Navigating Drone Regulations in Japan: A Guide for International Enthusiasts

Welcome back, tech enthusiasts and fellow drone aficionados!
If you’re planning to bring your drone to the Land of the Rising Sun, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Japan’s drone regulations to ensure a safe and hassle-free experience.
Japan is a country known for its beautiful landscapes, bustling cities, and technological innovation, making it a perfect place for stunning aerial photography and exploration.
However, strict drone laws are in place to maintain safety and privacy.
Let’s dive into what you need to know.

Basic Regulations

Registration: All drones weighing 100 grams or more must be registered with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) under the Civil Aeronautics Act.
This rule applies to both residents and visitors.
You must display a registration ID on your unmanned aircraft and equip it with a remote ID function. Check the “Unmanned Aircraft Registration Web Portal” for detailed instructions.

No-Fly Zones:

  • Airports: Flying within 9 kilometers (about 5.6 miles) of airports is prohibited.
  • Crowded Areas: Avoid flying over densely populated areas, including busy city centers.
  • Government Buildings and Infrastructure: Steer clear of government buildings, power plants, and other critical infrastructure.
  • Parks and Public Spaces: Specific parks and public spaces may have their own restrictions, so check local guidelines.

Prohibited Airspace: The prohibited airspace includes areas around airports and densely inhabited districts (DID) . Make sure to verify these zones before flying.

Prohibited Ways to Fly: Regardless of the airspace, you must adhere to several flight operation rules:

  • Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Conduct preflight checks.
  • Avoid collisions with airplanes and other unmanned aircraft.
  • Do not fly carelessly or recklessly.

Altitude Limit: Drones must not exceed an altitude of 150 meters (492 feet) above ground level.

Line of Sight: Always keep your drone within your visual line of sight.

Daylight Flying: Drones can only be flown during daylight hours. Night flying is not allowed without special permission.

Privacy Concerns: Respect the privacy of individuals by avoiding flights over private property and abstaining from capturing personal data without consent.

Special Permissions

If you need to fly in restricted areas or in ways that deviate from the standard regulations, you must obtain special permission from the MLIT.
This includes reporting your flight plan (time, date, route, and altitude) in advance and maintaining a flight logbook with details of your flights, inspections, and maintenance.
Additionally, any accidents or serious incidents must be reported immediately.

Tips for a Smooth Experience

  1. Research Local Rules: Each region or city might have additional rules. Research and respect local regulations wherever you fly.
  2. Insurance: Consider getting drone insurance to cover any potential damage or accidents.
  3. Carry Documentation: Always have your drone registration and any special permissions with you while flying.
  4. Respect Nature and Culture: Japan’s natural beauty and cultural heritage are paramount. Ensure your drone activities do not disrupt wildlife or cultural sites.

Popular Drone Spots

Japan offers some breathtaking spots perfect for drone flights, as long as you follow the rules:

  • Mount Fuji: Capture the iconic peak, but be mindful of restricted areas.
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove: While beautiful from the ground, check local guidelines before flying.
  • Okinawa Beaches: Pristine beaches and clear waters provide stunning aerial views.


Japan’s drone regulations are designed to ensure the safety and privacy of everyone while still allowing drone enthusiasts to enjoy capturing the country’s beauty from above.
By understanding and following these rules, you can have an enjoyable and responsible flying experience in Japan.

Fly safe, and happy droning!

Our company operates a drone school, so if you want to learn more about drones, please feel free to contact us!


Certified by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism as a “Registered Training Institution,” offering first-class and second-class qualification courses
We also offer Komatsu-certified practical surveying courses!

◆ Our practical instructors, with extensive experience in operating various types of rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and conducting empirical experiments, provide thorough guidance.
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◆ We boast Japan’s largest drone training dome in Okayama Prefecture, with a wide outdoor flight space suitable for various training purposes.
◆ Accommodation with an open-air hot spring bath is available just a two-minute walk from the training venue. Special school discounts are offered for accommodation.


Okayama Prefecture Wake School
681-1 Masuhara, Wake-cho, Wake-gun, Okayama Prefecture 709-0452
Inside Ikigai Craft Center, Wakuukai Valley Traffic Park


Ishikawa Prefecture Awazu School
Wo 72-2 Tsukizumachi, Komatsu City, Ishikawa Prefecture 923-8530
Komatsu Training Center Co., Ltd., Awazu Center