Guide for when you Get Sick or Injured in Japan

For safe travels in Japan, we have created a website to help you receive medical care in Japan.

Options for Dealing with Illness in Japan (For Those in a Hurry)

1.Visiting a Hospital

Japan offers a Free Access system, allowing you to visit any medical institution without a referral. However, since medical institutions may specialize in certain conditions, we recommend calling ahead before visiting a hospital. General, small-scale clinics are typically open from 9 AM to 5 PM on weekdays, but hours vary by clinic. Larger hospitals often have emergency departments open 24/7. To find a hospital, decide on the department you need (e.g., internal medicine for headaches, surgery for injuries) and search using "department + area (e.g., Shibuya, Ginza)." Our site offers a search function for emergency hospitals available 24/365, so please use it if needed.

2.Buying Medicine at a Pharmacy

For minor conditions that do not require a hospital visit, you can buy pain relievers and antiallergics at pharmacies. Visiting larger pharmacies with on-site pharmacists to ask for advice on which medication to buy is also advisable.

3.Calling an Ambulance

In an emergency, dial "199" to call an ambulance. Ambulance services in Japan are free. However, as their number is limited, please use this service only in real emergencies.

About Japan's Medical System


This page compiles essential information to help travelers to Japan and residents receive medical care smoothly in Japan.

2.Japan's Medical System

  • Japan's Health Insurance System
  • All citizens in Japan are covered by the National Health Insurance system, generally paying 30% of medical costs. However, foreign tourists not staying for more than three months cannot use this system and must pay in full out-of-pocket, later claiming reimbursement from their home country's travel insurance.

3.Emergency Procedures

  • Finding a Hospital
  • Our site allows you to search for emergency hospitals open 24/7, based on your current location and symptoms. After finding a hospital, call to confirm if they can see you.

  • How to Call an Ambulance
  • Dialing 199 connects you with emergency services, while 100 is for the police. In Tokyo, ambulances typically arrive within 10 minutes.

4.Using Hospitals and Clinics

  • The Need for Appointments
  • Whether an appointment is necessary depends on the clinic, so it is advised to call ahead. Emergency hospitals searchable on our site do not require appointments, but it's wise to call in advance to ensure a doctor is available.

  • What to Bring for Your First Visit
  • ① Passport

    ② Cash or Credit Card (Check if credit card payment is accepted when you call.)

    ③ Documents needed for insurance claims (Check with your insurance company for required documents, as they vary and may need a doctor's signature in a specific format.)

  • Payment Methods and Medical Costs
  • Payment can be made in cash or by credit card. Medical costs vary depending on the consultation and treatment, from under 10,000 yen for a simple consultation and prescription to tens or hundreds of thousands of yen for tests like CT scans, MRIs, and blood tests.

5.Buying Medication at Pharmacies

  • Difference Between Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medication
  • In Japan, you can buy simple painkillers and antiallergics at drugstores. Prescription medications, including higher dosage drugs and antibiotics, are obtained by taking a prescription from a doctor to a pharmacy.

  • Tips for Communicating at Pharmacies
  • Many urban pharmacies have pharmacists on-site, so it's good to consult them for minor symptoms.

  • Medications to Keep on Hand
  • It's advisable to bring medications for chronic conditions, pain relievers, motion sickness pills, and antiallergics from your home country to avoid inconvenience.

6.Dealing with Specific Conditions

  • Hay Fever
  • Seasonal diseases are common in Japan, especially in spring when cedar and cypress pollen can cause allergic reactions for many people. Symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, sneezing, and coughing. Countermeasures include wearing masks to avoid pollen exposure or taking antiallergic medications.

  • Colds
  • During winter, upper respiratory infections including influenza are common, with symptoms like fever, cough, and sore throat. Prevention, including hand washing, gargling, and using hand sanitizer, is crucial as treatment is generally symptomatic.

  • Food Poisoning
  • Japan's water is exceptionally clean, so waterborne food poisoning is rare. However, food like raw fish and shellfish, especially oysters, can cause acute gastroenteritis. Basic treatment is symptomatic, but seek medical attention if symptoms are severe or persist.

7.Reference Materials and Links

The links below are a compilation of useful sites for foreigners seeking medical attention in Japan. Please use them as needed.

・AMDA International Medical Information Center

AMDA International Medical Information Center

The AMDA International Medical Information Center provides foreign residents with information on foreign language-supported medical institutions, free remote medical interpreter services via telephone, and medical information on foreigners for medical institutions.

Japan National Tourism Organization

Guide for when you are feeling ill

In this page, you will find the consultation services for COVID-19 (linking to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare website), Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Call Center and others. You can also search for medical facilities accepting foreign visitors to Japan.

List of Volunteer Guides

A list of volunteer guides is available.

Japan Visitor Hotline

A multilingual call center operated by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) operating 24 hours, 365 days a year. This call center provides support during emergencies such as illness and disasters and general tourist information. Supported languages are English, Chinese, and Korean.

Japan Safe Travel Information

This website introduces SNS accounts and pages for information on improving your trip's quality and safety, such as warnings and advisories on natural disasters, transportation disruptions, and warnings on infectious diseases and heat stroke.

Travel Japan - The Official Japan Guide

This website introduces SNS accounts and pages for information on improving your trip's quality and safety, such as warnings and advisories on natural disasters, transportation disruptions, and warnings on infectious diseases and heat stroke.

Immigration Services Agency

Life Support Portal Site

"Life Support Portal Site for Foreign Residents" is a website that provides information on what is essential to live safely in Japan. You can check notices and information announced by the government written in various languages.

We hope this guide helps you navigate the healthcare system in Japan with ease. Stay safe and healthy during your stay in Japan!