Even in Japan, damage from typhoons and heavy rains is increasing due to global warming. In addition, earthquakes often occur in Japan. What should you do if a typhoon or earthquake occurs while you are traveling in Japan? Of course, you are unlikely to encounter such a case. However, it is a good idea to know the countermeasures in case of emergency. So, on this page, I will introduce how you can deal with disasters in Japan.
Get information about weather and earthquakes
Pay attention to the weather forecast!
I have been told by travelers from overseas that "Japanese people like the weather forecast." Certainly, we Japanese check the weather forecast almost every day. This is because the Japanese weather changes every moment. Japan has seasonal changes. Typhoons often hit from summer to autumn. Furthermore, recently, damage from heavy rain has increased due to the effects of global warming. In addition, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in Japan.
So if you are traveling to Japan, I would recommend checking the latest weather forecast as we do. We watch the weather forecast on TV, newspapers and apps. If you see the weather forecast, I recommend the following media and apps: If you know through these media or apps that a typhoon or a major earthquake occurred, you may want to change your itinerary.
Secure a safe place!
If you are unfortunately hit by a typhoon or heavy rain, I recommend staying at your hotel and gathering information. I think it's safer to stay at the hotel until the bad weather has settled.
The situation is serious if you encounter typhoon damage while you are already checking out the hotel and moving to the next area. In such a case, let's collect information on whether you can safely reach the hotel where you will stay today. If your plane or train stops, you should search for a hotel in your current location as soon as possible. In such cases, the hotel will soon be fully booked, so please make a reservation as soon as possible.
The typhoon will pass away soon. So anyway, make sure you have a safe place tonight. And tomorrow, enjoy the rest of your itinerary. However, it is dangerous to go near the river after a typhoon or heavy rain. Let's move while confirming your safety.
If you encounter a big earthquake, the situation is very serious. Electricity and water supply may stop at your hotel. The earthquake may occur several times for a while. In such cases, get information and advice from hotel employees. Japanese buildings basically have a strong structure that can withstand a major earthquake. Japanese hotel employees strive to ensure the safety of their guests. Therefore, let's see the situation without leaving the hotel as much as possible.
Recommended media and apps
Reliable in case of emergency
The media with the most extensive weather forecasts and disaster news in Japan is NHK, Japan's national broadcast. When we want information about typhoons and major earthquakes, we often see NHK.
NHK is particularly committed to reporting disaster information. For example, when the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred in 2011, NHK first dispatched 500 staff to the affected areas. So if you want to see the latest news from typhoons or disasters, I recommend using NHK.
NHK operates “NHK WORLD” which supports about 20 languages such as English and Chinese. If you click on the image above, you can see the official website of NHK WORLD.
Click this image to see the BBC weather forecast on a separate page.
Easy to use when viewing weather forecasts
“NHK WORLD” is a very reliable mass media for obtaining weather forecasts and disaster information. However, when you look at the weather forecast, BBC is easier to see than NHK WORLD. Of course, NHK is much more informed about weather and disasters in Japan. However, the BBC weather forecast page is very easy to understand. So I recommend you BBC too.
NHK WORLD TV
NHK, the national broadcaster in Japan, operates the international broadcast “NHK WORLD” as mentioned above. With the “NHK WORLD TV” app, you can easily watch this international broadcast. This app usually provides a wide range of information besides weather forecasts. However, if a typhoon comes to Japan or a big earthquake occurs, this app will provide you with a lot of disaster prevention information. This app has over 500,000 downloads.
There is also a radio app called “NHK WORLD RADIO”, which also has over 100,000 downloads.
As mentioned above, the NHK WORLD TV website supports 35 languages including Korean, Thai, and Arabic.
Information that can be provided
Information that can be viewed in this app is as follows.
NHK World emergency news
J Alert (National Instant Warning System)
This app provides emergency earthquake warnings, tsunami warnings, special weather warnings, eruption warnings, etc. so that foreign visitors to Japan can travel in Japan with peace of mind. This provides only necessary information in the event of a disaster in five languages: Japanese, English, Korean, and Chinese (traditional and simplified).
Basically, I recommend that you first watch “NHK WORLD TV”. This is because “NHK WORLD TV” provides the latest information faster. However, if you are in danger of a typhoon or earthquake, I recommend you to use “Safety tips” as well.
“Safety tips” is a specialized app that the Japanese government tells you about disaster information. Therefore, it is a good idea to check the information of the Japanese government in “Safety tips”.
The following five languages are supported.
Chinese (Simplified / Traditional)
Information that can be provided
Information that can be viewed in this app is as follows.
Up to 10 items of past earthquake information with a seismic intensity of 3 or higher can be confirmed.
You can check the weather special alert and weather alert at the set point.
You can check the eruption warning information that is currently announced.
Heat stroke information
You can check the risk of heat stroke at the set point.
Medical institution information
You can check the information of medical institutions that can accept foreigners.
You can check information on transfer and operation status.
Evacuation advisories / instructions
You can check the evacuation advisory / instruction information and shelter information issued by each local government. (only Japanese)
National protection information
You can check information on ballistic missiles among the national protection information distributed by the Japanese government.
There are related articles as below. Below these articles introducing the four seasons of Japan, I also prepared articles that provide detailed weather information for Tokyo, Osaka, and Hokkaido on a monthly basis. Please refer to them.
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I appreciate you reading to the end.
Bon KUROSAWA I have long worked as a senior editor for Nihon Keizai Shimbun (NIKKEI) and currently work as an independent web writer. At NIKKEI, I was the editor-in-chief of the media on Japanese culture. Let me introduce a lot of fun and interesting things about Japan. Please refer to this article for more details.
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