Safety in Japan 安全
Today geisha are now trained in self defense. They can dislocate your shoulder while maintaining their calm and polite air
A Koban in the city of Saitama.
The police are visible when out on patrol, reassuring citizens of their presence
Play it safe
Japan is a safe country - everyone will tell you that. The streets exude security and if you lose something, you have every chance of finding it in the same place... But forewarned is forearmed.
Thefts experienced by visitors to Japan are still a rarity. Pickpocketing is virtually unknown, and safety in hotels is unquestioned, to the point that some hotels do not even feel the need to put safes in the rooms.
Avoid Taking Risks
However, this doesn't mean you should not be careful, as there are exceptions everywhere and pickpockets do exist in Japan near tourist sites and in major cities. Walking at night is not a problem, but wandering around bar-filled neighborhoods in the early hours will never be as safe.
It's often the case that Japanese salarymen that have gone out drinking with colleagues end up wandering drunkenly in the streets, leading to slightly embarrassing situations. A few shady places in Roppongi or Kabukicho benefit from pushing their customers to consume large amounts, and rip them off in this way. However, physical attacks are still extremely rare.
What To Do in Case of Problems
The best solution is to go to the nearest koban. These small neighborhood police stations are always open, and the policeman on duty will always listen. You can even ask for directions if you simply got lost.
The telephone number for the police is 110. You can also ask the koban officer to put you in contact with someone that speaks English "Eigo dekiru kata wa irrashaimasu ka?"(Is there someone who understands English?).
The telephone number for the ambulance and fire brigade is 119: "Kyukyusha wo onegai shimasu" (I need an ambulance)
We would also advise taking the time to find out if your country has a local embassy, and their contact details, in case of emergency.
But in the vast majority of cases you will come back safe and sound, eager to return to Japan another time.