Is It Safe to Travel to Japan?

Japan is a top international destination on many travelers’ bucket lists, offering exclusive natural beauty and a vibrant city culture. If you're planning a trip, it's essential to be informed about the necessary precautions. According to the State Department’s Travel Advisory list, as of January 2024, Japan is listed as a “Level 1” destination, indicating that travelers should exercise “normal precautions.” Here’s a closer look at what that entails: 

What are Some Normal Precautions I Should Take While in Japan?

"Normal precautions" means you should practice safety measures like those you would use traveling around somewhere close or local—your city, hometown, or another state. These include: 

  • Research your destination: Before arriving, familiarize yourself with local lodging, food, transportation, attractions, and potential risks. 
  • Blend in: Avoid dressing in a way that overtly signals you're a tourist. 
  • Secure important documents: Make copies and ensure people know your whereabouts. 
  • Protect your valuables: Keep them on you or securely stored, never left unattended in hotel rooms. 
  • Use secure connections: Avoid public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions. 
  • Stay alert: Always be aware of your surroundings. Practice common-sense safety measures, the way you would in any public setting. 

Do I need Vaccinations to Travel to Japan?

Travelers to Japan do not need specific vaccinations; however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend ensuring you are up-to-date on routine vaccinations such as: 

  • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) 
  • Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP) 
  • Varicella (chickenpox) 
  • Polio 
  • Hepatitis A (potential food and water contamination) 
  • Hepatitis B (needle-related) 
  • Japanese encephalitis (for long stays or significant outdoor exposure) 

Consult a travel health professional or visit the CDC's website for the most current travel health advice. 

Are there any health Risks when Traveling in Japan? 

While Japan is relatively low in health risks, travelers should be aware of: 

  • Foodborne illnesses: Particularly from street food or in remote areas. Safe food handling practices and the Hepatitis A vaccine are advised. 
  • Japanese encephalitis: Though rare, it's transmitted by mosquitoes. Vaccination is recommended for those spending extended periods in rural areas during mosquito season (May-September). 

What are some of the Dangers, Threats, & Alerts in Japan?

Japan enjoys one of the lowest crime rates globally, with minimal occurrences of petty and violent crimes.  

However, travelers should remain vigilant, especially in the 4 Tokyo nightlife districts, where petty thefts like pickpocketing or purse snatching are more common: 

  • Kabukicho 
  • Roppongi 
  • Shibuya 
  • Ikebukuro  

Use Travel Bags: Travel experts recommend that if you visit these areas, secure your belongings. Use a sling bag or travel bag and avoid putting your phone/wallet in your back pocket, where someone could pinch it in a crowded spot. 

Consider attaching your phone to a lanyard to keep it on you and make it easily accessible. 

Do a personal pat-down before/after leaving spaces. Pat yourself down to confirm you have your belongings. 

Install apps: Apps like “Find my phone” or “find my friends” are great additions to ensure you keep track of your things and people. 

Minimize credit card/ATM fraud, particularly in tourist-heavy areas: Use ATMs only in secure, well-lit areas. Regularly check your accounts for unauthorized charges.  

While petty theft exists in cities worldwide, Japan is also known for a strong social culture: for every story of petty crime, there are hundreds of stories of kind strangers who go out of their way to return belongings or help a tourist. Practice common sense and social courtesy, and Japan is likely to be a safe, enjoyable experience. 

What are some tips for Women & Children Travelers?

Women travelers should be aware of the risk of harassment, particularly in crowded public spaces. Women-only train cars and rideshares are available for added security.  

The West Japan Railroad offers a “women-only option” in order to minimize harassment and ensure a safe travel experience for women, children, and people with disabilities.  

Japan has offered “women-only” public transit since 1912, so this is not a new phenomenon. These rides are usually the first and last train routes of the day, but be sure to check the station’s websites for any schedule changes. 

Women-Only Ride Share Apps: Apps such as Didi, Uber, and Go are used in Japan, and many offer women-only options for increased safety. 

Keep a digital picture of your passport in case you lose it, and write down your hotel/lodging contact information. Avoid anyone trying to lure you into a bar or business. 

What are the Natural Disasters Risks in Japan?

Japan's geographic location makes it susceptible to tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides, and typhoons. Stay informed through local weather warnings and advisories from the Japanese Meteorological Agency.  

Use Apps to Stay Informed:  

  • NERV Disaster Prevention App and Yurekuru Call are smartphone apps that deliver natural disaster emergency warnings.  
  • Japan Tourism Agency’s Safety Tips: Provides alerts specifically geared for tourists, including earthquake, tsunami, and evacuation flow chart information. 
  • Pocket Shelter combines tourism with disaster relief. This app shows thousands of nearby restaurants, tourist sightseeing spots, and public restrooms—as well as evacuation points if needed. 
  • Japan Shelter Guide: helps users locate the nearest disaster shelter or medical facility, along with up-to-date extreme weather information. 
  • Japan AED Map: Helps users locate the nearest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in the event of a cardiac incident. 


As of 2024, Japan has no COVID-19, proof of vaccination, or quarantine requirements in place for travelers entering or exiting the country. 

Do I need Travel Insurance for Japan? 

Protect your travel experience by enrolling in travel insurance. Travel insurance comes in a variety of tiers, each with specific benefits for your type of trip.  

The cost of insurance depends on the total cost and duration of your trip, and additional factors such as pre-existing medical conditions, depth of coverage, your age, and add-ons. On average, travel insurance costs around 5-8% of your total trip cost. For more information, review our plans and add-ons. 

Look for plans that cover baggage/belongings, trip cancellation/delay, and medical emergency evacuation. Other benefits to travel insurance can include: 

AXA offers flexible travel protection plans to keep you secure, including: 

  • 24/7 assistance from licensed agents 
  • Emergency medical costs coverage abroad 
  • Medical repatriation: getting you or a loved one back home safely following a medical emergency  
  • Lost/stolen luggage reimbursement 
  • Emergency evacuation in the event of a natural disaster 
  • COVID-19 insurance 
  • Interruption of stay coverage (reimbursement of non-refundable expenses in the event of a forced early return) 
  • Learn more about our plans here (Disclosure: This section is a sponsored advertisement by AXA).  


Traveling to Japan is considered safe, especially when equipped with the right information and preparations. Always follow local guidelines and stay updated on any travel advisories or restrictions. 

Remember, the key to a safe and enjoyable trip is preparation! 

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