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How to prepare for an earthquake in Japan

Living in or visiting Japan means you are in an area that is prone to earthquakes and most likely you know the best ways to stay prepared. As a tourist, you may be less aware of how to stay safe in these situations. Let us walk you through some ways to ensure your safety.

Before an earthquake

Make sure you are always aware of evacuation routes of the places you or your loved ones spend the most time. This could be your home, office building, or even your child’s school. Check with your local community, school or office manager. Making sure you are aware of the best way to escape is crucial.

Have important phone numbers memorized. Contacts of family and close friends that you will need to be able to reach in case of emergency. Store these phone numbers somewhere safe like on a piece of paper in an emergency kit.

Always have food and water accessible near you. Prepare a supply of these items and store them in an earthquake kit wherever you feel necessary. It is always a good idea to store things like blankets, flashlights and first aid kids too.


Have an earthquake app downloaded to your phone. This will send you alerts of earthquakes and their size in your area or nearby. Click here for a list of dependable apps to download on your phone.

If you are not a Japanese citizen, make sure to register at your embassy. This way they will be able to contact and assist you in the case of an emergency.

There is no such thing as being overly prepared!

During an earthquake

Drop your body down low and cover your head and neck. Those are the most important parts of your body in situations such as these. If you are inside, get underneath something such as a desk, bed, or table. If you are outside avoid standing next to glass that may shatter or trees that may fall on you. Try to stay in an open area.

If possible, hold on to something stable. This will prevent you from shaking along with the earthquake and help you stay stable.

If you happen to be driving, pull over immediately and get out of the way of busy traffic. Stay in the car and avoid pulling near trees or tall buildings.

After an earthquake

If you are in a coastal area, get to higher ground immediately in the case of a tsunami.

If you happen to be stuck under rubble, cover your mouth to avoid choking on debris and take slow and steady breaths from your nose. Rather than shouting for help, find something to bang on to alert others you need assistance and save your breath.

Definitely do not use an elevator if you are in a building and take the stairs instead. Aftershocks do happen, and it would not be safe to be stuck in an elevator during that time.

Dial 110 for police assistance or 119 for ambulance or fire.

Preparing for an earthquake in Japan is necessary and by taking these steps and staying well informed, you are greatly increasing your chances of safety. Stay prepared and help others do the same.

Hoping to learn more about? Check out our intensive Japanese courses for adults here at Toranomon Language School where we prioritize your learning in an environment that is enjoyable and comfortable. Join us in our one month course to learn essential Japanese customs and language.

Our adult private Japanese classes are offered for all levels. Whether you are beginner, intermediate or advanced, we provide high-quality and flexible courses with a wide range of content adjusted for your learning needs.

For your kids, enroll in our summer courses at Toranomon Language School. Classes are offered Monday through Thursday where the kids participate in traditional classroom activities. On Fridays, the “Walk and Learn” programs are held where kids actually explore the city of Tokyo and stop at places such as Tokyo Tower, Science Museum, or local convenience stores, immersing themselves in the culture, applying their language they learned in the classroom.

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