Walking home alone in Japan

It goes without saying that there is violent crime in Japan. Some of it pretty horrific too. But generally, and particularly so when compared to many other countries, it is incredibly safe. No-go areas simply don’t exist, and women can happily walk home alone. Although at least as far as the latter goes, some places are certainly more reassuring than others.

walking home alone in Japan


  1. Martin says

    In the mid-90s I took a job in Washington DC for a year. I was staying at decent hotel, the Watergate. My first night there I decided to go for a walk to check out the area. The hotel staff tried to stop me but I laughed them off. A few minutes later a couple charming residents of DC tried to take advantage of my good nature. I was standing in front of the White House lol! Yeah I guess Japan is a little different from here.

    • says

      Blimey, that was quite an introduction to the city…

      Yes, for all Japan’s faults, of which there are many, the incredibly safe environment it has managed to maintain is worthy of real praise. It’s all to easy to take for granted after a while, but it really is something to be cherished.

  2. Coli says

    Lee I would have to agree with you. After eleven years here on this island, it is easy to take it for granted. Perhaps that is what is “scary” about moving back. The lack of a safe environment.

    • says

      I know exactly what you mean. When I go back home, it definitely takes me a few days to adjust/settle down. Admittedly most of it is in just in my head, but sadly not all of it…

  3. says

    This is the main cause for what I call a “reality shock”, which is something I’ve been experiencing ever since I moved to Japan. After I got married, I lived for three years in the same apartment just one block away from the beach with my wife in Brazil. We never went to the beach, nor did we go bike riding or stayed late into the night out – this is just to name a few activities on a long list of things we simply couldn’t do. There was never a sense of safety, no matter where we went to as we had to remain vigilant the whole time, watching out for robbers waiting for a chance to accost you.

    Upon arriving in Japan, it felt weird being able to go anywhere, phone in hand, going to a convenience store at 3am without actually having to look around all the time, but I was still fresh on this reality and kept the old ways for a long while. Even now, after almost three years living here, I occasionally still find myself checking my surroundings for people that might be around and look suspect. Even simple and casual things like holding out my wallet inside stations feels a bit out of this world. I would never ever do that in Brazil.

    I’m Brazilian and I have grown to largely dislike Brazil and its people. People say the violence is a matter of education but I strongly disagree. To me, Brazilian violence is directly connected to a single factor: culture. I see it as something beyond salvation.

    Unless I’m denied my visa, I’m never going back to Brazil, that’s for sure.

    • says

      Britain is certainly not as safe as Japan, but fortunately I’ve never felt I have to be on my guard so much. There again, in some situations I do/have been.

      But never having to worry about such things at all, really is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

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