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Compare travel insurance for Japan

There’s lots to admire about Japan – Tokyo, Mount Fuji and world-famous cuisine all helped to draw a record 30 million tourists to the country in 2018. Let’s take a look at how to find the right travel insurance before your trip.

There’s lots to admire about Japan – Tokyo, Mount Fuji and world-famous cuisine all helped to draw a record 30 million tourists to the country in 2018. Let’s take a look at how to find the right travel insurance before your trip.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
3
minute read
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Posted 2 APRIL 2020

Do I need travel insurance for Japan?

You should get travel insurance for any trip, and it’s no different for Japan. A standard travel policy could protect you against any expensive medical bills if you get sick or injured while you’re abroad.

Cancellation cover could pay out if you need to cancel your trip (as long as it’s for a reason stated in your policy). Your policy should have enough cover for the full cost of your trip. If you need to cut short your visit (say, after a bereavement), let your insurance provider know before you head for home. They’ll tell you whether you’re insured for the particular event, and whether you’ll be able to claim or not. You can then decide if you still want to cut short your holiday.

Japan’s crime rate may be low, but you’ll want travel insurance that protects your belongings against theft, loss or damage. Your policy’s single article limit is the most you can claim back for any one item – check to see if it will cover your most expensive possessions if you need to replace them. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to add those items individually to the policy.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

On 02 October 2020, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated the list of countries that are exempt from its ongoing advice against all non-essential international travel.

If you choose to travel overseas to a destination where the FCDO is advising against non-essential travel at the time of your departure, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim likely to be rejected.

For domestic travel, please check the local public health rules for the destination you wish to travel to within the United Kingdom.

For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pension Service (MaPs) has also launched a directory of insurance providers, who may be able to provide quotes over the phone, if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790.

What should my travel insurance to Japan include?

While your holiday to Japan should be all about exploring a country with an incredibly rich culture, filled with new experiences to try, you should consider getting cover, just for peace of mind:

  • Medical cover – the cost of medical treatment while abroad can be very high, with expenses potentially running into the tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of pounds
  • Lost, stolen or damaged luggage and passports – while you should take care in tourist hotspots like Tokyo, crime levels in Japan are low. You should keep important documents like your passport safe, and report their loss or theft to the police.
  • Cancellations and delays – if your holiday is cancelled, delayed or shortened, you can recover costs. With Japan suffering natural disasters on a more regular rate than most other countries, flight disruptions can occur. It is advised that you check your travel insurance policy carefully, and ensure you are covered appropriately.
  • Repatriation – if there’s trouble with the airline, or you need special travel arrangements due to a medical requirement, these costs can be covered.

Japan Travel Insurance Exclusions

The type of travel insurance you’ll need, for your trip to Japan, depends on the type of activities you’ve got planned. You should consider any activities or situations which may be excluded from a standard travel insurance policy, and take out additional cover if necessary. Here are some of the things to check carefully for in your policy:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions – it is recommended that you declare all pre-existing medical conditions you suffer when you purchase your travel insurance policy. If you fail to do so, and attempt to claim for this type of illness, you risk voiding your policy. Adding pre-existing medical conditions will likely cause your premiums to rise
  • Injuries or accidents resulting from high-risk activities – If you want to go skiing or white-water rafting, you might need to get an add-on to your regular travel insurance, or you could look for specialist cover such as extreme sports insurance or winter sports insurance.
  • Incidents related to alcohol abuse – while it’s nice to enjoy a few drinks on holiday, you can quickly find yourself in trouble after too much alcohol. If you’re injured or lose something as a result of being intoxicated, your claim will likely be rejected
  • Travel to regions which Foreign and Commonwealth Office have advised to avoid – this may be because of disease epidemics or terrorism threats. The FCO doesn’t currently advise avoiding travel to Japan, but you should check for the latest updates ahead of travel.
  • Act of God – this includes natural disasters. Owing to its geographic location, Japan suffers from occasional natural disasters like volcanoes and earthquakes. Again, you may need to look into getting a specialist policy that offers insurance for these types of rare events.

What kind of travel insurance could I need for Japan?

The type of travel insurance you’ll need depends on the type of activities you’ve got planned. If you want to go skiing or white water rafting, you might need to get an add-on to your regular travel insurance, or you could look for specialist cover such as extreme sports insurance or winter sports insurance.

Owing to its geographic location, Japan suffers from occasional natural disasters like volcanoes and earthquakes. Again, you may need to look into getting a specialist policy that offers insurance for these types of rare events.

Do I need a visa to travel to Japan?

Brits can enter Japan as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa. You may need to show evidence of a return or onward ticket when you enter the country. Make sure your passport’s valid for the entire length of your trip.

Do I need any vaccinations to go to Japan?

You may not need any vaccinations, but it’s a good idea to check with your doctor about eight weeks before your holiday.

Any other travel tips for Japan?

Climate: You can expect warm summers and very cold winters in the north, whereas it’s fairly temperate with mild winters in the south.  

Time differences: Japan is nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Medication: Some common prescriptions are banned under the country’s strict anti-stimulant drug laws, so be careful if you’re planning to bring any medicine into Japan. The UK government’s website has more information.  

Tipping: Generally, it isn’t customary to tip. Japanese culture puts a high value on respect and politeness, so don’t be offended if your tip is refused.

Passport: You must carry your passport with you at all times.

Tattoos: with a historical association with organised crime, you may find that some places will refuse entry to those who display tattoos. Public attitudes are beginning to become more accepting, but you may be asked to cover tattoos while entering an establishment.

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