Health & Safety

In case of injury or disaster

Emergency Contacts

Police: 110
Ambulance/Fire: 119

The above two numbers can be dialed free of charge from public telephones. Pick up the receiver and dial the number when you hear a “toot-toot” sound. Some public telephones have a red emergency button, which automatically connects you to a nearby emergency call center when you press the button. Many fire stations in Shikoku have introduced simultaneous interpretation through telephone interpretation centers.

Foreign Language Contacts for support

Japan Visitor Hotline 050-3816-2787
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) operates a visitor hotline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call for tourist information or assistance in the case of accidents and emergencies including novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Support is available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

Urgent alert

Safety tips

This is a free app launched by the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA). You can receive emergency notifications such as earthquake early warnings, tsunami warnings, and special weather warnings within Japan in 15 languages, including English, Chinese, and Korean. You can also search for hospitals that offer services in foreign languages.

Japan Official Travel

“Japan Official Travel App” is the official smartphone app provided by JNTO, delivering up-to-date information about traveling in Japan for a safe and pleasant journey. The app is provided in four languages: Chinese (Simplified/Traditional), English, and Korean.

JNTO Twitter

JST is managed by Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), providing foreign visitors safety tips and latest information in case of natural disasters.

Drinking water

In Japan, tap water is safe to drink. There are also many convenience stores and vending machines, providing easy access to bottled mineral water. In addition, when walking in the mountains in Shikoku, you may encounter local people filling bottles with water from springs. Water from such places is often delicious and safe to drink. However, since Japanese water is very different from western water in mineral content, it may not be suitable for you.

What you should not drink is the water in bathrooms and restrooms. It may not be purified water. Even water from rivers and waterfalls may look clean but there is the possibility that it may contain germs and contaminants due to housing, factories, and fields in the surrounding area. It is safer not to drink it.

Wild animals and insects

When walking in nature, you may have some unpleasant encounters. Here are a few things you should know about wild animals and insects.

Wild boars If you encounter a wild boar, leave the area quietly and slowly. It is said that you should retreat without turning your back. Do not provoke the boar by running suddenly or throwing stones. It is also effective to retreat to a place where wild boars cannot easily reach you, such as climbing a tree, and wait for them to leave.
Snakes In summer, you may encounter snakes under leaves or rocks or swimming in waterways. Wait for them to pass by so as not to provoke them. Shikoku is also home to a venomous snake called the pit viper. If you are bitten by one, seek medical attention immediately.
Bees and wasps Bees and wasps are very active from summer to autumn. If you see bees or wasps or a nest, do not make a fuss and quietly move away. They usually do not sting unless you disturb them or startle them. If you are stung, anaphylaxis (a systemic allergic reaction) may result in death. Seek medical attention immediately.
Japanese poison ivy and Japanese wax tree Touching them may cause allergic reactions in some people, resulting in skin symptoms such as itching, rashes, and blisters. It is difficult to recognize these plants in the mountains, and symptoms may appear after a day or two. If symptoms develop, rinse the area with water and consult a pharmacy or health care provider.