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.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
3
minute read
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Posted 01 FEBRUARY 2021

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 

The travel traffic light system currently states that trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant government.

Please note: from 4am on 4 October 2021, the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries.

Currently, if your destination of choice is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and ensure travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed with short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red list countries. Most insurance policies purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the FCDO has instructed citizens not to travel to won’t be valid, however, some insurance providers may offer reduced cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes. Should you have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing, to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has 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 MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

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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