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I am planning to charge my phone and camera while in Japan and am wondering if I will need to purchase a power socket converter? Also, is the wattage in Japan the same as Australian power sockets?

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As far as I can tell, you can't buy an adaptor that takes a three pronged Aussie male and fit into a two pronged Japanese female. That's something you have to buy overseas. –  Andrew Grimm Jul 27 '12 at 9:09

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Well, The power socket is different, In Japan it is Type A and Type B while it is Type I in Asutralia according to electricaloutlet.org.

The real problem here is the voltage, In Japan its 100V and in Australia it is 240V. Almost all phone, camera and laptop chargers are dual voltage and would work in any electricity from 100-240V but that's not the case for almost all other electrical devices. Make it a habit to read the label that shows the voltage information on the back of chargers and electrical devices before you plug your devices in a foreign country.

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Since in Australia is 240V and in Japan is 100V then there will be no damage to your devices if you plug an Australian device in Japan even though it will not work. Anyway the opposite (if you plug a 100V device into 240V power socket) will lead to fireworks show so in case you are planning to buy electrical devices from Japan make sure it supports 240V.

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Actually, I once accidentally plugged a power unit from Japan labelled 100V into a 250V socket in Germany and the device worked just fine for a few minutes until I noticed a smell of smouldering plastic from the power unit and quickly unplugged it. So "fireworks" is probably an exaggeration, but you shouldn't try it anyway. –  Michael Borgwardt Jun 16 '12 at 18:41
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Not just phone and battery chargers but also laptop computer power supplies are dual voltage. I've worked in a hostel in Sydney for years and the most common items that get zapped would be girls' hair dryers. I also zapped my electric shaver once years ago. –  hippietrail Jun 16 '12 at 18:55
    
@hippietrail you are correct, I will update the answer. –  MeNoTalk Jun 16 '12 at 22:34
    
@MichaelBorgwardt No its not exaggeration. In my country we have both 110 and 220 Volts sockets in every house. We differentiate them by a color or something.. but shit happens and sometimes we plug it in the wrong socket and trust me it will make a fireworks show.. I think you were lucky. –  MeNoTalk Jun 16 '12 at 22:39
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Australia is officially 230 volts (+/- 10%) since 2000, although most Australias still call it 240. –  Doc Jun 16 '12 at 22:59

There is an added complication with Australian -> Japanese power. Japanese outlets are not earthed. This can be a problem especially for laptop chargers, as many sold in Australia have a three pin plug.

You could buy a new power brick, but they are a little expensive. I found this guy (see pic) at Bic Camera (a consumer electronics chain), and It worked perfectly without the earth connected.

Of course, the earth is there for a reason, and this adapter sacrifices on safety. I am not so much recommending this method as describing my solution.

The other option with some appliances is simply to buy a new one. My wife ended up buying a hair-straightener in Japan anyway, as the 240V Australian one didn't heat up on Japanese power. Those kind of small appliances are cheap there anyway.

TL;DR Check that the appliances you bring are two-pin.

3-pin Laptop Adaptor

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