Is it Safe to Travel to Japan?

japan travel safety

How Safe is Japan?

Japan is known to be one of the safest countries in the world, with low crime rates and a sense of security that travelers often find surprising. Locals are known to leave their belongings unattended in cafes and bars, although it’s not recommended for visitors to do the same. While the overall safety is high, there are still some important factors that travelers should be aware of before visiting Japan.

Environmental and Weather Safety

Due to its geographical location in the “Ring of Fire,” Japan frequently experiences natural disasters caused by the movement of tectonic plates. These disasters include earthquakes, tsunamis, extreme flooding, and typhoons. Fortunately, Japan’s infrastructure is designed to withstand these occurrences, minimizing the potential for widespread harm. However, it is important to note that these events may increase in frequency and severity if the global climate crisis is not addressed adequately.

Typhoons are the most common natural phenomena that travelers may encounter in Japan. The official typhoon season lasts from August to October, but it can start as early as May. During these months, heavy rains and strong winds are expected, and there is a possibility of flooding. However, as severe typhoons tend to move slowly, it is unlikely for travelers to be caught unaware. By being prepared with appropriate clothing and having alternative indoor activities planned, the risk of encountering danger directly from typhoons is greatly reduced.

Earthquakes are quite common in Japan, although the majority of them are low on the “shindo” scale, which measures earthquake severity. These low-magnitude earthquakes typically cause minimal damage. In the unlikely event of a serious earthquake, it is important to follow the instructions of local authorities or your Intrepid leader. If you find yourself alone, dropping to the ground and covering your neck and shoulders to protect yourself from falling debris is recommended. Contrary to popular belief, doorways are not necessarily the safest place to seek shelter during an earthquake. Instead, if available, hiding under a sturdy desk is a better option.

In 2011, Japan experienced a devastating tsunami, triggered by the largest earthquake in the country’s recorded history. Since then, major sea walls have been constructed in vulnerable areas, reducing the risk of tsunamis. Travelers should not be overly concerned about the potential threat of tsunamis during their visit.

For a comprehensive guide to weather in Japan, click here.

Safety for LGBTQIA+ Travelers

Japan is generally considered a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travelers. This inclusive and progressive country provides a welcoming environment for all visitors. To learn more about safety for LGBTQIA+ travelers in Japan and to explore the vibrant queer culture in Tokyo and Osaka, read here.

Safety for Solo Female Travelers

Japan is known to be a safe destination for solo female travelers. Verbal street harassment is relatively uncommon, and women can generally walk alone without feeling bothered or threatened. However, there is an unfortunate issue of “chikan,” which refers to non-consensual groping and rubbing that often occurs in crowded trains. While some train companies have introduced women-only train carriages, their existence remains controversial. It is important to note that convictions for sexual assault perpetrators in Japan are rare. Additionally, photographing women without their consent, particularly by taking “upskirt” photos, is somewhat common in cities like Kyoto and Tokyo.

To learn more about solo travel with Intrepid, click here.

Tips for Staying Safe in Japan

  • Carefully consider whether the season you plan to travel in suits your physical limitations or preferences.
  • Stay updated on weather conditions regularly.
  • Familiarize yourself with evacuation points and procedures in your accommodation.
  • Ensure you have a local SIM card or a reliable means of staying contactable at all times.
  • Download the earthquake warning app, Yurekuru Call.
  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance to protect yourself and your belongings.

Is the Tap Water Safe to Drink in Japan?

Find out more about current travel alerts and advisories to stay informed throughout your trip.

Click here to return to Japan FAQs.

Our Tours in Japan

If you’re ready to embark on a journey to Japan, explore our exciting tours that showcase the country’s rich culture, vibrant cities, and breathtaking landscapes. Experience the safety, beauty, and wonders of Japan with us.

From ancient temples to modern metropolises, Japan offers an array of captivating experiences that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Join us on one of our carefully crafted tours and immerse yourself in the unique charm of Japan.

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