Japan is prone to natural disasters: earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, typhoons and landslides. Sophisticated early warning systems and strict building codes do much to mitigate impact (but they are not foolproof – a devastating lesson from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami). Smartphone app Safety Tips sends notifications regarding weather alerts, tsunami warnings and impending seismic activity and also lists key phrases to help you get information in the event of an emergency.

Otherwise, the biggest threat to travellers is Japan's general aura of safety. It's wise to keep up the same level of caution and common sense that you would back home.

Government Travel Advice

The following government websites offer travel advisories and information on current hot spots.

  • Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (www.smarttraveller.gov.au)
  • British Foreign Office (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice)
  • US State Department (http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country.html)