Safety tips are always important while traveling especially in abroad. You may want to know the essential contact numbers during an emergency. It may be difficult to find the contact places immediately so why don’t you check the safety tips well beforehand? The number of websites providing information in English increases these days.
Safety Tips for Travelers by JNTO
Japan National Tourism Organization provides “Safety Tips for Travelers“. Starting from weather information to earthquake information, you can gather essential information here. Japan is basically a safety place to travel but we have typhoons and earthquakes. Many volcanos are active. So it is important to know what to do in case of emergency. JNTO’s site tells you the procedures to follow during an emergency.
Today, there are many English signs and information throughout Japan. But still, you may find it difficult to communicate in Japan. In that case, communication cards may help you.
Of course, you can check the location of embassies, hospitals and websites of news media.
And all these information are now included in the convenient app “safety tips”.
As long as you travel in Tokyo or in other big cities, you can find free wifi spots rather easily. But if you go to countryside, sometimes the wifi networks are not enough. In that case, make sure your cellular data is turned off otherwise the amount of your bill for your smart phone will become rocket-sky high. Shut down your cellular data and use a wifi router instead.
Wifi router is sometimes called as “mobile wifi”, “pocket wifi” or “portable wifi”. Whatever the name is, it is a device to have your own personal wifi spot so that you can connect your mobiles, tablets and PCs. If you google wifi routers, you can find many rental shops including the ones in airports. Usually, it costs about ¥1,000 per day. It becomes cheaper if you use longer period of time.
Another useful option is to use SIM card if you have a SIM-free mobiles.
Cash and ATMs
Japan is definitely a cash country. Even in Tokyo, a credit card may not be accepted if you go to a small local shop or a small restaurant. So bring cash with you. Because withdrawing cash from ATMs can also be frustrating. Especially if you plan to visit countryside. According to japan-guide.com, many ATMs in Japan do not accept credit cards issued outside of Japan with the exception of postal ATMs in post offices and 7-Bank ATMs in 7 Eleven.
Japan National Tourism Organization provides some information about currency in Japan.
When in Japan, many people want to enjoy hot springs or onsen. However, many of the public baths in Japan have a strict rule not to allow people with tattoos. Nowadays, tattoos are internationally common. We do have a long history of tattoos in Japan, too. But tattoos in Japan have been linked to criminals and Japanese mafia called Yakuza. Therefore, historically, people with tattoos have been banned to enter into public baths. Even today, many Japanese people do not want to take a bath with people who have tattoos.
So what do we do if we have tattoos but want to take a bath in Japan? If it is very small, sometimes it is accepted or simply ignored. But there are cases that the owners of the public baths do not allow even the smallest tattoos. In that case, cover them up with bandages.
Another option is to find a place with a private bath or kashikiri-buro. No one cares even if you have tattoos because you are the only one to use that bath.
Having said that, the number of oversea travellers increases and many people visit Japan with tattoos on the arms or legs. Japanese people get used to oversea visitors with tattoos little by little. And now you can find some public baths where tattooed people are welcomed. Here is some information about tattoo-friendly baths in Tokyo. This page have a list of tattoo-friendly baths in Japan.
Without doubt, Japan is one of the safest place in the world. There are few crimes and violence. But it is all the more important to get ready for the travel risks. Have your essential numbers with you when travel.