June 13, 2024

The world’s wealthiest have conquered social media, e-commerce, search engines, AI and space travel, so it’s no surprise that their attentions have turned to that most alluring of quests; living longer and better lives.

Prominent billionaires are chasing longevity. Former Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, is known for his strict health regime of eating one meal a day, taking ice baths and meditating. Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman are both investors in biotech start-ups that aim to boost longevity, while entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Bryan Johnson has made chasing immortality his mission. His latest venture, Project Blueprint has seen him become a human experiment in his efforts to improve his biomarkers by manipulating his diet, taking supplements and even undergoing blood transfusions.  

Longevity in Japan

For those serious about extending their longevity, Japan has increasingly become a place of interest. According to findings published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Japan has the fourth highest life expectancy in the world. That is largely down to lifestyle factors, including a low obesity rate, low consumption of red meat, and high consumption of fish and plant foods such as soybeans and tea. It could also be attributed to an ingrained mindfulness that has been cultivated through its Zen Buddhist roots.  

Japan’s excellent healthcare system is almost certainly a factor in its longevity, which is why demand for medical tourism is a fast-growing industry. Luxurique, a member of the Medical Tourism Association and a hospitality and events management company, is meeting that demand by organising highly exclusive medical tourism itineraries for its esteemed clients.  

“A large part of the appeal of medical tourism in Japan is that, for a lot of our clients, they come from countries where their medical data might not be protected, but in Japan, they can be sure it’s confidential,” says Naomi Mano, President and CEO of Luxurique. “Our guests come to Japan maybe once or twice a year, for a whole body check-up and a few days of travel.”

Naomi Mano

These medical check-ups are extremely comprehensive, including a blood test, hearing test, urine examination, chest X-ray, barium gastrography, abdominal ultrasonography and electrocardiogram test, sight tests, various cancer checks and more, with the option to add on a long list of additional tests. These tests are remarkably efficient, usually taking just half a day, which leaves plenty of time for medical tourists to explore Japan or immerse themselves in its culture before or after their check-ups.  

Medical Tourism in Japan

Luxurique not only organises the health component but also incorporates activities that are personalised to the guest and their requirements. When organised as incentives for employees, the itinerary might include a thorough health check alongside private sightseeing tours and activities that promote health and relaxation. Some of Luxurique’s most popular wellness experiences include learning Zen meditation at the head temple of Soto Zen in Japan, taking a break in an onsen hot spring town, indulging in hearty seasonal food and exploring Japan’s wilderness.

Combining Japan’s modern medicine with its ancient wellness practices allows employers to offer their employees a holistic, 360-degree approach to health. “Lifestyle is a huge component of longevity,” says Mano. “Managing stress and learning to balance your mind and soul comes from Zen. Zen teaches you to acknowledge something without dwelling on it, so it can flow through you. Learning how to maintain your lifestyle from both a wellness and medical perspective is what we’re trying to achieve.”

For other clients of Luxurique who want to take advantage of Japan’s medical tourism, their itinerary can include introductions to any world-class specialists that may be required to support their healthcare journey in Japan. Each itinerary is personalised and incorporates everything from appointments, transfers, bookings, guides and hotels. Every detail is handled to ensure a stress-free schedule.  

Guests have a choice of several locations across Japan where they can receive medical care during their trip. Options range from the convenience and excitement of metropolitan cities to relaxed rural locations if recovery and rest are more of a consideration.


Regenerative Medicine in Japan

Medical care in Japan is some of the world’s best, across the board. However, recent medical tourists to Japan have been particularly interested in a particular emerging area. Japan is at the forefront of both stem cell therapy and, crucially, legislating its use ensuring that practitioners here are highly regulated.  

Stem cell therapy, also known as regenerative medicine, harnesses the body’s own cells to repair and regenerate damaged tissue. It can be used in treatments as diverse as cancers, Parkinson’s disease, repairing damaged cartilage, herniations, osteoarthritis and anti-ageing.  

Japan’s foray into stem cell research kickstarted in 2006 when the research of two scientists, Shinya Yamanaka and Kazutoshi Takahashi, made a breakthrough that was a pivotal turning point in stem cell research. The team discovered that it is possible to reprogram adult stem cells to an embryonic state, providing an effective replacement for human embryonic stem cells. Yamanaka won a Nobel prize for his work and solidified Japan’s continuing position at the vanguard of medical technology.  

An additional appeal for medical tourists in Japan is the country’s highly regulated medical practices. “There are a lot of countries in which stem cell treatments are legal, but new laws haven’t been implemented to accommodate it, so it’s unregulated,” says Mano. “But Japan is a very cautious and safe country. That’s why a lot of people choose Japan for stem cell therapy. It is a little more expensive, but your health is worth the investment.”  


Luxurique. Inc

Luxurique has been a member of the Medical Tourism Association since 2023. It is Japan’s premier hospitality and event management company dedicated exclusively to the international market. We plan and execute every aspect of your bespoke itinerary from the moment you land to the moment you leave. We bring seamless organisation and one-of-a-kind experiences to your medical visit, family vacation, luxury brand event, VIP visit, corporate incentive program or specialised private tours in Japan. Through our planning expertise and network of partners in every area of Japanese business, health and culture, we help you discover the best of Japan. Our expert, multilingual team have been curating tailored experiences and events for the luxury hospitality and travel markets since 2014.


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