Japan for Senior Travelers
Best Time to Visit
Safety & Accessibility of Resources
Traveling with Zicasso
Best Time to Visit
Best Time to Visit Japan for Seniors
The best time to visit Japan for seniors and travelers over 50 is September to November.
Japan is an island with temperate zones but also possesses diverse landscapes that consist of soaring mountains, precipitous cliffs, fertile valleys, and luscious coastline, which offers unique seasons throughout the year. While each season offers a different emphasis in many regional traditions, such as festivals that celebrate the snowfall or the iconic cherry blossoms, the best time for touring Japan for seniors is during the autumn between mid-September and early November. It is the best during this time because this is when the mild weather replaces the heat and humidity of August and before the winter chill settles over the northern and central districts.
The end of August and beginning of September accounts for typhoon season, which is when the majority of storms sweep across the island. In autumn, the days remain cool but not cold, and the leaves across Japan boast a pleasant scarlet and red hue that contrasts the depth of the blue skies. This time of year also hosts a variety of chrysanthemum shows and festivals in addition to inspiring maple-viewing spots.
Spring between the months of March and April is also an excellent time to visit Japan for travelers over 50 because it highlights the magnificence of the scenery as the cherry blossoms are blooming around the island at this time. The exquisite display of colorful white, pink, and red petals connotes the bounty of the Japanese landscape and symbolizes the importance of rebirth and seasonality in Japanese culture. While the quick and fleeting cherry blossoms attract both international and domestic tourists to different cities around Japan, the spring can be a hectic and crowded time to travel the island due to the popularity of the cherry blossom season. This also includes the Golden Week, which occurs during the last week of April and beginning of May and is when four national holidays fall consecutively.
Travel Considerations for Seniors
Travel is a fantastic way to stay youthful and inspire invigoration and education for seniors who are venturing to new and familiar destinations across the world. When traveling in Japan, the following list offers ideas on what to consider before your departure, ensuring that you can focus on the beauty of the landscape and friendly people instead of checking your packing list or worrying about transportation.
Avoiding the Heat
Planning your trip during months of June, July, and August can include dealing with the infamous heat and humidity of the Japanese summer. While beautiful in spring and autumn due to the luscious greenery and changing colors of the trees, in summer, the heat can become sweltering, especially among the crowds of large cities in Tokyo. It can also be overwhelming when actively exploring the higher elevations of destinations such as the Mount Fuji Five Lakes district.
The best way to avoid the heat of Japan’s summer months is by planning your trip during the shoulder months of mid-September to mid-November or in the spring between March and May. If traveling in summer, you should consider keeping to cooler destinations in the north or of higher altitudes. You should always keep a full water bottle nearby in order to stay hydrated and be sure to sit at consistent intervals. By taking the time to sit and relax, whether in a large city or the countryside, you can partake in an ancient Japanese idiom of ichi-go ichi-e, which loosely translates to “for this time only” and celebrates the concept of treasuring the nature of an unrepeatable moment, which allows you to take a breath, recuperate, and bask in your surroundings.
When on a senior tour of Japan, transportation can become a huge consideration with subways and train stations that often host large sets of stairs or busses that become too crowded or hot for a comfortable transfer. Transportation in Japan is prevalent, easy, and accessible for locals and travelers over 50. The technological focuses of Japan provide elaborate methods for making transport across Japan and specific cities much simpler whether traveling by taxi, a ride service, or the famous bullet trains. Long-distance travel should be comfortable and quick, allowing you more time to discover Japan and less travel time. When possible, you should avoid changing stations or trains.
When traveling to Japan on a senior vacation, Zicasso accounts for your transportation needs to ensure that you have private transfers between hotels, airports, and train stations within a city. We also know of the best methods for traveling longer distances, so you can enjoy the journey almost as much your destination.
When traveling in Japan on a senior trip, packing light ensures you an easier time as you can maneuver quicker without the weight of large bags or dirty laundry. Whether pulling a suitcase with wheels or converting your luggage to a backpack, you can find more comfort with smaller items, especially if you are not checking your bags on flights or trains. A small notebook or app can help keep necessary information at your fingertips while an extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts will ensure that you can enjoy your surroundings. Main items to consider when packing for Japan include:
- Pack for the season of your intended destination
- Remember any adaptive clothing
- Keep any mobility aids close
- Wear a sturdy pair of walking shoes
- 8 undergarments
- 8 socks
- 2 light pants or jeans
- 2 shorts, skirt, or dress
- 5 shirts, long- or short-sleeved
- Pack personal care and toiletry items
- Contact solution
- Creams or ointments
- Feminine products
- Nail clippers/tweezers
Medical and First Aid
While you can most likely purchase first aid or medications during your senior Japan travel, it is difficult to manage finding a pharmacist who can fill your prescription and whether they will also speak English in order to understand the medication that you need and the desired measurements. Instead of taking the chance of finding your medication in Japan, you should pack certain necessities and bring them on your trip, such as first-aid items and specific medications that you receive from your doctor. Types of items that you should bring with you are:
- Prescription medications
- Bandages or gauze
- Over the counter medications such as cough medicine, allergy pills, or motion sickness medication
- Medical equipment such as hearing aids or braces
You’ve booked your dream vacation, now protect it with travel insurance. A wide range of factors that can leave your vacation in limbo. Medical emergencies, inclement weather, and unexpected cancellations can cause turmoil for your trip so in the unlikely event of a disaster, get the travel insurance coverage that provides peace of mind. Click here to see our travel insurance page and to get a quote.
Flights Via Zicasso
Zicasso Air Desk is an international air ticketing service that eliminates the stress of finding and booking the right flights for your upcoming vacation by employing the same personalized service you can expect from planning a trip with Zicasso. Our competitive flight pricing, 24X7 Service & Support, and Complimentary Consultation of Routing vs. Pricing with an Expert Flight Specialist make finding the perfect flight for your trip effortless.
Travel documents are essential for any traveler when visiting Japan, and during your over 50 Japan trip, you should remember to pack specific paperwork for the most fluid travel experience. Some of the most important documents to have on you while traveling include the following:
- Medical information (either paperwork or on a smartphone app)If traveling with a medical issue, you should carry information from your doctor regarding your condition and any medication that you take
- Emergency contact information
- Visa, if necessary
- Proof of airline tickets and reservations
- Customs forms and documents
- Hotel or accommodation reservations
- Travel and medical insurance (see above)
Safety & Accessibility of Resources
Safety & Accessibility of Resources
Japan is a safe destination for travelers over 50 and is often rated one of the top 10 safest countries in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. When considering a senior tour of Japan, you can rest assured of the safety and accessibility to medical, health, and other important resources in the country. For instance, the air in Tokyo is clean with a quality that averages much better than many American cities, including Los Angeles. Instead of worrying about safety issues in Japan, make sure you do not take your safety for granted and become too comfortable by disregarding common and necessary safety measures. The following list offers more information on common questions that are asked by travelers before enjoying a senior tour of Japan.
Low Crime Rate
The crime rate in Japan is very low, even in major metropolitan areas like Tokyo or Kyoto. While pickpocketers are present all over the world, Japan does not possess a large number of reported thefts each year. Japan reported 356 cases per 100,000 people in 2014, contrasting the United States’ 1,773 reports per 100,000 people in 2015. In the same regard, violent crimes such as robbery or other forms of violence are also very low and extremely uncommon in japan with less than 1 percent of reported cases per 100,000 people. These statistics are aimed to highlight the safety of the country for all visitors, whether over 50 years old, a group of elderly women tourists, or a solo senior traveler.
Things to look out for
Easy safety precautions for senior travelers over 50 include suggestions such as:
- Do not accept invitations from strangers when traveling alone.
- Avoid rush hour on trains or during peak hours between 7 and 9 am and again from 5 to 8 pm on weekdays. Be advised that rush hours can differ between cities with Osaka possesses the most congested rush hour train schedules.
- Trains stop running around midnight or earlier in rural destinations, making a long journey difficult if traveling far for dinner or an evening away; try reserving a restaurant or visiting some of the nightly entertainment close to your accommodations to avoid the possibility of missing the last train.
- Convenience stores in Japan are open 24 hours a day and can become an excellent resource if lost or feeling unsafe after dark. They often have free Wi-fi and staff in attendance who can possibly provide assistance.
Other than knowing the contact information such as the address or phone number of the nearest American Consulate in Japan, the following numbers are also helpful in case of emergencies during a tour of Japan:
- Fire department – 119
- Ambulance – 119
- Police – 110
Hospitals & Medical Assistance
When in a large city, finding an English-speaking doctor or specialist is easy due to the variety of clinics, including the American Clinic Tokyo, which hosts native English-speaking doctors. The AMDA International Medical Information Center also offers multilingual telephone services when in Japan so those who are in the country can receive appropriate medical care.
Before traveling to Japan, you should be up to date on common vaccines such as:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
Some other viruses that you can contract while in Japan, especially if visiting a rural area, such as:Japanese encephalitis
Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?
The drinking water is safe to drink in Japan. Japan is one of only 15 countries in the world that is known for having clean drinking water. The well-maintained and reliable water infrastructure derives from purifying facilities that are spread across the country.
Traveling with Zicasso
Traveling Japan with Zicasso
When planning a luxury vacation, every detail matters, which is why our approach is different. We will match you with leading travel specialists who are the most qualified to make your dream trip happen because they know their country better than anyone. Each travel specialist in Zicasso’s network is among the finest travel agents and tour operators comprising the top tier of the industry. Experience the wonder of an exceptional itinerary crafted just for you.