Wanted poster in Japan

Solo Travel In Japan…What You Should Know

Because of its exotic culture, beautiful landscapes, and ancient buildings, Japan is one of the places many people have dreamed of visiting someday. However, as you plan your trip, you should decide whether to visit the country alone or with a friend or two. Sometimes having a travel companion is not an option. My first trip to Tokyo was solo and I had my concerns about being in a city region with over 30 million people. Comparisons to New York City and Los Angeles filled my mind beforehand.

One of the main things you will experience when you go for a solo tour in Japan is a possible feeling of isolation and loneliness because you lack someone to share the experience with.

Is Solo Travel Safe In Japan?

I often have asked female friends who live in and visited Japan for extended periods what was their overall feeling of safety. Without exception, each one said they felt completely safe and had little to no worry about their personal safety. They sometimes mentioned an occasional train or bus where one of the passengers became a little too friendly, but overall a more annoying experience rather than a frightening one.

Japan has created a reputation for itself as a safe country. People leave their belongings unattended and return to find them in perfect condition. Lost items are also returned with all their contents safe, children commute to and from school with minimal to no adult supervision, and women generally do not feel at risk while walking around in large cities even at night.

However, that does not mean that you should not be careful and self-aware. If you are in danger or feel unsafe, you can find a police station or small police box in any neighborhood you are in, and there are police officers stationed at each one.

Is Tokyo Safe For Solo Female Travelers?

Being a city in one of the safest countries globally, Tokyo is safe for women to visit alone. Whether you are walking on the streets or taking public transport, you will feel relatively safe at all times.

As a general rule, Tokyo is safe for you as a female tourist because there are very few violent crimes. Most crimes of this nature take place between domestic partners and almost never from a complete stranger, however, it would be wise if you remain alert in the subways during the rush hour because of the intense crowds.

Is Tokyo Safe To Trave Alone?

Whatever part of Tokyo you plan to visit, you are assured of safety, both for you and your belongings. However, you should not be careless and do things you would not do wherever you are from. Remain vigilant and understand your surroundings.

Just because the majority of the people are nice and friendly does not mean that there is the complete absence of the rare pickpocket or people who may try to take advantage of you.

Is It Safe To Walk Around The Country At Night?

Japan is one of the countries with the lowest rates of street crimes in the world. You can comfortably walk around at night without having to look over your shoulder every minute in fear of a pickpocket or other criminal types.

However, you need to understand the area you are in, avoid some of those dark corridors and alleys, and don’t just bar hop alone into any drinking establishment.

Is Shinjuku Dangerous?

Shinjuku’s sea of neon

Shinjuku is one of my favorite areas to see in Tokyo. The endless displays of neon and never-ending restaurants and places to find out of the ordinary establishments to rub elbows with the locals.

Shinjuku is like most other places in Tokyo except for the fact of having more tourists and thus a possibility of more crime from non-Japanese persons. Some foreigners might see a lone individual as an easy mark. Overall Shinjuku is a great area of Tokyo to see the sights and sounds and is typically safe for solo tourists.

Unless you get involved in anything you should not be involved in, Shinjuku is safe area, both during the day and at night.

Is There A Red Light District In Tokyo?

KabukiCho in Shinjuku is the most well-known red-light district in Tokyo. There are many host and hostess bars and love hotels, clubs, restaurants, shops, and nightclubs. That has made a lot of locals refer to it as the sleepless town.

The district is characterized by the bright neon lights and the large posters with suggestive photos all over them. All night, the town is congested by people looking for clubs and restaurants, making Shinjuku one of the most dangerous places.

The crime rate in Japan has shown a continuous decline over recent years. However, there has been an increase in white color crimes like insurance fraud and credit card fraud.

There have also been cases of human trafficking in many major cities, which affects both foreigners, local women, and girls.

Which Areas Have A Higher Crime Rate?

Some of the areas of Tokyo do have an elevated rate of mainly property crimes and rarely are there violet assaults or murders. Here are three areas that do have a higher crime rate than the rest of Japan on average.

Shinjuku- Around 7,940 total crimes, with the majority of them being shoplifting.

Setagaya- Around 7,839 total crimes, with a lot of them being burglaries of houses that have been temporarily vacated in quiet residential areas.

Edogawa- About 7,759 total crimes, with many being car break-ins, mainly in Koiwa, Kasai Rinkai Park, and Funabori areas.

How Many Murders Happen In The Country Annually?

While the number of murders in the country annually gradually reduces from year to year, there are still some murder cases recorded. According to a report in the previous year, the murders that were recorded were often persons who knew each other and often were domestic partners.

Kanto- 288

Kinki- 191

Chubu- 115

Tokyo- 105

Kyushu- 87

Chugoku- 46

Tohoku- 42

Hokkaido- 36

Shikoku- 19

Why Does It Have A 99 Conviction Rate?

In Japan, a lot of people arrested and eventually taken to trial are found guilty. That is mainly attributed to the fact that they have a prove yourself innocent type of system.

In Japan, judges could face a penalty from the personnel office if they pass a verdict the office does not like. Another reason for a ninety-nine percent conviction rate could be that the prosecutors only bring in criminals whose guilt is obvious and not those who have uncertainties surrounding the case.

Is Japan Safer Than America?

As a whole the country is very much safer than America, gun ownership is extremely rare and handguns are illegal to possess. Registering significantly lower rates of all types of crimes. In America, you might not feel safe walking at night as you would in Japan, especially in dark alleyways.

In America, the number of dangerous cities is much higher, and you are more likely to get pickpocketed or experience fraud or even violent crime in the streets of America.

What Is The Most Dangerous City In Japan?

The most dangerous cities in the country are either red-light districts or slums. However, some are more dangerous than others. If you ask any local what the most dangerous city is, most will tell you that Kabuki Cho in Tokyo.

This is the biggest red-light district in the country and is usually congested and crowded with people there for entertainment. It has the highest crime rates, with most being shoplifting break-ins and pickpocketing.

Japanese wanted posters

Are Guns Illegal?

Being from America guns are just a natural part of our culture. My father collected firearms of all types and enjoyed target shooting for many years.

On average the citizens of Japan can have shotguns and rifles but must show a legitimate reason for why they need them. The legitimate reasons most commonly include hunting or sport shooting and even then they are heavily regulated and police checks for storage and safety are checked.

Japanese citizens must store the gun separately from the ammunition and always be under lock and key. You should also not carry the firearm unless you are strictly performing the activity for which you have authorization.

Entering the village, obey the village

japanese proverb

Why Is Crime So Low In The Country?

I have never felt so safe as when I am in Japan. I guess it seems strange to feel such a way, but it’s simply true. Japanese people like to avoid confrontation and rarely have issues with foreigners unless they have committed a crime. Even after a tourist commits a social misstep it’s often overlooked as Japanese feel they don’t understand the social rules. Other common reasons crime is so low in Japan are as follows:

• Values and beliefs: The citizens have solid values and beliefs that ensure they do not harm people around them.

• Zoning laws- Laws allow business buildings to exist around residences, such that even when businesses are closed, there are still people and lights on the streets.

• Police presence- There are police boxes in every neighborhood that always have at least one police officer.

• Strict gun laws

• Drinking and driving is punished severely.

• Committing a crime of any time is considered to bring shame to your family

I learned a few basic phrases to say in case of emergency and to directly ask for help in the event I need it.

  • Keisatsukan  police officer
  • Hittakuri ni aimashita.  I’ve been robbed
  • Keisatsu o yonde kudasai   Please call the police

That allows you to ask for help when you need it. Japan is an extraordinarily safe place to visit for a solo traveling man or woman. I have visited many times and had many guys and girl acquaintances and never have they described frightening situations that commonly happen in the USA. If you or someone you love is planning to take a solo trip to the land of the rising sun…then you have little to worry about. Other than they may not want to return home.

There are criminals in all countries but Japan has one of the lowest crime rates per capita among modernized and heavily populated countries. The most common crime among Japan’s largest city Tokyo is bicycle theft.

My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.