Tag-Archive for » japan «

  An Amazing Side of Tokyo

As we continue to watch the drama unfold in the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, and now nuclear crisis, I am constantly surprised at how unprepared the Japanese seem…. this is a country, after all, where the trains are never late and the parks have WiFi.
As a matter of fact, there are many great things about Japan – we are seeing it in the stoicism of many people – and how there has been no looting, or rioting. I wanted to take time today to remember how truly beautiful Japan is, since all we are seeing right now are images of fear and destruction.

Tokyo at Dusk

Tokyo Bridge

Beautiful, right? As a matter of fact, our very own cherry blossom trees in Washington DC were given to us from Japan. The famous cherry blossom festival in DC runs March 26- April 11.

Have a truly great weekend.

  Travel Tip Tuesday: What You Need To Know If You Have an Upcoming Trip To Japan

While we watch the unbelievable pictures of mother nature’s destruction in Japan, our first reaction is sympathy for those who lived in the earthquake and tsunami area.

Then, as a traveler, you can’t help but wonder – what if I had a trip planned to Tokyo? or What if I were in Sendai?

The Japan Tourism Agency estimated that 4,900 foreign tourists were in the areas devastated by Friday’s earthquake. The whereabouts and welfare of about 1,000 of them were still unknown late Monday, the Kyodo News agency reported.

Travel insurance is a smart purchase when you pay for your trip, especially in light of all the natural disasters and unrest we’ve witnessed in other parts of the world.

This week the U.S. State department issued a travel advisory for any unnecessary travel to Japan. Here is what one could have bought in a trip insurance policy that would protect their investment in a future trip to Japan:

1) Make sure your trip insurance covers natural disasters…for instance, reimbursing you for the deposit on your hotel, your airfare, etc. If you can rebook the trip, make sure it covers re-booking fees.

2) Make sure your insurance covers travel delays…For instance, transportation is severely disrupted in Japan. If you have a connection in Tokyo that was cancelled, travel delay insurance cold reimburse you for food and lodging if you are stuck there, or for your re-booking fee.

3) If you’ve paid for your trip to a disaster area without buying trip insurance, you are out of luck unless you booked your trip at the last minute. (Procrastinating pays off here!) Some companies will reimburse you anywhere from 50-90% of your trip is you paid for your trip just 14-21 days before, and cancel at least two days before you leave.

4) Medical coverage and Medevac insurance: Medical Protection is insurance coverage that helps pay for your medical costs when you are given necessary medical treatment and possibly medical evacuation (Medevac) when an emergency accident or illness first occurs during your trip. Your own U.S. health insurance or Medicare plan either may not be accepted, or be adequate, to cover your medical bills, so Medical Protection provides additional levels of coverage.

For about 5% of the total cost of your trip, an insurance policy is a smart investment. Two websites that compare policies are insuremytrip.com, and squaremouth.com.

But nothing can protect you from random events…travel safe and be thankful for your blessings.