on March 29th, 2018 (JST) current information
Immigration and Visa
There are various types of visas for visiting India, such as tourist, business, or studying, and a tourist visa is required if you want to enter the country for the purpose of travel. As of March 2017, there are three patterns for obtaining a tourist visa.
(1) Regular visa: This is a regular visa obtained in advance in another country outside of India. The type of visa obtained in Japan is a multiple-entry tourist visa with unlimited re-entry in the six months from the date issued.
In Japan, you can apply for such a visa at the Indian Embassy. Click here for details about how to apply for a visa.
(2) e-tourist visa: This is a visa that is issued at the airport upon arrival. You must enter the required information on the Internet at least 4 days prior to your departure and bring a printout of your application. You can only enter the country once, and it is valid for 30 days from the day of arrival. Use the application form on the website.
(3) Arrival visa: There is no need for application in advance, and it is issued at the airport in India. It is a visa that expires in 60 days.
*The arrival visa program for Japanese people changed on April 1st, 2017. For details, click the Indian Embassy website.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of visa application, and must have at least two unused visa pages.
*For the latest information, be sure to check the website of the Embassy of Japan in India.
*Visa, passport, and other information is subject to change without notice. Be sure to check with the Embassy, Consulate, or travel agency.
For bringing and possession of tax-free cigarettes
・Tobacco—200 cigarettes (1 carton), 50 cigars, or 250g of cut tobacco
・Liquor—up to 2L regardless of the type of liquor
・Gifts equal to less than Rs8000
Time difference and Daylight Saving Time
Despite the size of the country, India has a single time zone. Time difference: Japan is 3.5 hours ahead of India. (It is 8:30AM in India when it is noon in Japan.) There is no daylight saving in India.
Delhi has 3 major seasons: the rainy season, the dry season, and the hot season. The best season of the year is the dry season from November to March, when the weather stays sunny the majority of the time. However, heavy fog may appear during January, which may cause hindrance to your sightseeing and travel schedules. It is best to have at least 1 extra layer with you as the temperature can become low at night. It is not uncommon for the temperature to exceed 40°C during hot season from the end of March to May. Although the temperature drops during the rainy season from the end of July to August, the increase in humidity makes for uncomfortable conditions.
Currency and Exchange Rate, Tax, Currency exchange, Chip
Currency and Exchange Rate
The unit of currency is the rupee (Rs) and paisa (P). In Hindi, they are called rupaya (the plural is rupaye) and paisa (the plural is paise). Rs1 = P100. As of March 1, 2018, Rs1 equaled approx. JPY1.6.
There are nine denominations of banknotes: Rs1, Rs2, Rs5, Rs10, Rs20, Rs50, Rs100, Rs500, and Rs1000. There are nine types of coins: P5, P10, P20, P25, P50, Rs1, Rs2, Rs5, and Rs10. However, of those, the Rs1 and Rs2 banknotes and P5–P25 coins are almost never used.
Generally, tax is not imposed on shopping or at restaurants up to mid-level class, but it is imposed at hotels, in hotel restaurants, and upscale restaurants. The tax rate depends on the state, city, amount paid, etc.
[Hotels] It is good manners to tip when having luggage carried or asking for room service. A rule of thumb is Rs20 for mid-level hotels and approx. Rs30–Rs40 per piece of luggage at luxury hotels.
[Restaurants] Tipping is not required when included in the service charge, but in other cases a tip of approx. 5% of the meal charge should be left. However, at restaurants serving locals it is okay to leave change from the bill as a tip, and even that is optional.
[Other] A tip of approx. Rs100 or more per tourist should be given to a guide who provides individual guidance or when arrangements are made for a car.
Voltage and plug
Voltage is 220V–240V with a cycle of 50Hz. Plugs are most commonly Type B3, BF, B, and C.
Video and DVD
Video and DVD
When purchasing VHS, VCD, DVD, and BD, take note of the broadcasting system (Japan is NTSC; India is PAL) and region code (DVD is 2, BD is A in Japan; DVD is 5, BD is C in India). To play PAL, a device is needed that can switch to NTSC. The code must be the same for video and player, or one of them must be compatible with all regions for it to be played.
[Postal Fees] Airmail to Japan costs Rs15 for a picture postcard, Rs25 for a sealed letter. Airmail takes 4 days to 10 days to be delivered.
[Post Office Business Hours] Generally, it is open from 9:00–17:00 on weekdays.
|Situation||How to phone|
|[Telephoning Japan from India]||Ex. When calling (03) 1234-5678 or 090-1234-5678,
00 (International telephone identification number)
81 (Country Code, Japan)
3 or 90 (Remove the first 0 for area codes and mobile telephone numbers)
1234-5678 (Other parties telephone number)
|[Telephoning India from Japan]||International Telephone Company No. 001 (KDDI)*1, 0033 (NTT Communications) *1, 0061 (SoftBank Telecom) *1, 005345 (au Mobile) *2, 009130 (NTT DoCoMo Mobile) *3, 0046 (SoftBank Mobile)*4
010 (International Identification No.)
91 (Country Code, India)
11 (Remove the first 0 for area codes)
87654321 (Other parties telephone number)
*1 Not required if you have an international registration with "My Line" or "My Line Plus". See URL www.myline.org for details
*2 au does not require 005345.
*3 Pre-registration to World Wing is required for NTT DoCoMo. Does not require 009130.
*4 Call are possible without dialing 0046 from SoftBank.
* For the three cell phone carriers, hold down 0 until + appears, then add the country code and the phone number your wish to dial.
Holiday / National holiday
Holiday / National holiday
Of the national holidays, the following four days are established holidays. There are also various other holidays in each state.
January 26: Republic Day
August 15: Independence Day
October 2: Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday
December 25: Christmas
*Note that many tourist highlights are closed on January 26 and August 15.
The official language is Hindi, and English is the second official language. In addition, there are 21 different state government-approved languages and 844 dialects.The literacy rate is 74.04% (according to a 2011 national census).
Business hours, etc
General business hours noted below, but they are only guidelines. Actual business hours differ by establishment.
[Banks] 10:00–16:30 (until 14:00 on Sat.), closed on Sun., holidays.
[Department Stores/Shops] 10:00–19:00, closed on different days depending on the store.
[Restaurants] 11:00–23:00 (some places close from around 15:00–18:00)
The Muslim faith prohibits alcohol consumption. Hindus also are not very fond of alcohol. However, there are drinking establishments in every town, and patrons can drink in licensed restaurants and bars. However, in the states of Gujarat and Bihar, Kerala, Manipur, Nagaland there is a prohibition law, and even in states without such a law there are “dry days” when consuming alcohol is prohibited. On these days, alcohol is not sold. Drinking is prohibited throughout the country on specified holidays, such as on Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday and Independence Day. Also, the sale of alcohol is restricted in sacred Hindu places.The provision of alcohol is prohibited within 500 meters from highways or railway stations throughout the country. There are also restrictions on alcohol sales at holy Hindu locations.
There is an anti-smoking law enforced in public facilities in India. Places subject to the law include airport lounges, hotels, restaurants, cafés, bars, train stations, bus stops, shopping malls, movie theaters, hospitals, and schools. Violators will be fined Rs200. However, smoking is permitted in places that have smoking areas even if it is a public place.
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