Do You Need Travel Insurance in Japan?

do I need travel insurance in japan

Konnichiwa! So, do you need travel insurance in Japan? That decision is up to you. We have personally never purchased travel insurance in the past, but we will gladly use Freely travel insurance for our next trip, Japan or otherwise. We have needed to use the medical system a few times while there, however we are able to navigate that system pretty well. However, in doing some research the cost seems to be well worth it for what we consider other risks such as lost luggage, travel delays, needing to cancel trips, etc. We have had flight cancellations and trip plan changes in the past where the insurance would have been beneficial.

When planning a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, unforeseen circumstances can arise, and having the right travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection. Let’s explore the benefits of travel insurance for your trip to Japan so you can make an informed decision.

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Understanding Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance serves as a safety net for travelers, offering coverage for various unexpected events that could disrupt or derail your trip. While the specifics of coverage can vary between policies, common areas typically include:

  • Medical Emergencies: Accidents and illnesses can happen anywhere, and Japan is no exception. Travel insurance can cover medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor visits, and emergency medical evacuation, ensuring you receive the care you need without worrying about hefty bills.
  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption: Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances force travelers to cancel or cut short their trips. Whether it’s due to a sudden illness, family emergency, or natural disaster, travel insurance can reimburse you for non-refundable expenses such as flights, accommodation, and tour bookings.
  • Lost or Delayed Luggage: Baggage mishaps are an unfortunate reality of travel. If your luggage goes missing or arrives late, travel insurance can provide compensation for essential items you need to purchase in the interim.
  • Travel Delays: Flight delays and cancellations are frustrating but common occurrences. With travel insurance, you may be eligible for reimbursement for additional expenses incurred due to prolonged delays, such as meals and accommodation.
  • Personal Liability: In the unlikely event that you accidentally injure someone or damage property during your trip, travel insurance can cover legal expenses and compensation costs.

Many of these broad categorties apply to any international trip, however let’s delve into some of these aspects that are particularly relevant for travelers exploring Japan.

trip to japan

Planning a trip to Japan?

Medical Care in Japan

Japan boasts a highly advanced healthcare system renowned for its efficiency, cleanliness, and quality of care. However, medical treatment in Japan can be expensive, especially for travelers without health insurance coverage. While Japan has reciprocal healthcare agreements with certain countries, these agreements may not cover all medical expenses or emergency evacuations.

japan medical care

Imagine you’re hiking Mount Fuji and sprain your ankle, requiring immediate medical attention. Without travel insurance, you could be facing steep medical bills and logistical challenges, potentially spoiling the rest of your trip. With the right policy, however, you can receive prompt medical care without worrying about the financial burden.

mt fuji
Mt. Fuji

Cultural and Outdoor Activities

Japan offers a diverse range of activities, from exploring ancient temples and bustling cities to skiing in Hokkaido and diving in Okinawa. While these experiences enrich your journey, they also come with inherent risks. Whether you’re participating in a traditional tea ceremony or embarking on a whitewater rafting excursion, accidents can happen unexpectedly.


Travel insurance provides essential coverage for such activities, offering financial protection in case of accidents, injuries, or emergencies. Additionally, some policies may include coverage for adventurous pursuits like skiing, snowboarding, and scuba diving, giving you the freedom to explore Japan’s landscapes with confidence.

Natural Disasters and Unforeseen Events

Japan is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. While the risk of encountering such events during your visit is relatively low, it’s essential to be prepared for any eventuality. Travel insurance can help mitigate the financial impact of unforeseen circumstances, such as flight cancellations or itinerary changes due to inclement weather or natural disasters.

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Furthermore, Japan’s seasonal variations, such as the sweltering heat of summer and the heavy snowfall in winter, can pose challenges for travelers. Having travel insurance ensures you’re covered in case your plans need to be adjusted due to adverse weather conditions or other unexpected factors.

Navigating the Healthcare System

While Japan’s healthcare system is renowned for its efficiency and quality, navigating it as a foreigner can be daunting, especially in the midst of a medical emergency. Language barriers, cultural differences, and unfamiliar procedures can complicate matters, making it essential to have the support of a reliable travel insurance provider.

Many travel insurance companies offer 24/7 assistance services staffed by multilingual professionals who can help coordinate medical care, communicate with healthcare providers, and navigate the complexities of the Japanese healthcare system on your behalf. This invaluable support can provide reassurance and peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your recovery without unnecessary stress.

Summing it Up

So, do you need travel insurance in Japan? It is up to you, however hopefully this post has provided useful information to help you make that decision. While Japan is undoubtedly a safe destination, it’s essential to prioritize your well-being and financial security, and investing in travel insurance may help. Whether you’re exploring ancient temples in Kyoto, skiing in Niseko, or sampling street food in Tokyo, unexpected events can occur at any time, and having the right coverage can make all the difference. Additionally, things can happen with your airline, hotel, etc. that impact you financially and can be covered by insurance.

By understanding the benefits of travel insurance and selecting a policy that aligns with your needs and preferences, you can embark on your Japanese adventure with confidence, knowing that you’re prepared for whatever the journey may bring. So, before you board that flight to Narita or Haneda, take a moment to ensure you have the protection you need to make the most of your unforgettable journey through the Land of the Rising Sun. Safe travels!

Disclaimer: If you use the link on this page to purchase travel insurance, we will receive a fee from Freely, a brand of Cover-More Insurance Services Pty Limited ABN 95 003 114 145 (AFSL 241713) (Cover- More). We do not act for Cover-More or Freely. The information provided is only on the availability of Freely products. We do not give advice & the information provided is not intended to give an opinion or recommendation regarding the product. For information on how to contact Cover-More or Freely refer to the PDS, FSG & TMD which can be found on the Freely website.