Tourist information you’ll want to know before planning your trip to Japan, and news on handy services while you’re there.
*The information on these pages is current as of October 2019.
Tokyo ranked the ‘Safest City’ for the third time running
Tokyo has taken out the top place in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index 2019, with Osaka coming in at third place. The capital city of Japan has ranked first for three consecutive surveys in this index of 60 cities conducted once every two years since 2015. In the 2019 edition of this index, cities were given scores out of 100 across a range of indicators including digital, health, infrastructure, and personal security. Tokyo topped the ranks for low petty and violent crime levels, infrastructure to withstand natural disasters, and low risk of computer malware infection, with high scores in other categories.
1. Tokyo 92.0
2. Singapore 91.5
3. Osaka 90.9
4. Amsterdam 88.0
5. Sydney 87.9
More flights to and from Japan in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics
The Japanese government has announced an increase in international departures and arrivals to Haneda Airport from approximately 60,000 to 99,000 flights in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Approximately 50 extra slots per day will be allocated from March 29, 2020 as part of the new summer schedule. Of the 50 additional slots, Australia has been awarded four allocations amongst nine other countries including the United States and China. The new Australian flights to and from Haneda Airport will also include the first midday slot for the route.
Large luggage to require reservations on the Shinkansen
Large suitcases and other bulky items will require luggage reservations to take onboard the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen lines starting May 2020. The planned changes are part of an effort to increase security measures for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Large luggage is deemed to have a collective length, width, and depth between 160cm and 250cm with reservations required alongside other reserved seat options such as window seats, and internet services. No additional cost is required when reserved beforehand, however, a 1,000-yen fee must be paid if a reservation is not made. If a large luggage item is carried onto a non-reserved seat, then an extra 520 yen to upgrade to a reserved seat must also be paid alongside the additional luggage fee. The luggage will be kept locked up in spaces behind seats at the end of a carriage, or in the luggage space on the deck. There are no current plans to introduce these changes to the Tohoku or Hokuriku lines.
Discover a new side of Japan
The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) spreads the word about the charms of Japan to residents of Australia and New Zealand. Their website provides information handy for travelling around Japan about topics such as Japanese culture, food, skiing, and shopping. Check out the website for the latest information about Japan before planning your next trip over to the land of the rising sun.
Be sure to also check out the official jStyle Facebook page for information about Japanese culture. The page is jam-packed with information about Japanese experiences including traditional Japanese sweets, history, castles, temples, and the beautiful outdoors. You can also find the latest news about events in Australia, such as the Japanese pop culture convention, SMASH!, and the Cherry Blossom Festival welcoming the start of spring. Head on over to the Facebook page and discover a new side of Japan.
Electronic Customs Declaration Gate System at Narita Airport now in operation
The Electronic Customs Declaration Gate System (e-Gate) has been rolled out at Terminal 3 in Narita Airport. With this new system, the customs declaration form can now be filled out electronically on an app rather than on paper. The aim of this new system is to speed up the process and shorten waiting times for the ever-increasing number of inbound passengers. Progressing through customs has now been made simple by filling out the required details on the app, scanning the generated QR code and your passport at the electronic declaration terminal, and then having your face photo taken on the spot. The declaration process can be done whilst waiting to collect your luggage. Once you have completed the process, pick up your luggage, head through the e-Gate, and then verify your identity through the facial recognition system, before proceeding through. The e-Gate is scheduled to be made available in Terminals 1 and 2 at Narita Airport, and other major airports from Spring 2020. For more details, visit the Japan Customs official website. Scan the QR codes found below to download the official app.