I'll admit I bought my drone before reading all the rules and regulations in Japan. My wife, of course, was a little worried and started to look into the finer print of how to fly responsibly. It's actually pretty fair and I'll do my best to explain how it works. But I would recommend a Japanese person to translate the information if you're not able to read it all.
In Japan, there are red zones via google maps of where you can and can't fly. Before you decide to go out you should check the Jstatmap website which we'll provide below.
Next, if you want to fly in a red zone then you'll need to send in an application to the Japanese government 10 days before you fly. I believe you'll need to provide details of your drone and any modifications you have done. Good news, if you have a DJi no photo is needed. Insurance is a must and that is something I'll definitely be purchasing soon. DJi actually provides insurance for 12,000 yen per year.
Obviously, you can't fly near airports and they do require you to fly higher than 30m if above shrines and other large buildings. I wonder if slow pans into a shrine would be ok, that's one of my favourite shots.
So really just be smart, ask permission and if you can take screen shots of the area you want to fly before you leave. On a final note, no license is needed. So if someone comes up to you and says you need a license just tell them no I don't because you studied this before you flew out right?
Here are the links you'll need:
2. How the map works
3. Map Access
Fly safe everyone....