I currently have an Engineer's Visa/resident card in Japan. My passport will expire in April 2018, and I have to take a flight from Tokyo to Osaka in October.

I read some articles about travelling with a passport that is due to expire in 6 months but this seems to be for tourist visas and going to another country.

In line with this, I am thinking of having my passport renewed in September, but since the flight is set to be in October, I don't think I can get the renewed passport in time. I don't have a lot of travel experience so I feel a bit anxious about this.

What could be the best course of action? I'm thinking of a few solutions,

  1. Have the passport renewed and just simply take an overnight bus (which will cost around 2,000 yen more) or Shinkansen (costs a lot more)
  2. Book the flight now, have the passport renewed and ask for travel documents from the embassy for the flight (I'm not sure if this is possible)
  3. Have the passport renewed after the flight since the 6-month rule doesn't count for local flights (I'm not sure about this)

but some advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

closed as primarily opinion-based by Giorgio, Ali Awan, JonathanReez Aug 9 '17 at 7:23

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


Your passport is of absolutely no consequence for domestic travel in Japan, especially since you are a resident and not a "temporary visitor". In fact, you would be well advised to keep it at home to prevent accidental damage or loss.

The only time when you need a valid passport is when you want to travel internationally. Until then, you don't even need to renew your passport when it expires.


Usually domestic flights does not require passports since you are not leaving and re-entering Japan. You don't need to pass through the immigrations and customs when taking the domestic flights.

In most cases your resident card should be able to proof your identity if needed.

JAL accepts a range of documents such as resident card and driver license, Jetstar has similar rules.

You may check with your airline to double comfirm that.

  • 1
    I have never heard of anybody who was asked to confirm their identity for a domestic flight in Japan, though; in fact I often joke that you could write in your reservation that your name is Barack Obama (or should I say Donald Trump now?) and they wouldn't care. In any case, as a foreign resident you are required to always carry your residence card anyway. – fkraiem Aug 9 '17 at 3:31
  • @fkraiem Most of the time you should be good with any IDs. Back in the old days Narita airport did do ID check for everyone going into the airport for security reasons (violent protests against the airport). Practices may vary from time to time in different airports, that's why you might want to carry an ID "just in case". – KH.Lee Aug 9 '17 at 8:54

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