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Is Japan Safe for Travel in 2021?

Updated August 2, 2021

Generally, Japan is very safe place to visit. Below, we've detailed everything you need to know about safety in Japan, from the coronavirus to why it's a great destination for solo travelers.

"Linelly helped us beyond anything we could've planned ourselves. Everything she suggested for us was spot-on, and I feel we got the best experience by following a local's guidance."
Kate, Recent Traveler
Kate, Recent Traveler

When will Japan be safe for travel?

Like most places around the world, Japan has cases of coronavirus. So, when will Japan be safe for travel?

Here's the latest: 

Neither vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers are permitted to travel to Japan for tourism at this time.  


Read on for more about staying safe in Japan—in normal circumstances: 

Japan is one of the 10 safest countries in the world

According to the 2019 Global Peace Index, Japan is the 9th most peaceful country in the world. (The report makes its determination based on factors like crime rate, poverty, conflict, and incarceration, among others.)

As such, Japan is ahead of countries like Switzerland, Ireland, and Finland!

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Solo female travelers love Japan

Solo traveler in Japan | Jezael Melgoza/Unsplash

On the whole, the Japanese people are kind, courteous, and respectful, making Japan a must-go for female travelers.

Plus, locals tell us that some hotels even offer women-only accommodations for an extra sense of security, and many trains have women-only cars.

Local Tip:

Since the #MeToo movement made its way to Japan, cabinet ministers have called for laws to make acts that were once frowned upon—such as groping or harassing—criminal and illegal.

The crime rate in Japan is low

There are pickpockets all over the world, but locals say that even in big cities like Tokyo or Kyoto, there just aren’t very many.

The same goes for violence—crime is basically nonexistent in Japan. Basically, you can go anywhere in Japan without fear.

Work with a local to plan your trip.
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The Fukushima disaster is completely contained

Since a 2011 tsunami destroyed the Fukushima nuclear power station, Japan has entirely contained the contaminated area and has removed the radioactive debris with record speed.

So whether you’re traveling all over Japan or just staying in Tokyo, you’re totally fine!

Japan is prepared for natural disasters

While there’s always a risk of earthquakes in Japan, it’s no larger than the risk in San Francisco. Additionally, locals tell us that Japan takes natural disaster preparation very seriously. Our trip planners gave us these earthquake tips:

  • While earthquakes are sudden, there are apps you can download that will notify you of an oncoming quake’s location and intensity.
  • Know the basics: take shelter under something sturdy—like a desk or a table—and wait for the shaking to stop.

If this is a concern, you can always get a local perspective. Locals can answer any questions you have about natural disasters in Japan. 

Local Tip:

While some people claim Tokyo is polluted, that’s simply not true. Tokyo is right on track with an average Air Quality Index, or AQI, of 43.18. LA, on the other hand, suffers from a dangerously high AQI of 60.51—almost a full third higher.

What to know about the Tokyo Olympics

Because of concerns over coronavirus, the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until 2021While they'll still be called Tokyo 2020, the games will take place from July 23, 2021 to August 8th, 2021

Feel free to send any and all Olympics questions to a local in Japan—they'll help you decide where to stay in Tokyo, what to eat, and which activities to prioritize.

You can also check out out our comprehensive guide to the Tokyo Olympics.

Emergency numbers everyone should know

Be prepared! Locals say these are good numbers to know: 

  • Police: 110
  • Fire, ambulance, and emergency rescue: 119
  • U.S. Embassy (Tokyo): +81 3-3224-5000

No matter where you visit in Japan, you'll find tons of must-do activities. And you don't want to worry too much about safety while enjoying all that Japan has to offer! 

Travel may be unsafe at the moment, but you can still start planning for future adventures. Work with a local to build your dream trip. Get started today.

Still have questions about travel to Japan?
Why not ask someone who lives there? ViaHero connects you with a local to help plan your trip. They’ll create a guidebook based on your personal travel style.
You’ll see a unique side of a destination and travel independently—all while saving time and money in the planning process. Find a local today.

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