How to Properly Deal With These 3 Emergency Situations in Japan

  • HOW TO
  • Staying in a foreign country is fun! As long as you’re well-prepared, you can go travel around all you want. Traveling is surely one of the most exciting and rewarding things you can do in life.

    However, there are certain cases when surprising incidents can become emergencies. To avoid panicking, you have to stay alert and guarded. Troubles like accidents, robbery and getting sick can potentially spoil a great trip. In the event that something bad happens and to prevent it from getting worse, you have to know how to address each situation.

    1. Accidents


    Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, whether you’re in Japan or not.

    If you encounter any major accident in the country such as car accident, immediately inform the police by dialing 110. Move all involved items and people to a safe place so there won’t be another accident happening.

    You can also call an ambulance if people have been injured by dialing 119. Once they are called, they will ask you about how the incident occurred, such as the time and manner. You also have to confirm the people who are involved, as well as the person or people who actually caused the situation.

    Often, the person who feels responsible for causing the accident calls the police and ambulance. Once the operator answers the call, you will be asked whether there’s a fire and whether you need emergency aid. It is also important to know your exact location, as they will ask for it.

    It is necessary that you stay calm and talk slowly, so that clear information will be passed on. If you can’t speak Japanese, let someone call the emergency services for you.

    It is advisable for you to get travel insurance before you come to Japan so it would be easy for you to cover some accidents while staying in a foreign country. After you have contacted the emergency number, you may call the insurance company.

    It is very important for you to know the country codes before dialing.

    If you’d like to contact an insurance company outside the country, you may dial 010 + country code + area code + phone number.

    To remedy this kind of accident, always make sure that you have a mobile phone in case no phones are available in your area. To make sure you can make domestic phone calls, you may rent a Japanese SIM card. Having none will give you high roaming charges. Renting a SIM card is convenient if you’re visiting the country for a short period of time. This prevents the hassle faced in activating a SIM card with a local cellular provider.

    2. Being Robbed or Losing Valuables

    It is an uncommon incident to be robbed in Japan. However, this can occur from time to time. So if you ever become a victim of robbery or pickpocketing, there are certain things you can do to ask for help.

    If you lose your valuables on the train, you may contact the staff at the station. If you’ve been robbed, you may contact a police officer who is located at a police box. You will immediately recognize the place as they have the word “KOBAN” (交番) written in front. Once you reach a KOBAN, you’ll have to fill out a form reporting theft or loss. The police are kind and will really try to help you retrieve what you’ve lost within 24-48 hours.

    There are many kind people who hand in lost items in this country, which is quite rare in other countries.

    Be sure to take care if you are carrying your passport. Some people who have lost theirs have to undergo a very troublesome process involving their country’s embassy. Be sure to carry passport-sized photos to avoid the fuss. And also, take note of the city’s embassy location.

    3. Getting Sick During the Trip


    Getting sick on vacation is one of the worst feelings you can encounter while traveling in a foreign country. This is sometimes unavoidable, as we all have a varying degree of tolerance towards illness.

    If you have a health problem and it is serious, you should immediately call an ambulance (119). While the ambulance is on its way, you have to take care of yourself. It might take a while before they can reach you depending on our location. If your illness is not that serious, it is best to go to the nearby clinic to have yourself checked.

    Most clinics only speak Japanese, so if you have a friend who knows the language, it’s a good idea to take them along. Once you enter the clinic, you will be given a form to fill in which is in the Japanese language. Only a few clinics provide multiple languages.

    If you have an insurance plan which can cover the cost of the hospitalization, then you can write it down. Before traveling, it is best to confirm such details with your insurance company.

    The best way to prevent illness is to do your best to stay healthy throughout your trip. It would also be best if you carry along over-the-counter medicines, such as the ones you use for a headache, cough, cold, stomachache, fever, etc. This way, it will be easy for you to provide interventions for common pains and colds your own way.

    Being sick while on a trip is time-consuming and not fun at all. Before traveling, always make sure you are in good health and are well-prepared for other health-related matters that may come along.

    If you ever find yourself in an accident, getting robbed, losing valuables or getting sick in Japan, always take note of the different ways of dealing with such situations. Hopefully, the above information will be useful during your stay in the country. It is always best to be prepared rather than letting the situation escalate. Whether it is your first time traveling in the country or you have been to Japan many times, at least now you know what to do during emergency situations, and will feel more confident in going from one place to the next. Best of luck, and take care!

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