Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Ezra Matiasi

Whether you’re a fan of traditional Japanese dishes or simply want to savour the unique flavours of this island nation, you might be wondering, “Can I bring dried fish to Japan?”

Generally bringing dried fish to Japan is allowed.

Travellers bringing animals and animal products, including dried fish, into Japan must have them inspected at the Plant and Animal Quarantine counter and provide the required certification.

The Inspection Certificate is issued by the exporting government’s organization, like the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Unauthorized importation of these products may result in legal consequences.

Japanese Customs and Regulations On Food Imports

Specifically focusing on food imports, Japan has stringent regulations in place.

These regulations are designed to safeguard public health and maintain biosecurity standards.

Understanding these rules is vital for anyone considering bringing dried fish into Japan.

Here are a few points listed on  the  Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) in Japan website:

  1.  Items without a government-issued inspection certificate from the exporting country cannot be brought into Japan, even if they are souvenirs or for personal consumption.
  1. You need to undergo import inspection at the Animal Quarantine Service counter in the baggage claim area of the arrival airport or seaport.
  1. Be aware that even items that are allowed to be brought into Japan may not be allowed if they have been opened prior to being inspected by the Animal Quarantine Service.
  1. There are countries and regions from which items cannot be brought into Japan due to the outbreak of domestic animal diseases in those counties or regions.

Click on the following resource to view the list:

Quantity Restrictions

Japan imposes limitations on the quantity of dried fish allowed for personal use. Understanding these restrictions will help you plan your importation accordingly.

Packaging and Labeling

Proper packaging and labelling play a crucial role in ensuring your dried fish meets Japanese import standards.

This section will provide guidance on how to package and label your products correctly.

Risk of Rejection

When it comes to importing dried fish into Japan, several factors can contribute to customs rejection. These include:

  • Improper Documentation: Incomplete or inaccurate documentation is a leading cause of rejection.

    Ensure that all required paperwork, including the Inspection Certificate and any additional permits, is complete and accurate.
  • Failure to Declare: Failing to declare your dried fish or providing false information during the declaration process can lead to immediate rejection. Honesty and transparency are crucial.
  • Exceeding Quantity Limits: Japan imposes strict limits on the quantity of dried fish allowed for personal use.

    If you exceed these limits, your items may be rejected.
  • Non-Compliance with Labeling: Japanese regulations stipulate specific labelling requirements for food products, including dried fish. 
  • Biosecurity Concerns: Dried fish products can pose biosecurity risks if they are contaminated or carry pests or diseases.
  • Disease or Pest Presence: If your dried fish is found to carry diseases or pests, it will be rejected due to the risk it poses to Japan’s agriculture and environment.

Alternatives and Tips On Bringing Dried Fish To Japan

For travellers who prefer to avoid the complexities and potential risks associated with importing dried fish, there are convenient alternatives available in Japan.

You can purchase dried fish in Japan instead of importing.

  • Speciality Markets and Stores: Explore local markets and speciality stores in Japan, particularly those known for their seafood offerings.

    These establishments often carry a wide variety of dried fish, providing an authentic taste of the region.
  • Online Retailers: Many online retailers in Japan offer a diverse selection of dried fish products.

    This option allows you to conveniently order and have your favourite dried fish delivered to your location.
  • Street Food Stalls: While exploring the streets of Japan, keep an eye out for street food stalls and vendors.

    Some may offer freshly prepared dried fish snacks, allowing you to enjoy this culinary delight on the go.
  • Local Restaurants: Visit local seafood restaurants and eateries that include dried fish dishes on their menus.

    This not only offers a chance to taste dried fish but also experience traditional Japanese cuisine.
  • Cultural Festivals: If your visit coincides with a local festival or event, you might find dried fish as a part of the culinary offerings.

    It’s an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and flavours of Japan.

Takeaway On Can I Bring Dried Fish To Japan?

As we conclude our exploration of bringing dried fish to Japan, it’s evident that understanding and adhering to the country’s customs and regulations is paramount.

Japan’s commitment to food safety and biosecurity means that travellers must be well-prepared and informed when considering importing dried fish.

By following the guidelines and regulations outlined here, travellers can ensure that their journey to enjoy dried fish in the Land of the Rising Sun is not only delicious but also free from any legal or logistical complications.

Remember, with proper planning and compliance, you can savour the unique flavours of dried fish in Japan with confidence and peace of mind.

About the Author

Ezra Matiasi

Head Content Writer

Hello! My name is Ezra Matiasi, and I'm the enthusiastic mind behind Travello, a captivating travel blog that takes you on remarkable journeys around the world. With a passion for exploration and a love for sharing captivating stories, I curate the best travel experiences, hidden gems, and breathtaking landscapes. Through vivid descriptions and captivating photographs, Travello aims to inspire wanderlust and help fellow travelers make the most of their adventures. Join me as we embark on exciting virtual voyages and discover the wonders our beautiful planet has to offer. Let's explore the world together, one adventure at a time!

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