Smokers’ surroundings are in a difficult situation more and more.
Tax free tobacco
Until 30st September 2021, 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars 20 individual
packages of Heat-not-Burn tobacco or 500g of other tobacco products are
allowed to bring into Japan with you.
Bad news for smokers is that the tax-free allowance will be reduced to the following after October 1st, 2021,
The benefit of the non-resident visiting Japan will be gone.
Cigarettes 200 cigarettes
Heat-not-Burn Electric tobacco 10 individual packages
Cigars 50 cigars
Other tobacco products 250 g
Simultaneously, from October 1, 2021, tobacco prices in Japan will increase.
・ Natural American Spirit: Current 570 yen → Revised 600 yen
・ Seven Stars, Peace (20 pieces): Current 560 yen → Revised 600 yen
・ Mevius: Current 540 yen → Revised 580 yen (used to be called “Mild Seven”)
・ Pianissimo: Current 540 yen → Revised 570 yen
・ Winston (casters, cabins): Current 500 yen → Revised 540 yen
・ Camel: Current 450 yen → Revised 460 yen
・ Marlboro brand: Current 570 yen → Revised 600 yen
・ Lark brand: Current 500 yen → Revised 540 yen
・ Parliament brand: Current 540 yen → Revised 580 yen
・ Virginia Slims brand: Current 530 yen → Revised 570 yen
・ Philip Morris brand: Current 400 yen → Revised 430 yen
・ Kent’s major stocks: Current 500 yen → Revised 520 yen
・ Kent S series: Current 480 yen → Revised 580 yen
・ Main brands of Cool: Current 530 yen → Revised 580 yen
・ Lucky Strike major brands: Current 560 yen → Revised 600 yen
・ Lucky Strike Expert Cut: Current 430 yen → Revised 450 yen
・ Lucky Strike Expert Cut Menthol: Current 430 yen → Revised 450 yen
・ Lucky Strike Black Series Chillberry: Current 400 yen → Revised 450 yen
How to buy tobacco in Japan?
In Japan, when you buy tobacco, you buy it by a number at shops, so you can’t buy it without knowing the number which tobacco you want.
You can buy it at a tobacco shop and convenience store and supermarket, but you often need to specify the number as well.
There are more than 200 brands of tobacco. It is definitely difficult for the busy clerk to put out the right cigarette, So customers are required to say the number of your favourite tobacco at convenience stores.
This is to help each other at convenience stores efficiently.
Also, the confusing matter is that the number lists are different on the convenience store chains and others.
If you take the courage and say the brand name clearly, the friendly clerk at the convenience store will sell it. for you.
Also, you need to show your ID to ensure your age by driver license etc., It is required to prove your age such as your passport. Therefore, it would be recommended that you buy tobacco at a duty-free shop of departure airport in advance.
Buying tobacco by vending machines?
Japan is the paradise of vending machines. No doubt, there are many tobacco vending machines (amazingly 320,000 machines for tobacco sales) but you can’t buy tobacco by them. The machines request a special ID card (Taspo card) to purchase tobacco.
Recently new type of tobacco vending machines without using Taspo) showed up. They use the face recognition technology but the numbers are limited.
Duty free shop is the best way to buy tobacco
As we explained smokers would be better to buy cigarettes at duty-free shops before entering Japan.
In the past, tobacco made in Japan was a good deal because the amount of cigarettes brought in was increased. in this way, Non-residents had a big advantage, but as I wrote above, October 1, 2021
This system from the day is gone, and only the same quantity can be brought in regardless of resident or non-resident.
Either way, Japan is becoming a tough country for smokers.