The number of travellers visiting Japan in recent years has spiked – and there’s little wondering why. There are countless attractions for travellers across Japan’s many islands.
Japan is a balance of tradition and modernity. No where is this more true than in the country’s many metropolises, where shrines, temples, and palaces are intermixed with skyscrapers and neon lights.
The country’s capital of Tokyo is the most popular destination. There, travellers can wander the grounds of the Imperial Palace and forests of the Meiji Shrine before grabbing a bite to eat at Tsukiji Market, the world’s largest seafood market.
Kyoto is the tourism hub of the south. Located on Honshu Island, the former capital city is home to thousands of Buddhist temples, gorgeous gardens, and traditional Japanese pagodas. Nearby, Mount Fuji remains a destination for pilgrims and eager hikers alike.
Connecting the major cities is the meticulously planned and incredibly efficient bullet train system. Rail service is the main means of cross country transportation, and Japan has more than 27,000 kilometres of track.
No matter how you’re travelling, sit back and enjoy everything Japan has to offer.
The Public Health Agency (PHA) recommends seeing a travel medicine specialist at least six weeks prior to departure. Travellers to Japan may be at risk of the following vaccine preventable diseases:
- Japanese Encephalitis: This virus is spread through a bite from an infected mosquito. Present in most Asian countries, vaccination is recommended for travellers spending time in rural areas.
- Hepatitis B: This contagious liver disease is contracted through the exchange of bodily fluids or contact with contaminated needles or piercing tools. Travellers to Japan should be wary of unclean acupuncture needles.
- Measles: There was a measles outbreak in Japan as recently as 2014, and the vaccination is recommended for Canadian travellers who may not have received it as part of routine immunization.
- Typhoid Fever: Travellers to Japan should take food and water precautions. This will help mitigate the risk of contracting this bacterial infection.
Precautionary measures should be taken to prevent mosquito bites. Infected mosquitos in East Asia carry a number of diseases, including tick-borne encephalitis, Dengue Fever, and Lyme disease. There is no risk of malaria in Japan.
For more details on any of the above vaccinations, visit our detailed vaccination pages or make an appointment with your Travel Medicine Specialist. Call +39 392 0056499 or book online to set your appointment today.
Here’s what to expect in a few key destinations across Japan:
- Tokyo: Tokyo experiences hot humid summers and mild winters with occasional snowfall. The hottest month is August, with an average temperature of 26º Celsius. Temperatures during the winter months of December, January, and February range between 5 and 7º Celsius. The summer months are much more wet than the winter ones.
- Sapporo: Sapporo’s seasonal temperatures differ greatly. The summers are warm and the winter months are cold and snowy. Summer temperatures reach an average of about 22º Celsius in July and August, with average winter lows reaching the -5º to -7º Celsius mark. Sapporo receives a large snowfall – nearly six metres each year!
- Osaka: Osaka has four distinct seasons. Winters are mild with an average temperature of about 3º Celsius. The summer months are hot and humid with June and July averaging conditions of 27 to 28º Celsius. Spring is the wettest season.
Typhoon season in Japan can bring heavy rainfall and high winds. Typhoon season runs from May to October, with July to August being the most active months.
Crime against foreigners is low in Japan. Travellers should be more cautious in big cities, especially entertainment districts in Tokyo such as Roppongi, Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Ikebukuro. Travellers to these areas can also be targets of drink spiking, which can lead to fraud and assault. Avoid carrying large sums of money and important documents on nights out.
If staying in a hotel or guesthouse, get a business card for the location written in Japanese script. This will help direct taxi drivers and can be used if you get lost.
Japan is prone to a number of natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic explosions, and tsunamis. The Italian Government recommends keeping up with local news reports, avoiding disaster areas, and following the advice of local officials should something happen. Recovery is still ongoing following two earthquakes near the city of Kumamoto in southern Japan in April 2016. Extra caution should be exercised if travelling to any area that has been affected by or is prone to natural disaster.
Here are some essential items to consider for your trip to Japan:
- Doctor’s note: The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare requires all travellers to carry proof of prescription if bringing medication into the country. Be prepared to answer detailed questions about that medication and its intended use.
- Slip-on shoes: Many locations in Japan require people remove their shoes before entering. This includes some traditional inns, temples, and restaurants. Leave the laces at home.
- Easy-to-carry luggage: Japan is famous for its compact quarters. Most travellers rely on the country’s excellent train system to get from one city to another. These trains often have small luggage compartments. The smaller your bag, the easier it is to navigate crowded transit stations – many of which are often lacking elevators!
- Tattoo concealers: Tattoos are banned in many places in Japan, especially public bath houses. Pack bandages to cover your ink, or bring a bottle of makeup concealer for dry destinations.
- Clean socks: Appearing neat and tidy is very important in Japanese culture. Since many locations require travellers take off their shoes, it is important to have clean, hole-free socks.
All Italians visiting Japan should register with the Embassy of Italy in Japan before departure. This will inform the office of your travel plans within the country and will allow them to reach out in the case of an emergency or evacuation. If you plan to purchase a local SIM card you can also enter your phone number to receive SMS updates from the office.
Italian Embassy in Tokio
2-5-4 Mita, Minato-ku
Tel: +81 (0)3-3453-5291
Visit the Embassy website prior to your departure.
Italian travellers do not need a tourist visa to enter Japan, and can receive an entry permit for visits of up to 90 days. Overstaying a permit is a severe offence and may mean travellers are deported and banned from future entry into Japan. While no visa application form is required, travellers must have an onward or return ticket out of the country, planned accommodation for their stay, and proof of sufficient funds. To prove the latter, travellers should carry a printout of their latest bank statement.
Passports should be valid for at least six months beyond the intended date of departure, especially if travellers are planning to visit other Asian destinations.
If you have any questions about travelling to Japan or are wondering what shots you may need for your trip, call us at +39 392 0056499 or book online to schedule an appointment with your International Health Passport clinic today.