I'm hiking a lot in Japan. Japan has, next to other animals, lots of black (everywhere) and brown bears (in the north). Needless to say, I'd like to protect myself. Pepper sprays have been proven to be very effective. Thus I always carry a big spray when hiking. On my hiking backpack I carry it outside in a side pocket which is kind of a net, so see thorough (partly). So you might be able to see it. Well I doubt that bears will go and sue me but: afaik Japan has a concealed carry law that applies to pepper spray as well. This article backs me on this, I think: https://izumi-keiji.jp/column/houritsu-gimon/goshin-spray

So I wonder:

  • What exactly is concealed in this case?
  • Do I violate the law when carrying while hiking?

And more broadly not totally related to the question:

  • What if I take a train from/to the mountain? do I have to display the can at all times? Am I even allowed to carry it at all?
  • what if I spray someone, like that Joker guy recently, for self defense while on the way from/to the mountain?
  • what if I carry the can to a friend to lend it?

Disclaimer: my Japanese is very bad and I have no legal background

1 Answer 1


Yes, it’s illegal

Owning pepper spray is illegal in Japan. Find another way to deal with the bears.

  • Sorry but I don't think it's illegal. First of all, normal shops sell it. Second, even the article you linked doesn't say it's illegal. It says it's illegal to carry it concealed. Hope that's what you meant. So please update your answer. But I can't check it anyway, that article is not a trusted source really ^^
    – steros
    Nov 2, 2021 at 0:21

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