Friday, April 23, 2010

Japan: Staying Safe

When traveling to any foreign country it is imperative to practice all safety precautions and know how to react in the case of an emergency. What happens if you or one of your family members were injured? Would it be a nightmare getting proper care? E.g. What if you slipped on Fuji-san? These are all great questions!

Never go to Japan (or anywhere for that matter) without adequate health insurance. You will not get help without it. If you’re really concerned, particularly with things like climbing Fuji, it’s sometimes better to get a tour, for the peace of mind aspect of knowing you will have help on hand if needed. In case of an emergency, it's best to have a Japanese-speaking person call the emergency services in Japan. If that's not an option, call the Tokyo English Lifeline (TELL) at (03) 3403-7106 for emergency assistance in English.

Climber on Mt.Fuji

Also, depending on when you travel; Japan’s summer heat and high humidity can lead to possible food poisoning, fatigue and heat stroke. In spring and fall, many people suffer from rhinitis and itchy eyes caused by pollen, especially to Japanese cedar pollen. A small medical kit can save you the problem of running around and looking for items that are a lot easier to find at home.

Hygiene standards are high in Japan, and medical facilities (although expensive) are widely available. So, the most important preventive measure is to make sure that you are healthy BEFORE you start traveling!

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