Best Three Travel Insurance Options For Japan in 2023
A writer and editor at Monito, Jarrod is passionate about helping people apply today’s powerful finance technologies to their lives. He brings his background in international affairs and his experiences living in Japan to provide readers with comprehensive information that also acknowledges the local context.
Monito's Managing Editor, Byron has spent several years writing extensively about financial- and migration-related topics.
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With its cherry blossoms, UNESCO-protected cuisine, and countless shrines and temples, Japan is a travel destination that has enchanted tourists from around the world. The country also boasts a superb healthcare system.
If you face a medical emergency during your Japanese travels, you’ll be in good hands. Still, it’s worth arriving in Japan with travel insurance so that you can visit their world-class hospitals, health clinics, and emergency services anytime with peace of mind. Japanese hospitals and clinics will not accept foreign health insurance and will require you to pay out of pocket unless you have travel insurance for Japan.
Online global insurance companies (known as 'insurtechs') like SafetyWing, VisitorsCoverage, and Insured Nomads specialize in low-cost Japanese travel insurance and in other countries worldwide. In our list below, we explore the three services we believe provide the best deals for young travellers, adventurous backpackers, holidaymakers looking for wide but affordable coverage, and families or groups.
Japan Insurance Profile
Here are a few of the many factors influencing the scope and cost of travel insurances for Japan:
|👥 Number of Visitors
Around 32 million /year
|✅ Travel Highlight
Fushimi Inari Taisha
|💸 Healthcare Cost
25th globally (above average)
|🩺 Healthcare Quality
|⚠ Main Travel Risks
Fraud, petty crime (esp. in nightlife areas), road accidents
|🚑 Travel Insurance Required?
|🏆 Best Insurer
Top Three Travel Insurances for Japan
Heading to Japan soon? Don't forget to check the following list before you travel:
- 💳 Eager to dodge high FX fees? See our picks for the best travel cards in 2023.
- 🛂 Need a visa? Let iVisa take care of it for you.
- ✈ Looking for flights? Compare on Skyscanner!
- 💬 Want to learn Japanese? italki is an excellent way to take one-on-one online lessons.
- 💻 Want a VPN? ExpressVPN is the market leader for anonymous and secure browsing.
Is Travel Insurance Mandatory For Japan?
No, there's currently no legal requirement to take out travel insurance for travel to or through Japan.
However, regardless of whether or not it's legally required, it's always a good idea to take our health insurance before you travel — whether to Korea or anywhere else. For what's usually an affordable cost, taking out travel insurance will mitigate most or all of the risk of financial damage if you run into any unexpected troubles during your trip abroad. Take a look at the top five reasons to get travel insurance to learn more.
With that said, here are the top three travel insurances for Japan:
1st: VisitorsCoverage (Best Health Coverage)
Among the internet's best-known insurance platforms, VisitorsCoverage is a pioneering Silicon Valley insurtech company that offers comprehensive medical coverage for travellers going abroad to Japan. It lets you choose between various plans tailored to meet the specific needs of your trip to Japan, including coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and travel disruptions. With its easy online purchase process and 24/7 live chat support, VisitorsCoverage is a reliable and convenient option if you want good value and peace of mind while travelling abroad.
VisitorsCoverage offers a large variety of policies, and depending on your needs and preferences, you'll need to compare and explore their full catalogue of plans for yourself. However, we've chosen a few highlights for their travel insurance for Japan:
- Plan: Seven Corners Travel Medical Choice
- Price: $46.50 /traveler /month
- Add Canada and US Coverage: N/A
- Term Duration: Customizable
- Coverage: This plan covers most medical treatment, including emergency dental treatment, repatriation, eye exams prescription medication, and COVID-19 coverage.
- Deductible: Customizable ($0 - $5,000)
- Remove Deductible: Add $12 /month
- Maximum Limit: Customizable ($50,000 - $5,000,000)
- Best For: For online-savvy travelers, VisitorsCoverage plans are an excellent choice for comprehensive health coverage. With its flexibility in terms of duration and cancellation, it can be a hassle-free solution for those who need reliable travel insurance.
2nd: SafetyWing (Best For Youth)
Regarding petty crime, infrastructure, and accessibility to medical services, Japan is considered a very safe country. On top of this, young people are the least likely age group to sign up for a travel medical insurance policy (usually due to high costs).
However, travel delays can happen to anyone. Japan is geographically prone to natural disasters, which is why low-cost travel insurance may be worthwhile for young tourists.
SafetyWing is an online travel insurance provider geared toward younger age groups known to offer some of the cheapest international travel insurance policies on the market. They even focus on insuring digital nomads and companies with remote teams. No matter where you are flying in from, SafetyWing stands out as an excellent choice for Japan travel insurance.
SafetyWing offers one standard plan for international travellers although their pricing differs by age group. Below, we focus on the youth category (10 to 39 years old) as we believe this is where SafetyWing's offer really sets itself apart.
- Plan: Insurance for nomads
- Price: Starting at $45.08 /traveler /month
- Term Duration: Up to 364 days
- Eligibility: Between 10 and 39 years (for the basic plan), you cannot travel in the US during your trip.
- Coverage: SafetyWing's basic travel is comprehensive and includes both medical- and travel-related benefits. A few highlights include COVID-19 coverage¹, hospital, ICU, and ambulance coverage², emergency dental coverage, physical therapy and chiropractic coverage, travel interruption and delay coverage, evacuation (medical or emergency political) coverage, and lost luggage up to $3,000.
- Deductible: $250
- Maximum Limit: $250,000
- Best For: Because of its low costs and low barrier to entry (you only need to sign up online — which you can even sign up when you're already travelling), we think SafetyWing is the best travel insurance for Japan for younger travellers looking to keep costs low while still getting decent coverage.
If you're older than 39 years or you're looking for more coverage and don't mind paying a higher price, then we recommend looking at the options below.
¹ Covers testing and quarantine under certain conditions
² High-risk sports, pre-existing conditions, and cancer treatment aren't covered.
3rd: Insured Nomads (Best Trip & Medical Combined Coverage)
Aimed at nomads, couples, families, and groups who frequently travel abroad, Insured Nomads is another extensive insurtech platform offering travel insurance for Japan that's ideal for both medical and non-medical coverage. The minimum policy length is one year and is ideal for those who decide to stay in Japan for an entire year and for those who take frequent short-term trips in and out of their home country.
Insured Nomads offers a wide range of travel insurance policies, including a larger scope of medical-related coverages than the other providers in this article. This includes telemedicine, mental health coverage, airport lounge access, VPN for cyber security protection, and other membership benefits.
We detail Insured Nomads' basic travel insurance plan for Japan below:
- Plan: Travel Insurance World Explorer
- Price: From $86 to $114 /traveler /month
- Term Duration: One trip of between 7 and 364 days
- Eligibility: You cannot travel to Japan via Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, or the Crimea region
- Coverage: This plan offers a fairly comprehensive set of medal benefits and coverage for a basic Japan travel insurance plan. These include online consultation (telemedicine), medical, emergency, and accident coverage, Covid-19 coverage¹, outpatient and inpatient care, medical transportation coverage, evacuation and repatriation, life insurance, adventure sports and marine activity coverage, electronics, camera, cellphone, and sports equipment coverage, flight delay provisions.
- Deductible: $0, $100, $250, or $500 based on selection
- Maximum Limit: $250,000, $1,000,000, or $2,000,000 based on selection
- Best For: Although the most expensive of the plans we've looked at so far, we think Insured Nomads gives the best combination of medical and travel-related coverage, making it an ideal option for travellers to Japan looking for comprehensive benefits. (Insured Nomads also offers an even more comprehensive global health insurance plan for expats for those who plan to live in Japan for an extended period of time.)
¹ Coverage does not apply if travelling to a country with a Covid alert level of Level 4.
FAQ About Travel Insurance for Japan
🇯🇵 Do I need travel insurance to travel to Japan?
No, you won't be required to get a travel insurance policy for Japan. However, we encourage you to do so because Japan does not accept foreign health insurance. Without travel medical insurance for Japan, you will have to pay the full cost of any medical treatment you receive.
⛔ Does Japan have travel restrictions?
As of March 31st, 2022, Japan has continued to close its borders to tourists. On February 24 2022, however, foreign nationals for diplomatic, business, and other authorized reasons became allowed to travel to Japan.
🗾 Can foreigners buy insurance in Japan?
Yes, foreigners can buy travel insurance and travel medical insurance while in Japan. However, only legal residents and citizens can obtain coverage with national Japanese health insurance.
🩺 Is medical travel insurance worth it?
Yes, medical travel insurance is almost always worth it, and we recommend taking out travel insurance whenever visiting a foreign country. Taking out travel insurance will mitigate some or all of the risk of having to cover those costs yourself in case you need medical attention during your stay.
🏦 Can foreigners open a bank account in Japan?
Yes, foreigners can open a bank account in Japan but only if they are legal residents of the country. You must present a government-authorized Japanese residence card in order to open a bank account in Japan. You may not open a bank account in Japan with a tourist visa.
How can I learn Japanese fast?
Read our guide on how to learn fluent Japanese, just in time for your travels.
Other Guides About Japan and Travel Insurance
References Used in This Guide
Washoku. UNESCO.org. Accessed 31 March 2022.
Healthcare in Japan for Tourists. Live Japan. 26 June 2020.
Description of Coverage. SafetyWing. Accessed 31 March 2022.
Travel Insurance Insurance Product Information Document. Insured Nomads. Accessed 31 March 2022.
Measures for Resuming Cross-Border Travel. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 25 March 2022.
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