Planning a stay in Japan? Here are a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of your holiday with proper travel insurance...
Japan Travel Insurance
This little pacific archipelago has much to offer the intrepid traveller, from the vast urban sprawl of the city scape, to the serene tranquility of the forested mountains.
Despite being a highly developed country with solid healthcare facilities, Japan is no exception when it comes to getting proper travel insurance. Here are some surprising reasons why travel insurance to Japan is so important...
- Medical insurance and related issues
- Catastrophe insurance
- Natural disasters
- Getting into Japan
- Places to visit
Medical insurance and related issues
Proof of insurance - Because the Japanese national health insurance scheme covers a high percentage of the population, doctors can be reluctant to treat foreigners who aren't part of the system. As such, it's almost a guarantee that you'll be asked to provide evidence of medical cover before any treatment is given. Having your policy documents close to hand - whether that means bringing a physical copy of the documents with you or having digital access - is an absolute must.
Drugs and prescription medication - In Japan, common drugs and prescription medicines that you may have been able to purchase from supermarkets in the UK, are only available in drugstores. Prescription medicines are allowed into the country, so long as they are brought in quantities sufficient for personal use.
Hospitals and clinics - Should you require medical attention during your stay, it's advised to visit the larger university hospitals that are better equipped to dealing with foreigners, having English speaking staff. Smaller clinics act in the same capacity as general practitioners, offering only advice and minor treatments.
Pre-existing medical conditions - If you're travelling with pre-existing medical conditions you won't need to worry about receiving assistance in Japan, so long as you have declared your conditions to your insurer when purchasing the policy, and have proof of your cover.
Under our standard and premium level policies, you are covered in most instances for natural disasters. This means that any extra accommodation or travel expenses that must be made as a result of a natural disaster will be covered, up to £1,000. You can be sure that when you book travel insurance with us, you will be looked after, should a disaster strike.
Located over the boundary of several tectonic plates and containing over 110 active volcanoes, natural disasters are not uncommon in Japan. That being said, don't let this deter you from visiting this beautiful country. So long as you have at least a basic grasp of typical disaster procedures together with travel insurance that has you covered, there really is little to worry about.
Earthquakes and Tsunami's - Japan is classed as a major earthquake zone, and during the course of your trip, you will most probably experience the common minor tremors that the population has grown accustomed to. Minor tremors are of very little consequence, at the most resulting in delays to public transport. Should you experience any difficulties in reaching your flight as a result of such delays, you can be sure that in most instances, our standard level policies will cover the costs of any missed or delayed flights.
In the unlikely event that you are affected by a Tsunami whilst on holiday, you can have confidence that our standard and premium premium level policies have you covered for emergency medical treatment, flights missed or possessions lost as a result (general exclusions apply). To ensure that you're in the best position should a tsunami occur, familiarise yourself with typical safety procedures and take any government issued evacuation warnings seriously.
Tropical cyclone season - Tropical typhoon season runs from May to October, with the southern areas of the country particularly at risk. Even so, there's little to fear as the country has developed advanced weather prediction technology, capable of anticipating the probable course of a typhoon days before it's strike. You can monitor the progress of approaching storms on the website of the Japan Meteorological Agency if that's your thing...
Every policy includes cover for 100+ sports and activities
Getting into Japan
Do I Need a Visa To Visit Japan?
For citizens of most countries (Great Britain included) a 'Temporary Visitor Visa' is granted automatically upon entering the country. The visa allows travellers to remain in the country for a maximum of 90 days. If you plan to stay for longer, make sure to apply for an extension before the initial 90 days end. Under the 'Temporary Visitor Visa', you can extend your stay to a maximum period of 6 months.
The visa is only valid if the purpose involves:
- Visiting relatives or friends
- Conferences, unpaid lectures and meetings
- Short business trips
For any trips involving profit-making and paid activities, you will need to arrange for a working visa before visiting the country. For more information on insurance for working abroad, visit our working holiday insurance page.
Places to visit in Japan
These are some of our favourite places to visit in Japan. Have fun ticking them off your travel checklist:
- Visit Kyoto's ancient sites - Containing 17 world heritage sites and over 2,000 temples and shrines, Kyoto is the place to visit for an experience of the country's rich ancient heritage. The iconic Kinkakuji temple is a must see, with it's breath-taking golden-gilded exterior casting dazzling reflections into the serene waters nearby.
- Lodge with the Monks in Mount Koya - If you're searching for a unique cultural experience, then spending a night at the birthplace of Shingon Buddhism may just be for you. Get a taste of what life is like as a monk, eating the vegetarian cuisine and attending morning prayers.
- Niseko ski resort - Take a trip to Japan's northern island for a spot of skiing, or (if it happens to be summer) some white-water rafting, mountain biking or kayaking!
- Hike the Northern Alps - An excellent location for both casual and serious hikers alike. For the seasoned hiker, there's the opportunity to explore the mystery of the virgin forests and take on the most challenging peaks of the northern Alps, some reaching up to 10,000 feet.
- Roppongi - Tokyo's famous 'red-light' district, this is a priority location for those seeking to experience the city's colourful night-life. Filled with attractive clubs, bars and restaurants both classy and garish, you'll be spoilt for choice in this vibrant area of downtown Tokyo.
If you enjoyed this article and would like more info on travel to Japan, check out our other posts on the topic...