JR Train Emergency Information

what to do in an emergency while on a train

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll experience any problems or emergency situations while traveling with your Japan Rail Pass, but just in case, we’ve provided some information that might be good to know.

emergency numbers

To call the police in Japan, dial 110.
To call the fire department or an ambulance, dial 119.

If you need to describe your location, remember to add "-eki" to the end of a station name (eki means station), for example "Tokyo-eki" (Tokyo Station). Add "-sen" to the end of a train line name, for example the "Tokaido-sen" (the Tokaido Line).

Earthquakes and trains

Earthquakes can be quite unnerving at times, but rest assured that all trains in Japan are equipped with sensors that will stop the train in case of a high magnitude tremor. Depending on the situation, the train may continue on at a slower speed, or the train may need to stop for some time. Please stay on board unless specifically guided off the train by a crew member.

There will always be train crew on board to assist you, and they are well-practiced at dealing with these situations.

earthquakes while underground

If you are underground in a train station during an earthquake, know that it is actually safer to be underground than above, so don't try to run outside! It is best to protect your head with a bag and, if possible, seek shelter under something like a bench, and crouch to keep your balance. As mentioned above, trains might be delayed or cancelled, depending on the magnitude of the tremor.


If a typhoon is heading for Japan whilst you are traveling, it's best to re-arrange your itinerary away from the affected areas. Typhoons, especially with their high winds, often cause major train delays and cancellations. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather during your trip-- try the official Japanese Meteorology Association's English-language website.

In case of major train delays and cancellations, all cars on trains become non-reserved to fix the maximum amount of people, which means you will not need to re-book seat on the train.

JR Hotlines

Parts of the Japan Rail system do include English-language hotlines and websites. If you are traveling using the JR East system, here is the information:

JR East English info line: 050 2016 1603, from 10 am to 6 pm.
JR East Delays and Emergencies website: Click here 
JR Pass Assistance: For extra assurance during your trip to Japan, you can also subscribe to our JR Pass Assistance, which includes a hotline to our staff in Japan, fluent in English, French, and Japanese. Check out our Assistance page for more information.

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