Before flying drones in Japan, check out the drone laws.
When you are having a travel in Japan, do you want to take special photographs or the vlog with drones?
But if you do not know the drones laws in Japan, it will probably get some trouble. In fact, there are some drones laws be stetted in somewhere looks safe.
To avoid the hassle of flying a drone in a no-fly area, make a flight plan before flying a drone.
1.About flight restrictions
1-1.What is the drone regulation?
First I will introduce the drones that can be flown in Japan.
Drones that can be flown in Japan must allow one of these two conditions. The drone that be flown is made in Japan, or the drone meet technical standards set by Japan’s radio law. The drones that were met Japan’s radio law will have a mark called “技適マーク” in Japanese. It means the mark about meeting technical standards. Before you fly the drone in Japan, you can check the mark on your drone.
Next I will introduce the drone laws in Japan.
In general, drones of more than 200g are subject to drone laws. Drones are not allowed to fly in the following areas and conditions, which require prior approval from Japan’s transport minister.
- Near airports or airfields.
- Above 150m.
- Over densely populated areas.
Mavic mini can not fly becase it is more than 200g.
Mavic mini that Japanese original is under 200g.
In the areas inconsistent with the above, drones can be flown. However, prior approval is required if one or more of the following flight methods are not applicable.
- Fly the drones in daytime (within the time band from sunrise to sunset).
- Drones need to be kept within visual range during flight.
- The range of drones and people or objects in flight should be no more than 30m.
- Drones are not allowed to fly over places where many people gather, such as festivals.
- Drones cannot be used to transport dangerous goods such as explosives.
- Drones cannot be used to drop objects from high altitudes.
Those who violate the drone laws will be fined 500,000 yen, please be careful!
1-2.The flight restrictions stetted by drone laws
You might be thinking, “If I fly the drone in somewhere that does not have the drone laws, and do not use the dangerous methods of flying. It will be OK”. But according to the regulations, some autonomous units will also set flight restrictions.
For example, somewhere like the parks in Tokyo, looks safe. But actually almost all parks in Tokyo are banned from flying drones. The worst result would be a fine of 50,000 yen.
Even outside Tokyo, many municipalities like Hokkaido, Osaka, Kyoto and elsewhere have their own regulations for drones.
2.How to check the no-fly zone?
I will introduce how to make it easy to check if there are flight restrictions in the area you want to fly.
GSI Maps are the maps made by Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. GSI Maps can clearly know the population concentration area, like Tokyo or Osaka. The red areas are the ones that are on-fly zones. But GSI Maps only has Japanese version, which may not be so easy for travelers who want to fly drones in Japan……
2-2.DJI GEO ZONE MAP
DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer by market share, offers a safe flight map. This map is DJI GEO Zone Map. This map also has detailed information on the rules of flying, and is recommended here for beginners.
The inquiry of DJI’s restricted flight zone is not only about the tips of the places with concentrated population, but also about the regulations of restricted airspace according to the local regulations and guidelines, the restricted airspace near airports and so on. It also has the recommended flight zone of DJI.
3.About the flight request
While there are many places where have the flight restrictions, they are not 100% off limits. You can still fly drones if you apply before you fly and pass.
If you want to fly drones in restricted areas requires permission from the Minister of Land、Infrastructure and Transport. Also, sometimes permission from the autonomous units and owners is required. However, the website or office window of these applications can only speak Japanese, and the procedure is very complicated. So it may be difficult for foreigners.So it is not recommended for people just going to Japan foe travel. If you have to fly a drone in a restricted area because of work problems, you can also entrust an administrative scrivener to operate it for you (dorosatsu can also act for the administrative scrivener).
“It is too much trouble to apply, but I want to fly drones while I am traveling.” for travelers who think, it’s recommended to fly drones in areas where there are no flight restrictions. You can check the DJI GEO Zone Map, and there is also a flight recommendation area. The area with no flight restrictions also has a lot of beautiful scenery to take and to discover.
Nowadays, not only for business, but also for travel. More and more tourists are using drones to take photographs or vlogs. But it is not uncommon in Japan these days for tourists to be punished for flying drones in a no-fly zone.
I hope that you can abide by the drone laws and regulations of Japan, and enjoy your travel in Japan safely and happily.