

When Should You Purchase An Additional Adapter?

If your device is incompatible with both 110/120 volts and 220/240 volts as well, then you must purchase an additional adapter specifically for Japan that can convert the electrical current from 110-120V to 220-240V. Additionally, double-check that your device can support universal outlets.

Some Japanese outlets may require a different type of plug. 

Does The Power Output Rating Of the Adapter Have To Match That Of The Device?

It’s also important to note that the power output rating of your adapter must match that of your device in order for it to work properly. If the voltage and wattage ratings don’t match, then you risk damaging your device or voiding its warranty. 

It’s best to double-check with the manufacturer of your device before attempting to use an American-made adapter in Japan. 

Ultimately, it is possible to use a power adapter designed for the USA in Japan, but you should always make sure that all specifications are compatible first. 

Always read up on any notes provided by the manufacturer before making assumptions about what will and won’t work. 

What Is A Power Strip?

A power strip is a type of electrical device that provides multiple outlets to plug in multiple devices. It usually has an on/off switch and circuit breaker. Power strips are commonly used to connect multiple devices or appliances to one outlet, reducing the need for additional sockets.

They are often used in home offices, workshops, and other areas with limited wall outlets. 

Some models also feature surge protection which protects connected devices from sudden voltage spikes or surges in electricity.

With the increased use of technology, power strips have become a necessary accessory for all homes and offices. 

They are available in a variety of designs ranging from basic models with two or three outlets to ones that can accommodate up to 10 plugs at once. 

Apart From Power Adapters, What Else Should You Carry From the USA To Japan?

In addition to packing power adapters, you should also bring melatonin and eye masks. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes, as walking around in cities like Tokyo can be strenuous. Light layers of clothing are essential since the weather in Japan varies greatly between seasons. 

You’ll also want plenty of sunscreens if you plan on doing outdoor activities during the summertime, as well as mosquito repellent for those humid times of the year. 

Additionally, it’s a good idea to research any local customs ahead of time so that you can dress appropriately and show respect towards traditional culture. 

Finally, don’t forget to pack a few extra power adapters and converters – you’ll need them to charge your electronics in Japan. 

With these items in tow, you are sure to have a smooth trip from the USA to Japan! 


In conclusion, power adapters designed for use in the USA can be used in Japan, as long as they fall within the voltage range specified on their labels – 100-240v, 50/60 Hz.

To ensure your device is safe while traveling to Japan, make sure you check the requirements of each device before making your trip. 

This way you can avoid any potential issues due to incompatible power adapters or sockets in Japan. 

Doing so should help you feel confident that all of your devices will be able to function properly when plugged into a socket in Japan. 

With this knowledge in hand, you’ll be ready to take full advantage of any gadgets or appliances during your stay! 

Swati Jaiswal

Swati Jaiswal is a dedicated traveler and an even dedicated individual who specializes in travel, digital marketing, & health and fitness niches. Passport stamps and coffee stains are her badges of honor.

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