All foreign participants must carry a valid passport, and in many cases a visa also. Since the Japanese visa application system is very strict anyone who needs a visa should apply early, leaving enough time for processing and any possible corrections. In some cases, it may take over four months to get a visa after submitting an application. There have been many cases where conference participants could NOT come because they applied for a visa too late.
You can find out whether you need a visa or not, and how to apply for it, from the home page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If you are not sure please check with the Japanese Consulate, Embassy or a travel agent. Please also check what documents are necessary.
We closed VISA Application Request.
If you need a visa, some documents in Japanese may be required. In that case, please register yourself for the Conference first and then fax the "Form for Requesting Visa Application Documents" attached in the bulletin#1( a pink sheet) to +81-6-6850-5561.
If fax is not available, send a blank e-mail with the subject "visa" to email@example.com and follow the instructions returned to you by E-mail. The deadline for this request is March 31, 2000.
As Japan's oldest city with a history of 1,500 years, Osaka has much to offer to today's visitors; the lively Kita and Minami amusement districts, a rich variety of sporting and cultural facilities, abundant shopping and dining opportunities. Osaka is a commercial center in the west part of Japan and also a convenient stepping off point for visiting Kobe, Kyoto and Nara.
The most convenient way to come to Osaka is to fly to Kansai International Airport (KIX ). There are many international carriers which fly directly to the airport from major cities all over the world. There are limousine buses and trains which go directly to downtown Osaka in 1 hour.
Other possibilities are to fly to Narita Airport ( NRT ) or Fukuoka ( FUK ), and then fly to Osaka Itami Airport ( OSA/ITA ) or Kansai International Airport. There are also limousine buses available from Itami Airport to downtown Osaka. However, it should be noted that the number of domestic flights between Narita and Osaka are limited.
The Conference Site is the "International House, Osaka" which is situated in the central region of Osaka City on Uemachi-Daichi Hill.
You can find a wide variety of accommodation to be available in downtown Osaka. Please make your reservation for you by the internet.
Please see Hotel Guide ( services, location, transportation etc.) on hotels
The JAPAN RAIL PASS is a special ticket that is available only to travelers visiting Japan from foreign countries for sight-seeing. With the JAPAN RAIL PASS, you can freely board almost any train on Japan Railways Group (JR Group) Lines throughout the country.
CurrencyThe unit of currency is the "yen".
Coins are 1 yen, 5 yen, 10 yen, 50 yen, 100 yen and 500 yen. Bank notes are 1,000 yen, 5,000 yen, and 10,000 yen.*
Over the last year the exchange rate has been US$ 1.00 =105 ~110 JPY.*2000yen bank note will be introduced in July 2000.
CashCash is still the most popular form of payment in Japan. It is generally safe to carry cash in Japan. Small amounts of cash are needed for most forms of transportation, for dining spots that do not accept credit cards or traveler's checks, and for other small purchases.
TippingIn Japan, tips are not necessary anywhere, even at hotels and restaurants.
Checks and CardsCredit cards are gaining popularity in Japan. VISA, Master Card, Diners Club, and American Express are widely accepted at hotels, major stores and department stores. Shops and restaurants that accept credit cards have stickers at the entrance or signs posted elsewhere to designate which cards are accepted. You can also use your credit card to pay for registration, excursions and extra banquet tickets.
However, ATM cashing service for credit cards is not generally available in Japan. Also, most of the ATM machines at banks are NOT compatible with PLUS, CIRRUS, or CASH STATION.
Traveler's checks in Japanese Yen or US Dollars can be exchanged for cash at most banks with exchange services, and at major hotels. The hotels may charge a handling fee, and offer a slightly less favorable exchange rate. Note however that you will need your passport in either case. The use of traveler's checks is limited to only a few stores. Personal checks are not in general use.
Currency ExchangeWe strongly recommend that you exchange your cash or travelers' checks to Japanese Yen before departure from your country or upon arrival at Kansai International Airport (or any other international airport in Japan). It is rather difficult to exchange currency near the Conference center. Especially, banks and post offices are opened only on weekday (usually from 9 am to 3 pm).
As of now, some foreign currencies such as Korea Won, Taiwan Dollars, China Yuan Renmimbi, Philippines Pesos, and India Rupees are not accepted even at Kansai International Airport. People from those countries should get Japanese Yen or US Dollars before departing from their country.
At Kansai International Airport
Bank counters at Kansai International Airport accept the following currencies in cash for exchanging them for Japanese Yen:
Australia Dollar, Austria Schilling, Belgium Franc, Canada Dollar, France Franc, Great Britain Pound, Germany Mark, Hong Kong Dollar, Italy Lira, Netherlands Guilder, New Zealand Dollar, Norway Krone, Singapore Dollar, Spain Peseta, Switzerland Franc, Sweden Krone, Thailand Baht and US Dollar.
They also accept traveler's checks in the following currencies:
Australia Dollar, Canada Dollar, France Franc, Germany Mark, Great Britain Pound, Hong Kong Dollar, Japan Yen, New Zealand Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Switzerland Franc and US Dollar.
Korea Won, Taiwan Dollars, China Yuan Renmimbi, Philippines Pesos, and India Rupees are not accepted.
There are ATM machines which accept Cirrus, Plus and VISA cards.
At Osaka Itami Airport and JR Shin-Osaka station
A currency exchange service is not available at Osaka Itami Airport and JR Shin-Osaka station.
Near the Conference site
Tennoji Post Office ( 5 min walk from the Conference site ) accepts cash and traveler's checks for change, in Australia Dollar, Great Britain Pound, Canada Dollar, Germany Mark, Switzerland Franc and U.S. Dollar. In addition, they accept traveler's checks in European Euro. The post office is open from 9 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday, and is closed on weekends.
There are a couple of ATM machines which accept VISA, Master Card, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Plus, Cirrus and Maestro cards inside the Kintetsu Department store at Uehonmachi ( 7 min walk ).
Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank at Uehonmachi accepts all the currencies listed for the bank counters at Kansai International Airport. The bank is open from 9 AM to 3 PM, Monday through Friday, and is closed on weekends. You will need to show your passport when you ask for an exchange.
Some traveler's checks issued by minor banks may not be accepted.
The following organizations will hear your symptoms, and route you to a proper hospital. However, note that they are not available during the night and weekends.
Business hours for retail stores, including department stores, differ from store to store but most operate from 10 a.m. to 7 or 8 p.m., and are open on Sundays and national holidays.
There will be a site-wide power outage at KEK for 3 days from August 4th through 6th. If you are planning to visit KEK after the Conference, avoid this period, since the lab will be effectively closed.