Among all the countries that deserve to be visited as they relax their pandemic restrictions, Japan could be high on that list. And with good reason: the country’s reopening of borders was highly anticipated in 2022, first with the limited tour groups then a full reentry.
When elderly Australians want to sate the curiosity for life by travelling overseas, you deserve to get back out there once again and start by exploring Japan, with a reverse mortgage being a key element in your resource kit.
Here are some reasons why Japan is a fun travel spot for retirees.
No visa required
When Japan started reopening in June 2022, travellers were required to apply for a special visa, even when their home country has a visa-waiver agreement with Tokyo. This was eventually lifted for all travellers, including visa-waiver countries such as Australia, when the full reopening was made on 11 October 2022. However, you must undergo a COVID-19 test 72 hours before leaving Australia and it must test negative to be allowed entry.
Natural scenery in Japan
The country’s rich beauty comes from the variety of environments to experience upon arrival, and it’s even better if your itinerary includes trips to the countryside. If you know some friends who became expatriates in Japan, they might brief you on some natural sights to relish. These include the cedar forests of Yakushima Island just off Kyushu, climbing the slopes of Mt Fuji, the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, and the Daisetsuzan National Park in Hokkaido.
Cherry blossom season is often synonymous with the Land of the Rising Sun and the advent of spring. To the Japanese, cherry blossoms signify a time for renewal, nobility and pursuit of life, but to see them will often depend on where warmer temperatures begin. In the western island of Okinawa, cherry blossoms may start appearing sometime in March, but in the northern city of Sapporo and the island of Hokkaido, expect them in late April or early May.
Efficient public transport
Seniors worrying about public transportation delays will be relieved when travelling. The country’s public transportation network is ranked as one of the best in the world for punctuality and efficiency. When travelling to distant locations by train, the Shinkansen is the main artery to get there and is well-regarded for safety and speed. National rail company JR Group also offers tourists comprehensive passes covering unlimited travel on JR buses, ferries, and the Shinkansen, for a specific period.
While there are Japanese restaurants in Australia, nothing beats the experience of savouring food right in the actual country, and there’s so much more to them than ramen, sushi, or even Kobe beef. Japan’s high health and food safety standards also reassures you that what you eat is well-prepared and unbelievably tasty.
You can also check out any neighbourhood and there will be a number of dining establishments present, including izakayas, grilling joints where you might find yourself sitting alongside office workers winding down after their shift. Some small dining places have also existed for decades; you may be surprised if an elderly person cooking and serving the food is the founder, and some members of the staff are their loved ones.
Respect for elderly
Elderly people are highly respected in Japanese society, with many of them being able to live as far as 100 years old and are eager to impart life lessons to a younger generation. With an increasing number of people at least 65 years old, the Japanese government is also improving their seniors’ healthcare system to ensure the elderly are safe in their latter years.
Public safety in Japan
Japan is known as one of the safest countries in the world due to its strong law-enforcement apparatus and low crime rate. People walking home alone in the middle of the night, for example, can do so without the danger of getting mugged.
People seeking relief from the grinds of daily life may have opportunities for it in Japan, especially now that it is aiming to be a strong wellness tourism destination with the reopening of the borders, including hosting the first-ever International Wellness Tourism Expo this coming May 10-12 in Tokyo. A closer look opens up ideas for seniors to experience uniquely Japanese wellness treats such as checking in at a hot spring resort called an onsen, spiritual retreats called shukubo, and spas offering shiatsu and reiki massage therapies.
Japan is a major player in the global entertainment industry, and a visit to the country can provide some fun treats, from anime cartoons to theatrical performances that highlight their culture. Idol culture is also widespread, with popular celebrities having a host of work opportunities and associated advertising.
Preservation of culture is at a premium in Japan, allowing travellers to experience life from a local point of view. Cultural immersion in Japan may include visiting one of countless shrines and temples, and participating in local festivals, given adequate guidance by the natives.
Travelling to Japan introduces you to some of the most hospitable people in the world. Japanese are very cordial, presentable, and eager to welcome travellers. You can reciprocate their friendship by learning to speak the local language of Nippongo and adapting their etiquette.
Clean surroundings in Japan
Places in Japan are well taken care of, with cleaning crews always around and the rubbish is properly segregated. Even when eating at a restaurant, the tables are effectively bused down before new guests can sit. To Aussies who take pride in cleaning at home, this can be a blessing for their mental well-being.
The Japanese sporting sector is highly competitive and many sports people, including Australians, will have spent part of their careers in the country. Aside from martial arts, noteworthy sports activities to look forward to include baseball, football, and sumo wrestling. Some visitors may attest that witnessing a game of any sport in Japan can be a vivid experience.
Writing in 2017 for then-Fairfax Media (now under Nine) travel portal Traveller, Ben Groundwater took note of increasing numbers of Australians coming over to Japan in the prior 20 years (from 101,000 in 1997 to over 400,000 in 2017) to whet their fascination with the Land of the Rising Sun. Indeed, Japan is one of those countries that are worth a number of trips because there’s so much to explore.
The ASAG Reverse Mortgage
By receiving support from your close ones and utilising the ASAG’s services, achieving your Travel and Holidays plans can be possible. ASAG can assist in financing your travel expenses by allowing you to use your property’s equity through the ASAG Reverse Mortgage, which will only require payment at the end of the term or when you decide to sell your property. The aim is to help you obtain funds for travel savings, allowing you to focus on enjoying your leisure time without the burden of ongoing payments.
As the world begins to emerge from its recent challenges, consider taking advantage of this opportunity to embark on a meaningful journey with your loved ones. To begin, contact ASAG at 1300 002 724 or email email@example.com.
You can also utilise our equity assessment tool below to get started.