Japan

Japan attracts more than 20 mln. tourists annually. History, original culture, the mysterious psychology of the Japanese, fantastic nature and unlimited culinary discoveries – all this make Japan one the most attractive and interesting destinations for tourists from all over the world. Japan has more than three thousand islands. The largest of them are Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku and Hokkaido. Japan has numerous of appealing destinations for tourists. For example Magnificent and the highest mountain in Japan Fuji; The Tokyo Imperial Palace, the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan; the Osaka Castle and the Japanese Alps. Japan is a safe country for tourists, although some areas are best to avoid. SafeAround has compiled information from diverse resources make sure you have a safe trip in Japan and be aware of all potential dangers Japan is the 26th safest country in the world, based on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking.

SAFETY INDEX

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Is Japan a Safe or Dangerous Country?

Japan is a safe country. It is ranked 26th on the ranking of world’s safest countries. SafeAround advises you to follow normal safety precautions. However, Japan has a few troubled districts. Japan’s unsafe neighborhoods may be divided into two categories: red-light neighborhood and slums. Slums are definitely best to avoid. Red-light districts are frequent and basic precautions can decrease the threat of being pickpocketed or scammed to almost zero. The following neighbourhoods, according to our research have a poor reputation:

Kabukicho, Tokyo   

Kabukicho is the biggest red-light district on earth. It hosts hundreds of cafes, bars, karaoke clubs and other unordinary places. Moreover, it’s the shelter for illegal institutions that attract freaks and criminals. This is the sort of neighborhood where it’s not unexpected to see police in a full uniform walking along the street. Generally, locals don’t shy to go to places in this area. Although they’d prefer to live somewhere else, preferably far away from this neighborhood

Kamagasaki, Osaka

This is the most famous Japanese slum. Large number of houseless and day labors who have no regular address live in this area. Recently, Kamagasaki became popular among young travelers. First of all, because of the reasonable pricing for an accommodation. Locals suppose it as an unsafe place and even affirm that it’s dangerous, mainly because local criminal groups maintain offices in this area. So, SafeAround recommend refraining from visiting this neighborhood.

Roppongi, Tokyo

Roppongi is mainly office district in Tokyo that’s host a nasty nightlife spaces. Night clubs in this area have a bad reputation, that’s unordinary for Japan. Neighbourhood is pretty safe during the daylight. Tokyoites don’t avoid this area, as it has many attractions like Roppongi hills. Visiting clubs or restaurants in this area be cautious about your alcoholic beverages as drink-spiking is very common. SafeAround recommends you to avoid from visiting such kind of places alone.

Shinsekai, Osaka

The area known for its carnival-like ambience. The most visited attraction in Osaka. There are numerous adorable and cheap cafes and souvenir shops. Moreover, in this area numerous pachinko parlors are concentrated. SafeAround advises to follow common sense and keep an eye on your belongings as an area famous for its high cluster of pickpockets.

Ueno, Tokyo

Ueno is a shelter of Tokyo’s best tourist destinations. Among them numerous museums, zoo and huge park. Unfortunately, park is a dwelling for Tokyo’s homeless inhabitants and the area around is a little grubby. Undoubtedly, there’s criminal element in Ueno. SafeAround recommends avoiding wandering at night, in order to avoid possible harassments and assaults.

Fukushima

There is no radiation threat at that moment in Japan. However, we advise not to travel in Area 1,2 and 3 near the Fukushima power station, because of the accident which took place in 2011 after the tsunami and possible radiation contamination in the nearby areas. Be especially cautious for bag and phone thieves at transport hubs like train stations, airports, restaurants, outdoor cafes, and on public transport. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times, especially your passport. Bag snatching and pickpocketing, are the most common offence around tourist areas and on public transport. Is Japan safe or dangerous? Find out on the Travel Map

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : LOW

Japan is a very safe country. It is ranked 26 out of 162 of the safest and most dangerous cities. However, look out for your belongings all the time.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW

As a top tourist destination with more than 25 mln. tourists annually, not surprisingly that pick-pocketing is common in Japan, but in comparison with other cities, it’s no that common.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : LOW

Japan is a country where you are not likely to be kidnapped or mugged. Anyway, we recommend you not to accept drinks from strangers and avoid street touts, that are common in some neighborhoods.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : LOW

We highly advise avoiding carrying big amounts of cash to any public places. There are known reports of fraudulent credit card charges in the neighborhoods of Roppongi and Kabuki-Cho in Tokyo, thus don’t allow waiters or vendors make any transactions with your credit card on their own, as they can copy the credit card information.  Keep an eye on your credit card all the time, while paying at restaurant, shop and especially in the bars.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

Pickpockets operate in transit & public transport. During rush hours, women should note that gropers do hunt crowded trains. However, they usually look for local women (presumably they are less likely to make a scene). Luckily, many trains heading to the suburbs have women-only cars.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

Japan natural disaster risks may outweigh the calm criminal situation. Numerous acts of god possible on the territory of the country. Most common are earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic activity. SafeAround recommends following the information regularly provided by The Japan Meteorological Agency.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Though the threat from terrorism is low in Japan. We recommend to be vigilant of suspicious activity and abandoned subjects all the time.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Japan is generally very safe for women travellers.

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Useful Information

Visas are not usually required for stays under 90 days. Although, If you are the visitor from one of the following countries: China, Russia, CIS countries, Georgia, and the Philippines you are required to have a visa. If you have a citizenship of any other nationality, please check the following website for additional information: http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/other_visa.html Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return.
Japan is quite expensive as a country. In order to obtain the best currency exchange possible, try to exchange your money in banks, post offices or in some large hotels. The convenient currency exchange rate also can be found at the international airports in Japan. There is a risk of not accepting the card issued abroad by some trade and financial establishments. JP Post Bank ATM machines usually accept foreign cards. However, we recommend having a limited amount of cash with you all the time.
The weather in Japan is generally mild. The temperature decreases when you move to the north, with possible snowfalls during winter time. Read information for travelers about the severe weatherso that you can prepare in the event of a typhoon.
There are 98 airports in Japan. They are modern, respond to the international quality standards and safety regulations.
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page