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Travel Insurance for a trip to Japan

Japan offers amazing food, culture, onsens, temples and more. Make sure you're covered for emergency medical expenses, baggage and more.

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Japan is an extraordinary country that offers countless opportunities to wander around historic temples, get active in the great outdoors, relax in steaming onsens and enjoy delicious Japanese cuisine. Whether experiencing the bustling markets and nightlife in Tokyo, exploring the imperial palaces in Kyoto or marveling at Mount Fuji is on the cards, including travel insurance in your trip planning could be a smart idea.

Travel insurance can offer cover for:

SRua Garrett at night
Sunset over Tokyo. Photo credit: Getty Images / Matteo Colombo

What should you look for when considering a travel insurance policy for a trip to Japan?

An emergency situation affecting your travel plans could spell disaster for you and your wallet. What would happen if you or an immediate family member got sick right before your trip and you had to cancel? Or if a pickpocket swipes your phone while you’re the enjoying hustle and bustle of Shibuya? Travel insurance is designed to cover losses resulting from these types of unforeseeable circumstances.

A travel insurance plan that includes trip cancellation and interruption coverage can help protect your travel investment, provide cover for your baggage and personal effects, and provide emergency medical cover in case you become sick or injured while on your trip. Travel insurance does not cover everything so make sure to read your policy to ensure it meets your needs.

What’s covered

Trip interruption and trip cancellation

A World Nomads travel insurance plan may cover unexpected events that cause you to cancel your trip. Accidents and injuries happen. If you get sick or injured and a doctor says you’re not well enough to travel, you may be able to recover prepaid, non-refundable trip costs. Likewise, if you need to cut your trip short due to a family death or other serious emergency, your plan’s trip interruption benefits may cover the associated costs to return home early, along with your unused, prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs.

Natural disasters like earthquakes, cyclones and tsunamis can happen in Japan. World Nomads travel insurance plans may provide trip cancellation and interruption benefits resulting from a natural disaster, as long as you purchased your policy before it became a known event.

When filing a claim for cancellation or interruption, you will need to provide documentation of all your unused, non-refundable, prepaid trip costs and associated expenses.

busy crossing on Japan
Busy crossing in Japan. Photo credit: Unsplash / Jason Ortego

Delayed, lost, or stolen baggage

When traveling to Japan, especially if your itinerary requires connecting flights, your luggage could take a detour. And petty theft like pickpocketing can be common in tourist areas, even in safe countries like Japan. World Nomads may cover (up to the policy limits) the loss, theft or damage to your baggage, sporting equipment or personal belongings. Travel insurance may provide cover if your bags are delayed or lost in transit to Japan. Your baggage delay benefits may reimburse you for personal care items and a change of clothes until your bags catch up with you. Waiting periods may apply and the cover available will depend on your country of residence.

Your policy may also cover your personal belongings if you are the victim of theft while in Japan, or if your bags are permanently lost.

As soon as you realize your bags or possessions have been damaged, lost or stolen, file an incident report with the relevant authorities. You’ll need this documentation when you file a claim. Travel insurance is secondary to the baggage loss benefits provided by your common carrier. And remember, travel insurance won’t cover losses due to reckless behavior of a policyholder (e.g. overindulging in Sake and leaving your expensive jacket in a bar).

Overseas emergency medical expenses and cover for COVID-19 related events

You may want to consider having travel insurance that can cover overseas emergency medical expenses, as your domestic health insurance is unlikely to be accepted in Japan. If you become ill or injured while traveling in Japan, without the right cover for emergency medical expenses, you will have to pay any out-of-pocket medical care costs, dental care expenses or even worse, emergency medical evacuation back to your home country.

Medical care can be expensive and bureaucratic in Japan. While Japan offers universal health care for residents and those staying more than a year, everyone else is expected to carry some form of travel insurance with coverage for the treatment of sudden illness or injuries with them at all times. Doctors may refuse to treat you without it.

Unexpected incidents can happen on vacation, for example, tripping over uneven cobblestones at a Kyoto temple or injuring your shoulder while skiing in Niseko. A travel insurance plan offering cover for overseas emergency medical expenses could be helpful for unforeseen events like these.

Depending on your country of residence and the travel insurance plan you select from World Nomads, you may have access to Coronavirus (COVID-19) coverage for certain related events. To find out what cover applies to you, select your Country of Residence and read our What’s Covered for Coronavirus article which has all of the details, including benefit limits, terms, conditions and exclusions.

Tsutenkaku is a tower and well-known landmark of Osaka, in the Shinsekai district of Naniwa-ku. Photo credit: Getty / fotoVoyager

Access to our 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team when you need help

Handling a medical emergency can be daunting, but with a World Nomads travel insurance policy, you have a team on your side. Our 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team may help you find appropriate medical care, interface with doctors and other medical personnel, and help with arrangements including upfront payment of medical care if deemed necessary.

Japanese is not the easiest language for travelers to master. If you’re having a medical emergency and can’t find an English-speaking doctor, World Nomads may be able to help with translation services.

Cover for activities and sports when in Japan

If you plan to enjoy snowboarding at Aomori Spring or a bicycle excursion on the Noto Peninsula, World Nomads offers travel insurance coverage for 150+ activities and sports. Look over your policy thoroughly to ensure your chosen pursuits are listed and covered. Your World Nomads travel plan also may provide cover for sports equipment and gear if it is damaged, lost or stolen during your trip to Japan (policies generally exclude cover for sporting equipment while in use). If you do experience an issue, be sure to file an incident report with your tour manager or the resort. We’re happy to help if you need assistance with policy choices.

What’s not covered?

Understanding what’s not covered is just as important as knowing what your insurance does cover you for. Things that won’t be covered by travel insurance include but are not limited to:

  • Medical evacuation or repatriation for any incidents related to drug and alcohol abuse, or that is not pre-authorized by a physician
  • Trip cancellation for events that occurred before your policy was purchased (natural disaster, strike, etc.)
  • Not having visas or passports issued on time or not properly fulfilling the entry requirements of your destination.
  • Leaving your gear behind, or not keeping an eye on your things and they get stolen.

If you have any questions, or are unsure if something is covered, please contact us for more information.

Travel Insurance Benefits: how we can take care of you*

Trip Cancellation

Been working hard for your trip?

We'll work hard to protect it.

Trip Protection
  • Unexpectedly hospitalised?
  • Travel buddy unfit to travel?
  • Close relative suddenly dies?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Expenses

Feeling fit and healthy? What if you get sick or injured?

Take the pain out of medical or dental costs.

Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Need meds quick?
  • Accidentally injured?
  • Suddenly sick?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Transportation

Know where the nearest hospital is?

Don’t stress, we’ll get you there quickly.

Evacuation and Repatriation
  • Banged up abroad?
  • Need a hospital urgently?
  • Medivac home?

Help starts here.

Protect your gear

Love photography, filming or sport?

Cover your bags, tech or gear.

Protect your gear
  • Passport stolen?
  • Airline lost your gear?
  • Bags delayed?

Help starts here.

  • Emergency Overseas Medical & Dental Expenses
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation
  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption
  • 24-Hour Assistance Services
  • Baggage
  • And more (depending on your country of residence)
*This is a general summary only. Restrictions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Coverage may not be available for all countries, states or provinces. Benefit limits may vary depending on the plan chosen. Get a quote for full details.

24/7 emergency assistance

Whether you need medical assistance or emergency evacuation, our teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year before and during your trip.

Are you in need of emergency assistance right now?

Contact the team

Travel insurance. Simple & flexible.

Travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families. Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on their trip, but these things can and do happen. So be prepared and get your travel insurance today.