Most Useful and Most Practical Travel Tips in Japan

Do you wear surgical masks in Japan?

Corona(COVID-19) situation in Japan

A fox in a shrine wears masks
A fox in a shrine wears masks

With the new coronavirus being the 8th wave, the number of new patients is increasing rapidly and there are still signs of a flare-up.

Most people are still wearing masks in the streets in Japan.

We would like to consider what should be done if you visit Japan as a tourist.

Survey on surgical masks

wearing mask

In May 2022, a company conducted a survey regarding the wearing of masks in Japan.

Laivo (Shibuya-ku, Tokyo), which operates “Job Research Institute,” compiled a survey report on the wearing of masks.

The data is not general data, but rather slightly biased, since it is based on working people who are employed. The age range is from 20s to 50s.

However, we think the data is good for understanding the degree of sensitivity of Japanese people to masks, so we introduce it here.

Also, since most of the people walking around during the day are of this generation, we think it will be helpful for you.

According to the results, we found that nearly 90% of the respondents answered that they will continue to wear masks to prevent the new COVID-19. This is because, by nature, Japanese people are accustomed to wearing masks.


What Japanese think about people who do not wear a masks?

Wearing masks in a town
Wearing masks in a town

When asked about their impressions when they see people not wearing masks, the most common response was “I don’t have any particular impressions”.

See the result:

36.5% said they “don’t want to be involved”

34.2% responded “nothing in particular,”

25.5% said they “feel uncomfortable”.

On the other hand, 36.5% said they “don’t want to be involved” and 25.6% said they “feel uncomfortable.

In total, more than 60% of the respondents do not have a good impression of masked people.

Respondents’ responses when they see people not wearing masks

The most common response, at 51.2%, was to “not get involved unless it is necessary,”

22.8% of people think that “encourage them to wear a mask”

12.7% of people think that “get angry but can’t say anything”

These figures suggest that 60% of the respondents feel uncomfortable when they see people not wearing masks and take actions such as turning their faces away from the people who are not wearing masks or moving away from the people who are not wearing masks.

Why do people wear masks?

a man wearing mask during traveling
a man wearing mask during traveling

Prevention of infection seems to be the priority.

However, there seem to be many people who say that they wear a mask because others around them are wearing one.

To be honest, we think there are many situations where a mask is unnecessary, but we often wear a mask because people around us look frown at us if we don’t.”

The fact that many people have this opinion means that if you don’t wear a mask on the train, you may find yourself with no one around you.

The minimum etiquette seems to be to wear a mask in crowded places, in crowded places, and on trains.

Governmental message

The message from the Japanese government regarding masks was a rule that you should wear a mask on a please basis. It is not a law to wear a mask.

Therefore, you will not be arrested for not wearing a mask in Japan.

Recent rules on wearing masks

The Japanese government is gradually loosening up its message regarding the wearing of masks. There are still people wearing masks.

Rather, when you actually walk around town or take a train, if you look at other people, most of them are wearing masks.

The government explains that if you are outside, you do not need to wear a mask outdoors as long as you are 2 meters away from others.

Even if one cannot keep a distance from others outdoors, if one rarely engages in conversation, it is not necessary to wear a mask, and especially in summer, the government recommends that people remove their masks to prevent heat stroke.

However, many Japanese people wear masks even outside.

Basically, the Japanese are accustomed to wearing masks in winter and during pollen season and do not mind wearing masks.


We still think that Japanese people will continue to wear masks as long as the corona does not settle down.

Tourists traveling to Japan don’t want to wear a mask.

If you are in a situation where you have a mask in your hand, pocket, bag, etc., and everyone around you is wearing one, you may want to put it on immediately.