If you've searched the internet for private medical insurance that covers expats in Japan then you are probably for looking for established UK based health insurance providers that will cover your medical costs in Japan.
Living as an expat in Japan you want to avoid any unwanted and unexpected medical costs. In some countries these can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds for serious medical conditions.
Our advice when shopping around for health insurance that covers expatriates living in Japan is to speak to a insurance broker. Health insurance is very complicated and if you want absolute certainty that Japan is covered by your policy you should talk with a broker who can explain which providers will cover medical costs for expatriates in Japan and which will not.
There are many advantages to using a broker but the largest by far is that you're using their insurance training at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than you so it costs you no extra to use their brokering services.
- Do you live in many different areas? Some will give you a lower policy premium than offers. A broker will be able to advise whats best.
- Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance claim? A broker will know this vital information.
- If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your insurance policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different insurance policies?
- You've lean't you're at risk of developing a certain condition and want to know which policy provider offers the largest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you huge amounts of time and effort.
You can call around every medical insurance provider you can find and ask if they provider cover for expats in Japan, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.
Its much quicker to speak to one medical insurance broker which will know which policy providers on the market offer cover for expats in Japan and under what terms they do or don't cover it.
Japan attracted 31.19 million international tourists in 2018. Japan has 21 World Heritage Sites, including Himeji Castle, Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto and Nara. Popular foreigner attractions include Tokyo and Hiroshima, Mount Fuji, ski resorts such as Niseko in Hokkaido, Okinawa, riding the shinkansen and taking advantage of Japan's hotel and hotspring network.
The 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report ranked Japan 4th out of 141 countries overall, which was the highest in Asia. Japan gained relatively high scores in almost all of the featured aspects, such as health and hygiene, safety and security, cultural resources and business travel.
The origins of early traditions of visits to picturesque sites are unclear, but an early sight-seeing excursion was Matsuo Bashō's 1689 trip to the then "far north" of Japan, which occurred not long after Hayashi Razan categorized the Three Views of Japan in 1643. During the Edo era of Japan, from around 1600 to the Meiji Restoration in 1867, travel was regulated within the country through the use of shukuba or post stations, towns where travelers had to present appropriate documentation. Despite these restrictions, porter stations and horse stables, as well as places for lodging and food were available on well-traveled routes. During this time, Japan was a closed country to foreigners, so no foreign tourism existed in Japan.
Following the Meiji Restoration and the building of a national railroad network, tourism became more of an affordable prospect for domestic citizens and visitors from foreign countries could enter Japan legally. As early as 1887, government officials recognized the need for an organized system of attracting foreign tourists; the Kihinkai (貴賓会), which aimed to coordinate the players in tourism, was established that year with Prime Minister Itō Hirobumi's blessing. Its early leaders included Shibusawa Eiichi and Ekida Takashi. Another major milestone in the development of the tourism industry in Japan was the 1907 passage of the Hotel Development Law, as a result of which the Railways Ministry began to construct publicly owned hotels throughout Japan.
For much of post-World War II history, Japan has been an exceptionally unattractive tourist destination for its population and GDP size; from 1995 to 2014, it was by far the least visited country in the G7 despite being the second largest country in the group, and as of 2013 was one of the least visited countries in the OECD on a per capita basis.
Domestic tourism remains a vital part of the Japanese economy and Japanese culture. Children in many middle schools see the highlight of their years as a visit to Tokyo Disneyland or perhaps Tokyo Tower, and many high school students often visit Okinawa or Hokkaido. The extensive rail network together with domestic flights sometimes in planes with modifications to favor the relatively short distances involved in intra-Japan travel allows efficient and speedy transport. International tourism plays a smaller role in the Japanese economy compared to other developed countries; in 2013, international tourist receipts was 0.3% of Japan's GDP, while the corresponding figure was 1.3% for the United States and 2.3% for France.
In inbound tourism, Japan was ranked 28th in the world in 2007 when the country had the 2nd largest GDP. In 2009, the Yomiuri Shimbun published a modern list of famous sights under the name Heisei Hyakkei (the Hundred Views of the Heisei period).
Tourists from South Korea have made up the largest number of inbound tourists several times in the past. In 2010, their 2.4 million arrivals made up 27% of the tourists visiting Japan.
Travelers from China have been the highest spenders in Japan by country, spending an estimated 196.4 billion yen (US$2.4 billion) in 2011, or almost a quarter of total expenditure by foreign visitors, according to data from the Japan Tourism Agency.
After the triple melt-down of the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, the number of foreign visitors declined for months. In September 2011 some 539,000 foreign people visited Japan, this was 25 percent down compared with the same month in 2010. This decline was largely attributed to the Fukushima nuclear accident and the stronger yen made a visit to Japan more expensive.
To boost tourism the Japanese Tourism Agency announced in October 2011 a plan to give 10,000 round-trip air tickets to Japan to encourage visitors to come. In 2012 free tickets would be offered if the winners would write online about their experiences in Japan. They also would need to answer some questions about how they felt while visiting Japan after the earthquake and how the interest in tourism in Japan could be renewed. About US$15 million would be spent on this program. On December 26, 2011, The Japan Tourism Agency reported on their site that the "Fly to Japan! Project", which would have given out 10,000 round-trip tickets to Japan, was not approved by the government for fiscal year 2012.