The JPN-AU Power Adapter Situation

And trust me. It is a situation.

Unfortunately I can’t offer insight for anyone living outside of AU, but in Australia this is how it went down.

Finding a JPN-AU Adapter

Firstly, it was impossible to find a JPN-AU adapter in Perth anywhere outside of the airport and the one at the airport will set you back about $30 AUD.

You can buy ‘universal’ adapters, but let me tell you, if they don’t have two parallel pins that are thin and rectangular then your adapter is not as universal as it claims to be!

Here’s what the JPN side of your adapter should look like:

Parallel. Must be PARALLEL

Parallel. Must be PARALLEL

By a stroke of luck/paranoia I decided to buy a JPN-AU adapter at the airport even though Monique had a ‘universal adapter.’ I figured it couldn’t hurt to have two. And it was a good thing that I did.

Because even if you do find the right adapter with the right pins, there’s another problem. The JPN-AU adapter I bought only has two pin sockets on the AU side.

Why you do this?

Why you do this?

Some AU appliances only have two pins (like my hairdryer) so, no problem. Other appliances, such as my laptop charger (which I count as far more important), have three pins.

Again, by a total stroke of luck, Monique’s universal adapter changed the two-pin AU adapter into a three-pin AU adapter.

A stroke of luck!

A stroke of luck!

Not as universal as you might think

Not as universal as you might think

We’re like The Planeteers of travel adapters!

So here’s everything you’ll need to power your appliances in Japan if you’re travelling from Australia:

The total package


The hilarious thing about this situation is:

  1. It’s totally unstable, and will hang out of the wall, causing you to prop it up with a spare shoe and;
  2. Even when you get your stuff working, you’ll find that the voltage is different in Japan. This rendered my hairdryer completely useless.


Good luck with your adapter situation!

Until next time,

Kally & Mon

[Feature Image Credit: Pando Daily]

If anyone who lives in or has travelled extensively in Japan has any suggestions or information on the whole hairdryer thing, please leave a comment. It won’t help us now but maybe it can help someone reading ^.^

6 thoughts on “The JPN-AU Power Adapter Situation

  1. Pingback: From Home to Haneda – a dubious start | JaPlanning

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  4. Bahaha I’m in Tokyo and just discovered that my adapter doesn’t work (it’s from America, which the Intarwebz promised me would work because it’s also got the two parallel pins… however my US adapter has a grounding pin too and none of the powerpoints in my apartment stick out far enough to use it!) so I googled ‘where to get a power adapter in Tokyo’. Lo and behold, your blog pops up!

    Anyway. Now I’m off to find a power adapter so I can use my computer beyond today. Technology, huh?

    • Haha, Erin! It’s so frustrating! Plus the voltage is all different so it takes longer to charge and hairdryers don’t work..oh my goodness! I’m actually going back to Tokyo in late March – so friggen excited!

      What are you up to in Tokyo at the moment?? 🙂

      – kally

      • Oh tell me about it. Nothing works!

        Just having a week here before I meet Tosh in Singapore next week! Then actually home for a month before heading off elsewhere… Not sure where yet! A few options on the cards

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