For smokers, one of the big concerns is where you can smoke casually while traveling. On the contrary, for non-smokers, those pregnant, and those with children, the concern is how to avoid cigarette smoke.
Be careful about smoking on the street
In recent years, the eyes of the public for smokers in Japan are getting stricter each day, so suddenly smoking cigarettes in public spaces can be said to surprise the surroundings. The act of throwing away a cigarette butt into the roadside is hated and is called "littering," and recently the number of areas prohibiting smoking itself on the street by ordinance has increased (collectively, street smoking Prohibition ordinance) for citizen’s health promotion, etc. Since this ordinance is also introduced in places such as Chiyoda Ward, Shinagawa Ward, Chuo Ward, Shinjuku Ward, Minato Ward (of Tokyo), Yokohama City, Osaka City etc., on-the-road smoking, especially smoking while walking, requires attention.
There are also restaurants and taverns with smoking seats
It is tough for outdoor smoking as stated above, but as a surprise to travelers from Western countries, smoking cigarettes indoors is not completely prohibited in Japan. Of course, we cannot smoke freely anywhere, such as in the office, but sometimes there is a space called "smoking seat" in restaurants and coffee shops, where you can smoke. Also, in restaurants where you enjoy drinking with meals called bars and pubs, there are many cases where you can smoke in every seat. This is a pleasant smile for the smokers, but for those who want to avoid cigarettes, it can be said to be somewhat a problem. Since the way of thinking concerning smoking is different also for each restaurant chain, for those with children it may be good to go beforehand to see if there is a smoking space.
In fact, as for this indoor smoking environmental problem, discussion is being promoted in Japan about hosting the 2020 Olympic Games. There is a possibility that the rule will change drastically in the near future.