At What Age Can You Start Doing This or That in Japan?

Japan’s Civil Code was amended on April 1, 2022, and the age of adulthood in Japan has been changed to 18.
In every country, there are age restrictions for, for example, drinking alcohol, smoking, and driving a car. We introduce how old you have to be to do these things in Japan.

Drinking alcohol

20 years old

It is forbidden by law to serve alcohol to people under 20 years old in stores and restaurants. Note that even though the age of adulthood has been lowered to 18, the minimum age for drinking alcohol is still 20!


20 years old

Like alcohol, the minimum age for smoking is still 20, even though the age of adulthood has been lowered to 18.

Driving a car

18 years old

In Japan, you can get a driver’s license at the age of 18.
*For trucks and other vehicles, the law was revised in 2022 to allow drivers to obtain a license at the age of 19.

Driving a motorcycle (less than or equal to 400cc)

16 years old

In the 1980s, there was a motorcycle boom among high school students; many 16-year-olds got their licenses, but today, not many 16-year-olds get their motorcycle licenses anymore. Many people get their car or motorcycle licenses after they become college students.


18 years old

People over the age of 18 are able to vote; before 2016, the minimum age was 20.

Getting married

18 years old

It used to be 18 years for men and 16 years for women.

*If you are under 20 years old, the law requires the approval of your parents or legal guardians.

Late-night labor (10 PM – 5 AM)

18 years old

Generally, late-night work is not permitted for people under 18 years old. (This does not apply in the case of emergencies, etc.)

Getting a passport valid for 10 years

18 years old

This age was lowered in 2022, in line with the lowering of the age of adulthood.