Can You Fly A Drone in Tokyo? (Answered)


In this blog post, we’ll explore the question, “Is drone flying allowed in Tokyo?”.

So, let’s jump in and discover everything you need to know — regulations, penalties (if any) and safety tips to keep in mind!

Can You Fly A Drone in Tokyo

Can You Fly a Drone in Tokyo?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Tokyo. However, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the local regulations and guidelines to ensure a safe and legal flying experience. Here drone flights are regulated by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), which has specific rules and restrictions in place to protect public safety and privacy. By adhering to these regulations and respecting the local authorities’ guidelines, drone enthusiasts can enjoy capturing stunning aerial footage while exploring Tokyo’s beautiful landscapes.

Overview of Drone Regulations

Let’s take a look at some of the key points for drone regulations:

Maximum Altitude Limits

  • Drones must not exceed an altitude of 150 meters without obtaining special permission from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.
  • In densely populated areas, drones should not be flown higher than 60 meters above the ground unless permission has been granted by related authorities.

Distance Restrictions

  • Drones should not be flown over densely populated areas or any area where people gather, and must maintain a safe distance of 30 meters or more from the public.
  • The maximum altitude for flying a drone is below 150 meters, and they must not be operated within a 9km radius of airports.

Prohibited Activities and Actions

  • Drone operators are strictly prohibited from flying their drones over densely populated areas (more than 4,000 people per square kilometer) unless they have received special permission from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.
  • All drone pilots must ensure their drone remains at least 30 meters away from people, buildings, and vehicles, not under the operator’s control, to prevent any potential accidents or damage.

Privacy and Data Protection Considerations

  • All drone operators must respect individuals’ privacy rights. Recording or capturing images of private properties or individuals without explicit consent is prohibited under the Act on the Protection of Personal Information.
  • Data collected by drones, including photos or videos, must be securely stored and properly managed. Unauthorized use, sharing, or leakage of such data is a violation of the Personal Information Protection Commission’s rules and regulations.

Commercial Operations

  • All commercial drone operators must secure a flight permit from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) prior to any operations, especially in densely populated areas and near airports.
  • Commercial drones must not weigh more than 200 kg without the necessary permissions and should not fly higher than 150 meters without obtaining the proper clearance from the relevant authorities.

Penalties for Violating Drone Regulations

Violating drone regulations in Tokyo can lead to serious consequences. These penalties can range from fines, imprisonment, or both depending on the severity of the offense. For instance, if you fly a drone in a densely populated area or around an airport without obtaining proper permission, you may be fined up to 500,000 yen (around 4,500 USD as per current rates).

Further, if your drone causes injury or damage, you could be subjected to criminal charges with penalties even harsher. It is therefore crucial to observe all drone regulations in Tokyo. These penalties are not just monetary, they could also impact your reputation and future ability to operate drones. It’s not worth taking the risk, so always ensure you have the necessary permissions and follow the guidelines set forth by authorities.

Tips for Safe and Responsible Drone Flying in Tokyo

To ensure a positive drone flying experience and comply with the regulations, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Respect Local Regulations: Always abide by Tokyo’s specific laws and guidelines for drone use, which may include restrictions on flying over populated areas or near airports.
  2. Drone Insurance: Protect yourself from unexpected damage or injuries by obtaining drone insurance, which is compulsory for drone pilots in Tokyo.
  3. Maintain Line of Sight: Ensure your drone is always in your sight while flying, to avoid collisions or loss of control.
  4. Flight Time Management: Monitor your drone’s battery life closely to prevent crashes from sudden power loss, especially over areas where recovery may be difficult.
  5. Respect Privacy: Avoid flying over private property or filming without consent to respect the privacy rights of individuals and businesses in Tokyo.


Can I Fly My Drone at Night in Tokyo?

Yes, you can fly your drone at night in Tokyo. However, you must adhere to Japan’s drone regulations, which include not causing hazard to people or property and ensuring the drone is always in sight.

Can You Bring a Drone to Tokyo?

Yes, you can bring a drone to Tokyo. However, while flying a drone in Tokyo is generally permitted, it’s vital to adhere to Japanese drone laws and local regulations to ensure safe and legal operation.

Do I Need a License or Permit to Fly a Drone in Tokyo?

Yes, you need a license or permit to fly a drone in Tokyo. Japan’s Aviation Law requires drone pilots to secure a permit from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism for specific drone activities.


Before you launch your drone into the Tokyo skies, it’s crucial to understand the area’s drone laws and regulations.

This applies not only to Tokyo but also to other destinations around the world. For example, if you’re heading to Daytona Beach, it’s important to know the specific rules and guidelines for drone flying there. Similarly, if you have dreams of capturing breathtaking footage of Dubrovnik or exploring drone opportunities around Jerusalem, it’s essential to be aware of the local drone regulations in those locations as well.

Drone laws are subject to change, and information in this blog may become outdated; always consult official sources for the latest regulations.

So, whether you’re planning a leisurely flight or engaging in commercial drone operations, make sure to fly responsibly, and stay informed.

Resources and Further Information:

Photo of author
Peter Karanja is a licensed drone pilot from Kenya, freelance writer and drone enthusiast. He has been using drones for land survey, GIS, and photography for the past three years. Being a drone user, he loves writing about drone applications, safety tips for using drones, and the best ways to get the most out of a drone.

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