About This Guide


Life in Tokyo: Your Guide is a lifestyle guidebook published for non-Japanese residents by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Citizens and Cultural Affairs to help them begin their new life in Tokyo. From the moment you enter the country, this guide has all the information you need to live your day-to-day life. You will even discover advice from fellow expats who have been living in the city for some time, providing extra knowledge that is sure to come in useful. Let this guide kickstart your new life in Tokyo!

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You can download a complete PDF version of Life in Tokyo: Your Guide, a lifestyle guidebook produced especially for expats starting their new life in Tokyo

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Life in TokyoDisasters & emergencies

Japan is a country prone to many natural disasters. Learn how to act in a disaster. Check evacuation routes, evacuation areas, and decide how your family members will contact each other in an emergency.


Earthquakes are dangerous. The ground shakes, houses may be destroyed, and tsunamis (high waves) may occur.

●Everyday readiness

  • 1

    Make sure that your furniture will not fall over.

  • 2

    Prepare items to take with you in an emergency (water, preserved food, etc.).

●If an earthquake occurs

  • 1

    Items may fall from above, so take shelter under a table or desk and protect your head and body.

  • 2

    Extinguish all flames, once the shaking subsides.

  • 3

    Open the door and secure an exit.

  • 4

    Don’t panic, and evacuate by walking.


Tokyo’s “Help Card” will be reassuring to have during a disaster or in emergencies! Read more


These are dangerous due to heavy rain, strong winds, rough seas, and rising river levels. Typhoons are quite common between July and October. They may delay or stop train and bus services.

●When a typhoon approaches

1. Check information frequently on the TV or radio.
2. Do not go outside during severe rainstorms.


Read Disaster Preparedness Tokyo and be fully prepared for disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons !


●If a fire breaks out

1. If you hear sirens or voices shouting “Fire (kaji),” evacuate the building.
2. If you discover a fire, ask nearby people for help, and phone 119 to call for a fire engine.


Use an AED (a machine that stimulates the heart) if someone has suffered cardiopulmonary arrest!
Japanese Association of Acute Medicine (JAAM)〈CPR Guidelines〉*This website is written in Japanese.

Fire & ambulance services (call 119) For fires, injury/sudden illness, and traffic accidents (if someone is injured)

Have the following information ready when you call.
1. Fire, illness, injury?
2. The situation (e.g. Is someone unconscious, injured?)
3. Address, contact information (location, nearby landmarks)

Police (call 110)

For criminal events (theft, violence, etc.), traffic accidents

Seasoned residents say

  • Japanese schools conduct annual emergency drills to teach students how to act in the event of a disaster.

  • In Japan, koban (police boxes) are located all over the place! Stop by one if you have lost something or you have any trouble.