I'm planning to travel from Amsterdam Schiphol to Tokyo Narita in August 2018. I was wondering, can I buy fresh cut flowers (for example, tulips) outside of the airport and bring them onto the flight in my carry-on?

Particularly I'm worried about two things: going through security with flowers in a tray, and bringing flowers on board.

  • 4
    There are some (very few) flower sellers that sell guarantied flowers, which are accepted in the countries where you can not bring other flowers. But most do not. So the better option is to buy in the airport where there are more acceptable flowers, and even there you do need to check for your destination country.
    – Willeke
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 19:39
  • 1
    I do not think the airport security in Amsterdam will object, nor the airline as long as you keep the flowers safe under the seat in front of you or have them packaged safe enough for the overhead bins. But your hardest point will be entry into your own country. Note I have not tried to take flowers, I just worked in the field.
    – Willeke
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 19:48
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    The main issue is going to be importing the flowers into Japan. See Regulations when Bringing Plants into Japan from Another Country. It may not be a practical plan for other reasons. Several hours at 12% humidity may not be good for cut flowers. See this answer for some tips. Commented May 26, 2018 at 22:27
  • 2
    @PatriciaShanahan Consider making it an answer instead of comment?
    – KH.Lee
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


Japan, like many countries, has an interest in excluding agricultural pests. Part of their strategy is to prohibit importing plants and plant material that might harbor the pests. See Regulations when Bringing Plants into Japan from Another Country. Cut flowers, even if not prohibited, seem to require inspection on arrival at Narita.

You can check specific choices of flowers using the database search form at Database for Importing Conditions

You also need to plan for the care of the flowers, including protecting them from physical damage and from drying out. Consideration for your fellow passengers suggests avoiding anything with a strong scent. You will be storing them at 12% humidity for 11 hours. See this answer for some tips.

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