Travel Advice to Japan

Natural Disaster Threats

Travelling to Japan is a relatively safe experience. However, several different natural disasters have the potential to disrupt holiday plans. Based on its location along the Pacific Rim, Japan is a hotspot  for dangerous volcanoes that can cause significant damage without any warning. Japan also experiences tropical cyclones/typhoons annually, with a variety of intense storms that could result in severe flooding of low-lying areas. Earthquakes/tremors strike Japan without warning. If an earthquake were to occur offshore, tidal waves would occur and could result in catastrophic damage to areas along the Japanese coast. To keep aware of the natural disaster threats in Japan during your holiday, it is wise to check out the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) website for current weather conditions.


There are over 100 “active” volcanoes in Japan. By “active”, this means that there has been an eruption within the previous 10,000 years. Of these 100 active volcanoes, only about 30 are continuously monitored by the JMA. Most volcanoes are located in the southern part of the country.

Two volcanoes are listed at alert 3 status. Level 3 alert status warns travellers not to approach the volcano, for an eruption is current or imminent. These two volcanoes are located at the southernmost of the large islands, Kyushu. Mt. Kirishima is found along the Miyazaki/Kagoshima Prefecture border. Mr. Sakurajima is located fully in the Kagoshima Prefecture. To verify current status for these and all other volcanoes, refer to the JMA website.


Japan’s typhoon season runs every year, from July through September. The number of typhoons varies every year, as do the size and intensity of the storms. With typhoons come intense rains and damaging high winds. Landslides are a frequent side disaster that occurs from the continual rain. Typhoons will result in hazardous driving conditions, so extra care is warranted whilst driving in inclement weather.


The danger of an earthquake is real in Japan. As the country lies on major fault lines, numerous tremors may occur, with some causing significant damage. The tragedy at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in 2011 shows what damage can result from an earth tremor.

Getting Around Japan

Because Japan’s roads are very well maintained, driving can be a pleasurable experience. Hiring holiday cars in Japan is easy to do and drivers can get a unique perspective of the Japanese countryside. Cars travel on the left-hand side of the road, similar to the UK. The number of road deaths is comparable to the UK, so travelling by way of car hire is commonly used.

When travelling by car, be sure to watch for areas off-limits to the public. There is a no travel zone within a 20 kilometre radius of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

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