Yes, it is still very safe to visit Japan…

With the recent devastation that has occurred in Japan many tourists may have been put off travelling to this wonderful nation. Whilst the country has not only had to deal with the horrific repercussions of the earthquake and tsunami, fears of rising radiation levels for nuclear power plants have also struck much of the east coast of Japan. However, there are a number of places in this technologically advanced country which remain safe for visitors to explore. And in some ways, providing much needed tourism and therefore funds to this critically injured nation could offer some support which is very much need.

Japan's flag - Is it safe to travel to Japan?
Japan’s flag flying outside Okayama Park, another great city to visit.

For travellers wanting to visit Japan, the best regions are those in Central and Southern Japan. Flights to Japan are relatively easy to find and tourists will still be able to access a range of travel choices. These areas have been little affected by the problems noted and can be safely travelled to without fear of radiation poisoning or negatively affecting ongoing relief and clean up efforts. There are a number of fantastic areas to visit that will give tourists the ultimate Japanese experience away from affected areas including Osaka, Kyoto and Okinawa. And with all these areas safe to visit, Japanese adventures can still be had.

For travellers wanting Japanese culture and history there is no better place than Osaka, the centre of Kansai and a city which has historical charm and modern amenities. Almost as equal to Tokyo in its foreword thinking setting, Osaka is filled with the technologically advanced features that make Japan famous. Nightlife is particularly exciting in this city, with drab alleys and streets becoming alive with tasty foods, excited locals and neon flashing signs. The Open Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses is a wonderful destination to visit, as is the Osaka Aquarium which is home to a huge whale shark.

Large orange gate entrance to a Temple at Kyoto
Kyoto, full of temples and shrines.

Away from the advanced city of Osaka, Kyoto is also a wonderful metropolis to explore and offers a rich tapestry of Japanese history with 17 Unesco World Heritage sites and over 400 Shinto shrines and 1600 Buddhist temples. This city is often the one place where tourists will find the quintessential Japan, with geisha still wandering the streets, raked pebble gardens, and beautiful vermilion shrine gates. Whilst arriving in Kyoto can often lead to disappointment that all of these wonderful sights aren’t instantly on view, a careful exploration of the city will discover exciting glimpse of the areas true nature and this often leads to more of a lasting impression than if everything were laid out for tourists immediately.

For a sight of Japan which may have never been expected travelling to Okinawa will offer surprising visions of palm trees and white sandy beaches. These islands are vastly popular with tourists and locals alike and offer beach life tranquillity with hiking, water sports and beach events all easily found.

Travelling to Japan is still safe as long as visitors take time to establish just which areas have been affected by recent events and which haven’t. There are many places away from affected areas, including Okinawa, Kyoto and Osaka, which are still vibrantly carrying on life as normal. And by taking trips to these locations instead, tourists may just discover something special that that could have evaded them had other destinations been open for travel.

This article was contributed by a guest author. To contribue an article, photo or travel video, please contact Dean at Japan Travel Mate.
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