Western Japan including Hiroshima, Okayama, Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto were hit by heavy rains brought by Typhoon Jebi last week, causing many floods. We pray for the safety and health of the flood victims, and we’ve faith the Japanese government will quickly effect needed repairs. The damage was far from the scale of a tsunami or major earthquake.

Should the flood damage and concern over more typhoons affect your vacation plans in Japan? Not too much. Note that while the news reports mentioned flood damage in place like Kyoto, the reference was to the prefecture and not the city — most of the flooding occurred outside Kyoto city. The railways are mostly functioning again, restored with typical Japanese efficiency. Nonetheless, forewarned is forearmed, so we’d like to share a few tips in case your Japan trip coincides with a typhoon.

1) Download the JNTO Safety Tips app for your smartphone. It gives warnings for earthquake, tsunami, typhoon, and volcanic eruptions.

2) Get your news from reliable media sources. Don’t rely only on travel forums for this kind of info, as some replies can be misleading.

3) Stay indoors during a typhoon until the heavy rains end. There are many indoor activities you can enjoy in lieu of your plans to go out, from browsing the countless shops to karaoke — and the rain is a perfect excuse to have some hot noodles!

4) If you have to go out, avoid areas beside rivers. In Kyoto, avoid the Kamogawa promenade and the area near Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama. Listen for evacuation warnings on the news, and if your accommodation happens to be in an affected area, move out when advised to do so.

5) If you’re caught outside, specially out on the hill trails, head for shelter in a large and stable building. Don’t shelter in buildings built overhanging slopes. Better yet, don’t get caught out at all — check the weather forecast every morning before you go out, and if it doesn’t look safe, plan to do something else.

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