ViaHero · December 13, 2018
Though it's ranked as one of the safest places in the world, there's a lot about Japan's safety that you should know. Check out this information on safety in Japan, and then ask yourself: when am I booking my trip to Japan?! Drop us a line with any questions or concerns.
Going to Japan? Experience it like a local.
Japan is one of the 10 safest countries in the world
Japan is the 9th-safest country in the world according to the Global Peace Index ranking, ranking only behind tiny countries like Iceland and New Zealand. The 2018 results, which ranked the peacefulness of every country, assessed factors like crime rate, poverty, conflict, and incarceration, among others.
Solo female travelers love Japan
On the whole, the Japanese people are kind, courteous, and respectful, making Japan a must-go for female travelers. Plus, some hotels even offer female-only accommodations for an extra sense of security, and many trains have female-only cars.
The crime rate is crazy low
There are pickpockets all over the world, but 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.
The only gangsters you’ll see are in movies
The infamous Japanese gangsters, the Yakuza, are seeing an all-time low in members as the police crackdown on criminal enterprises. Don’t let their reputation scare you out of a once in a lifetime trip to Japan—these gangsters are harmless to travelers. In fact, they’re often terrified of bothering travelers lest it brings the police down on them.
Sexual harassment is becoming a problem of the past
Since the recent #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 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. While the area within a couple miles of the plant is still a no-go zone, the rest of Japan is entirely safe. So whether you’re traveling all over Japan or just staying in Tokyo, you’re totally fine!
Japan is crazy 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, it’s safe to say that there's no country better prepared for them. And there’s nothing for you to worry about because there are easy measures you can take to be prepared yourself.
- 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.
- Be smart and ask a local for advice on what to do during a natural disaster in Japan.
Tokyo’s air is cleaner than Los Angeles’
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.
People even wear masks to stop others from getting sick
When you travel to Japan, you might see a few people wearing masks over their mouths. Don’t be alarmed! Our locals will tell you that most people in Japan will wear masks when they’re sick to keep germs from spreading.
Conclusion: exercise caution like you would anywhere else
Is it possible that Japan is too safe? The only danger you can get yourself into while traveling to Japan is growing too comfortable and disregarding common safety measures. Like any place you travel to, you should always stay aware of your surroundings.
Emergency numbers everyone should know
- Police: 110
- Fire, ambulance, and emergency rescue: 119
- U.S. Embassy (Tokyo): +81 3-3224-5000