You got your drone. But you’re a newbie. Now what? First, here’s an overview of the rental process:
- Place your provisional order and order your drone
- Pass the safety & regulations test online and confirm your order
- Receive your drone in the mail at your designated pickup (home, hotel or airport)
- Confirm that all the equipment in the box are there and intact. If you are missing anything or anything is damaged, get in touch with Seranova immediately at email@example.com
- Read the manual carefully and watch additional safety videos on “how to fly.”
- Decide where you’d like to fly based on the safe fly zones in Japan (utilize map applications or the SORAPASS app that is included in your rental)
- Fly your drone during the 1- week rental period, safely and carefully!
- If you encounter an accident or damage, make sure to notify Seranova immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org
- On the last day of the rental period, make sure you have all the pieces repacked in the return box
- Follow the instructions included to return the drone to us, via your local convenience store or Yamato office.
You may only select a delivery date at least 20 days form the time of order (this allows us to conduct checks and handle any unforeseen issues with inventory or delivery). You will receive the drone directly to the address you provided in the AM on the first day of your rental period (or in rare cases, in the afternoon if you live in a distant delivery zone such as Okinawa). We don’t deliver to remote islands as of now, so if you plan to travel to use your drone make sure you arrange to pick it up in a major city area to be sure of not facing any delays.
The drone will include all of the pieces below. For more info on the specifications click here. If there’s something that is missing please let us know immediately at email@example.com
- DJI Drone (Mavic Mini or Mavic Pro 2 as per your selection)
- Battery Charger
- 6 propellers
- 32GB memory card
- Return box with shipping label sticker
After your rental period is over please make sure that all of the pieces are intact and in the return box.
Feel like you’re trying to stick a round peg into a square hole? Make sure the box closes properly as things will shift around during shipping.
You can return the drone to any convenience store in before 5pm on weekdays. Our high speed delivery team will collect the drones once a day from the convenient store. Here is a list of convenience stores. We ship nationwide in Japan, except to remote islands where delays are likely.
Once you receive your drone in the mail there are a few points to read up on before taking your drone out!
Regulations in Japan
There is still some stigma in Japan around flying drones. This is largely because some guy flew a drone carrying radioactive waste over the Prime Minister’s house. It takes a while to recover from bad PR like this, particularly in Japan.
Fortunately there are still plenty of places around Tokyo where you can fly your drone. Please check our website for an ever growing list. The general rule is that you can’t fly in any of the public parks or around buildings or power lines. Or airports. If you’re flying inside or at a wedding venue for example than most of the time you just need to get permission from the building or venue owner.
When in doubt, always ask.
We’ve never had any customer get into trouble flying their drones (knock on wood). But we have heard of people getting fined up to 5k USD for blatantly flying in no fly zones. This is dumb and can be avoided by some simple research, practice and double checking. And don’t fly in downtown Shibuya. We’re not liable for this, and expect everyone to follow local regulations. 🙂
You do not need a drone “license” in Japan and in fact no such thing exists that is recognised by the government.
Go a little bit outside of the centre parts of the city and the flying space opens up drastically. The DJI map is the best resource that maps out the “no fly zones” in bright red, so it will be very clear. Mt. Takao (the most climbed mountain in the world) is a good place to go, golf courses are generally lenient, and paintball courses are all green lighted.
How to fly
On average it takes about 20-30 minutes to get comfortable flying a DJI drone. The design and controls are intuitive, like a video game controller. Please take a few minutes to watch the intro video below that will familiarise you with the controls until you’re familiar with the basics.
Here is a slightly longer version.
A quick setup guide for first time users:
- Unpack the drone
- Charge the battery (this takes about 2-3 hours)
- In order to fly the drone you will need to connect a tablet device — iPhone, iPad or the such to the controller.
- You will also need your charging wire to connect the controller to your tablet or device. Don’t forget this or else you can’t fly!
- Download the DJI-GO app on your phone. You will need this to navigate.
- Watch the video above to get started with the controls and settings.
Saving your pictures/videos
The videos and pictures you take on the map can be saved directly on your phone after flight. Select “save.” There is also an editor function (at the bottom of the app) if you’d like to cut out certain frames.
Every Phantom 4 comes with a mini memory card which can be located at the base of the phantom. If you’d like to download and save the 4k quality files then you’ll need to transfer to your computer or external drive. The USB is micro so you might need a micro USB adapter depending on your device.
…and that’s about it. We hope you have an awesome (and safe) time flying your drone in Japan! For questions about rentals, return, delivery and other please visit our FAQs here.