South African citizens need a visa to visit Japan. Visa exemption or visa-free access does not apply to South Africa. A visa allows a stay of up to 90 days. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months on the date of entry.
Most countries issue visas through embassies, visa on arrival offices or electronic visa (e-Visa) providers. The cost, processing time, requirements and types of visa issued vary.
It is not possible to stay longer than 90 days without leaving the country. Japan does not allow visa extension or issue visas with length of stay of more than 90 days.
If you plan to exit and re-enter the country numerous times, a multiple-entry visa will simplify matters. You can stay up to 90 days during each visit, and no minimum gap is required between visits. Japan does also issue double-entry visa besides multiple-entry visa.
We advise you not to overstay your visit at all costs. If you cannot avoid an overstay, however, you will most likely be fined an amount that costs more than a visa extension, visa run or new visa. In most cases, you will not be thrown in jail.
South African citizens transiting in Japan should consult with their airlines about the possibility of getting a transit visa, maximum transit time allowed and flight delay policies. If you are flying point to point on a budget airline without a transit visa, you will need a tourist visa to clear immigration upon arrival.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs