How To Travel to Tokyo With Your Dog

We’re going to Tokyo!


We were all set to start planning a trip to Tokyo for end of April 2018 for my birthday (and perfect time to see cherry blossoms etc etc) but then I found out the dreaded quarantine rules for dogs.

Japan requires dogs to get a blood titer test 180 DAYS before arriving. That would mean we couldn’t go til June which doesn’t work for our schedule unfortunately. And I really wanted to go with Fira because I hear they are dog-crazy over there.

But now that I know, we can totally plan for 2019.. and I can share the step-by-step now which I was researching til my eyeballs fell out.

Now that I’ve traveled to Paris with a dog, the process is basically straight-forward and you just need make sure to be extra organized, like your life is counting on it. If you mess up, your pet stays locked in quarantine for 6 months and that comes out of your pocket too. Not to scare you or anything. K, here we go…

Step-by-step Guide Flying to Japan with Your Dog

  1. Advanced Notification. You must contact Animal Quarantine Services at least 40 days before arrival by sending in completed forms by fax or mail. I found this info from somebody who has traveled to Japan with their pet: “Please note that your Advance Notification form must not only be submitted but approved at least 40 days before your pet can arrive, so plan ahead accordingly in case of any errors in your initial submission.”
  2. Microchip. The chip should comply with ISO 11784 + 11785. It’s a 15 digit microchip code which most dogs normally have. If it’s not, you can also bring your own scanner.
  3. Rabies. Make sure it’s up to date and there have been no case of rabies for at least 2 years prior to export. Rabies vaccination must be done twice in a 12-month period. The second vaccination can be given no later than 30 days after the first vaccination.
  4. Inspection + Health Certificate. Visit the vet for inspection (dogs need to be confirmed free of leptospirosis + rabies) and a health certificate stating you’re flying into Japan. An accredited veterinarian must complete the forms two days before departure then they must be stamped at the USDA office. Find your local office here.
  5. Blood titer test. Once you’ve completed the vaccinations, your dog must get a blood titer test (antibody titer test) processed by an approved laboratory. The date when the blood was drawn for the titer test must be more than 180 days and less than two years prior to the arrival date in Japan.
  6. Inspection on Arrival. Once you land at the airport, head to Animal Quarantine Services where they will go over your forms (approval notification from step #1, forms + certificates from your vet, result reports of blood titer test). There will be a short quarantine time but less than 12 hours.

BTW, Airlines that fly to Tokyo (with dog):

DELTA – make sure to call 42 days prior. $200 one-way.

UNITED – $125 one-way.

SINGAPORE AIR – call two weeks before departure. Only after they process your completed documents (health certificate, rabies etc) will they give you amount, but most likely will be a free carry-on.

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  1. Hi there!
    I am also interested to travel to Japan with my dog. May I know the list of activities and places you would be going with your dog? I can’t find much information about them. Hope you can help.

    • Hi! I didn’t end up going to Japan with the dogs because we wanted to leave before the 180 day titer test cut off. Hopefully, one day!

  2. Hello Nikki, I saw your post on travelling to Japan with pet and wonder if you can advise me on the following as I also wish to bring my puggy to Japan too.

    If the blood titer test is not done more than 180 days from arrival date, is it not possible to skip the 180days quarantine days? Is the whole process tedious and costly in terms of getting the paper works, vaccinations and blood test?

    • Hi Leonard, it doesn’t seem like there’s any way around the 180 days. They are very strict about it, as it’s in island, so it’s not possible to skip the quarantine unfortunately.

  3. Hi! Would love to hear about some of the places you took your dog in Japan. We are going in August with our small dog and I’m trying to learn more 🙂

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