Do you know how much serious natural disaster, “typhoons” in Japan?
“Typhoon” is the storm as same as you call “hurricanes”, “cyclones” that brings disasters with heavy rain and strong wind.
Generally, the peak of the typhoon season in Japan is from August (The late July) through September, but it has been changing until October in recent years.
If you are planning to visit Japan in typhoon season, moreover traveling to southern prefectures and islands such as Okinawa, Kagoshima, Miyazaki and so on,
you should learn about typhoons and what to do during a typhoon approaching.
Your trip may be messed up If you don’t take it seriously.
Japan experiences several typhoons during the season, not all typhoons bring severe disasters, but a few typhoons should be taken seriously.
I am going to tell you what to do when Typhoons come to Japan during traveling.
- What is a typhoon?
- What is happening?
- What to do and not to do
What is a typhoon?
The common route of a typhoon is reaching Okinawa first from the Philippine islands, and it proceeds toward to Kanto region (Tokyo area) through the main island with changing the course depend on Pacific high.
The simple to say, for example, a typhoon starts from Okinawa and proceeds Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Hiroshima, Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Shizuoka, then Tokyo.
The typhoon generally loses its power as proceeding and turns to be “tropical depression” on around the Northern region in most cases.
However, typhoon routes have been changing,
recent typhoons likely approach in the Kanto region (Tokyo area) using unexpectedly route in Japanese typhoon history.
Therefore, you should be ready although you are staying in Tokyo area.
What is happening?
Typhoon causes storm surges, high waves, lightning strikes, floods, landslides, collapsed trees, buildings, blowing away roofs and signs.
The peak of typhoon proceeding lasts for a few hours, once it is gone, the sun is out and brings clear sky as if nothing happened.
Recently, severe floods and landslides likely occur in Japan.
If you plan to stay near rives and hillside,
Be aware and be prepared for the flash flooding and landslides.
What to do and not to do
If a typhoon will seem to strike the area where you stay in Japan, you better prepare typhoon approaching.
The first of all, you need to ways to get local weather news.
Surely, you have already your favorite weather application on your device, it is OK.
But several apps I picked here are suitable especially for weather alerts that occur in Japan, so better download at least one for your Japan trip.
Twitter can be easy and quick to know important notification for you.
Follow these accounts to get informations as soon as possible.
Check NHK Constantly On TV
If you don’t connect internet networks, you are still able to check whether and alerts on TV.
“NHK World”broadcast Japanese news and weather forecast in English.
Keep your eyes on the weather forecast.
Here is a nice site to tell you how to change the language with Japanese remote control.
In another way to check out the weather condition, you can find details on the Japan Meteorological Agency website, too. (oh, but internet connection is required)
Consider Connecting Networks
It is not a bad thing to have an internet connection during your trip to Japan.
Consider changing your phone plan to international or purchase an international SIM card in your country.
You can also get a sim card at the airport and if you rent pocket wifi you can connect more than one device.
In case you need to evacuate to a shelter,
consider about keep the connection in Japan to let your friends and family know where you are.
Check Public Transportation Schedule
Even the faraway before the typhoon landfall, it will be affected the transportation system in the area on the route including flights, trains, buses, highway, and everything.
Check the public transportation schedule if you plan to use those before you leave.
Especially if you are going to use “Shinkansen” or “Air Plane”, be sure your ride or flight is on schedule.
Arrange The Itinerary In Advance If Needed
Keep your eyes on the course and the strength of typhoon carefully,
you might have to arrange the itinerary in advance.
- Change the next destination
- Arrange and cancel accommodations
- Stay near the airport if the leaving day will be around typhoon landfall.
- Change your stay if there are by rivers and an incline of a mountain.
Even if you think it ’s okay, the Japanese organizations and companies will do their best to protect people’s safety, so that public transportation networks and major places where you are planning to go might be closed during the warning time.
You may need to consider to rearrange your itinerary depends on the weather condition.
Tokyo Shinbun tells Typhoon hit the Tokyo metropolitan area the other day, and the transportation network, mainly railways canceled the schedules. Thousands of passengers had been stuck in the station for hours, however, many foreign tourists had no clue what was going on. The announcement from speakers was only in Japanese and they couldn’t find English speakers around.
It may be happen to you unless you don’t keep eyes on latest information.
Check the weather everyday during your trip.
Download translate applications on your device and activate the Japanese network connection.
Make sure you have enough cash with you in case the lifeline may be down.
You can withdraw money Japan Post Bank (Yucho) and 7-eleven.
Charge Your Phone
Make sure your phones, portable chargers, and other devices are fully charged.
This is important to check out the latest information when power supply may down while a typhoon striking.
It happened the shortage of outlets in the evacuation shelter, many people waited in the line to use
To avoid this situation, charge your device.
Write Down Emergency Phone Numbers
Write down phone numbers of the embassy and consulate in your staying area.
Foods And Water
As I mentioned, the major places include grocery stores will be closed or closed early. Stock water and foods if needed.
Convenience stores probably stay open, but walking outside in typhoon is not recommended.
Make Sure The Shelter Location
Make sure the evacuation route and shelters where you are staying.
Better check more than one shelter, you might have to find an open shelter.
This is another reason why you should have networks in Japan because
- Need to search shelters near you
- Navigate to the shelter
- Communication with local people
- Let your family in your country where you are
Use Common Sense
While the typhoon hits your area,
- Do not go outside, stay inside
- Never go near the water
- Check the location of the shelter nearby if you stay by the incline of the mountain and riverside
Unfortunately, some people often lose their lives while going to watch riverside.
In Japan, typical Japanese-style rooftops are used “clay roof tiles” so it is very risky to go outside while strong wind blowing.
In recent years, deadly flash floods and landslides likely occur in Japan, in these cases, not only typhoons but also be aware of a localized torrential downpour.
Japan experiences several typhoons each season, which brings torrential rain and hazardous winds.
Typhoons also can mess up the transportation schedules and your travel plans.
Trains often will be delayed or canceled in the extreme weather condition even in advance.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared and keep your eyes in local weather conditions.
Don’t forget packing up rain jackets (an umbrella will not work..) and a portable mobile battery!!! (You don’ t have one? Click Here…)
Consider to change your cell phone plan or to purchase a sim card available in Japan.
Don’t worry too much but
Read over 12 things to know about preparing in case of typhoon striking in Japan.
My recommendation of translate applications for Japanese here.