Tokyo is a huge city with several districts, over 13 million people and 500 years of tradition. It is the capital city of Japan, and this enormous metropolis has something to offer for everyone, like historical landmarks, restaurant and entertainment, as well as cultural buildings.
Considering the fact that it is the metropolitan center of the country, Tokyo is a perfect destination for tourists interested in business, modern culture and shopping. Ginza area is a heaven for shoppers with numerous department stores and boutiques accompanied by the luxury hotels, restaurants and trendy nightclubs. On the other hand, there is the Old City area, which shows you the old Japan, with numerous museums, zoo and huge park.
It can be concluded that in Tokyo, tradition is mixed with the popular culture, so that ancient temples are just a minute away from the best nightlife.
Warnings & Dangers in Tokyo
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Tokyo has the same reputation as many other Japanese cities that the overall risk is very low. It is one of very few cities having that amount of population where it is safe to walk about at night and to travel on public transport. Nevertheless, you should remain vigilant as you would in any other major city.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
The public transport in Tokyo is safe, but some pickpocket risk exists. However, there are no risks in taxes in Tokyo, but you should not expect that your taxi driver speaks English. Bus drivers are usually very helpful.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Due to the huge flow of tourists, Tokyo has a medium pickpocket’s risk. Small police stations are everywhere trying to make the city as safe as possible. Crowded areas and trains, as well as areas surrounding the sights frequently visited by tourists are the places where pickpockets usually operate. Bars popular with travelers are very attractive to thieves.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
Natural disasters are so frequent in Japan that authorities constantly inform the population about the possible risks. Tokyo is prone to volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, since the area is near an active and the elevation is not too high. Due to all these hazards, Japan has the world's best quake and tsunami warning system.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There are some districts, like Roppongi and Kabuki-cho, which should be avoided especially at night due to the high level for crime, and travelers are usually the victims of drink-spiking, credit card fraud and robbery. Personal attacks are rare, but bear in mind that it might happen.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Terrorism is a possible danger all over the world and Japanese government does its best to prevent terrorism activity. Keep in mind that some regional tensions with North Korea may affect Japan.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Even though there is low scam risk, you should be aware of touts and women offering a massage near the Roppongi area, since they may steal money from you. The drink spiking risk is very common and victims are often taken to an unknown location, with their credit card stolen and money withdrawn.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Tokyo’s nightlife districts such as Kabukicho and Roppongi can be very dangerous, not only for female traveler, but for everyone. However, if you do not go to these areas, you can feel completely safe while in Tokyo. It is a city where most of women spend their journey trouble free.
So... How Safe Is Tokyo Really?
When it comes to safety, Tokyo will probably be one of the safest capital and metropolitan cities that you will ever go to, and Japan is the country that is the least dangerous in the world.
Solo female travellers are welcomed and would not encounter any problems. It is very rare to hear that a place with so many inhabitants and even greater number of visitors is safe for walking alone at night, but Tokyo really is.
However, street crime might be rare, but it does exist, and you should remain watchful as in any other major city. Just avoid nasty nightlife spaces that are advised to be bypassed and your visit to Tokyo will be trouble free.
- Visas - The 90 day stays do not require a visa, but the visitors from China, Russia, CIS countries, Georgia, and the Philippines need to have it. A visa cannot be obtained in Japan, so you will need to visit its embassy or consulate before coming. It is illegal to work in Japan without the correct visa.
- Currency - Japan is quite expensive and a cash country, so it is advisable to exchange your money in banks, post offices or in some large hotels in order not to be given false money or notes that are no longer in use. JP Post Bank ATM machines usually accept foreign cards, but be ready to have some issues related to card rejection. The best thing is to check with your bank whether your card is going to be accepted in Tokyo or not before traveling and take sufficient money for the duration of your stay. However, purchase using MasterCard is accepted anywhere.
- Weather - When it comes to the weather in Japan, the severe weather is frequent which means that you should be prepared for it when visiting Tokyo. Tokyo is in humid subtropical climate zone and has hot summers and mild winters. Tokyo can be hit by a snowstorm during witer and the typhoon season runs from June to December, but the most activity takes place between July and September.
- Airports - Tokyo has two large airports: Narita for international flights, 70km away from the city, and Haneda for domestic flights, which is ) officially known as Tokyo International Airport. Other airports are Ibaraki Airport, 85km north of Tokyo and Chōfu Airfield which serves only some turboprop flights to the Izu Islands south of Tokyo.
- Travel Insurance - Even though you are in a perfect condition regarding your health and fitness, a travel insurance that covers medical problems, theft and loss of personal items is a must.