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  • Q1
  • What is the difference of Medical facilities?


In Japan, there are three types of hospitals: “Byo-in” (hospital), “Shinro-jo” (clinic), and “Shika-iin (dental clinic). 

Byo-in can accept more than 20 patients for hospitalization at the same time.  While shinro-jo has no facilities for hospitalization.  It may accept 19 patients or less.  For shika-iin, it can only give dental treatment and other dental services. 

Hospitals usually have variety of departments for medical treatment. On the other hand, clinics have only one or few and limited departments for medical treatment. 

You don’t need to always choose a hospital.  You can trust clinics near you for check-up for most of medical symptoms.  In case of severe symptoms requiring surgery or operation, you need to go to a bigger hospital. 

  • Q
  • Which medical facility should I visit when I catch a cold?


When you catch a cold, visit “Nai-ka” (internal department). It is difficult for you to find the right department.

Most of the hospitals or clinics don’t have English symbolization in Japan. Please check the list below for your information.

Shinryo ka





Nai ka


internalCough, Phlegm, Sour Stomach (dyspepsia), Nausea, Loss of appetite, Stomachache, Diarrhea

Seishin ka


mentalDepression, Loss of motivation, Sleepless, Mental disorder

Ge ka


surgicalInjured or in case of bleeding。There are Digestive、Heart、Orthopedic and so on.

Hifu ka


dermatologyAllergy, nettle rash (hives)、wart、Athlete foot、scald(burn)、about skin problems

Sanfujin ka


Obstetrics and GynecologyFor females. Any symptoms of pregnancy or related to period and any problems related to Menopause 

Gan ka


OphthalmologyAny eye-related symptoms. Require prescription to buy contact lenses.

Jibi ka


OtolaryngologyAny symptoms related to ears, nose and throat. Runny nose, stuffy nose, phlegm or hearing loss..

Hiniyou ki ka


UrologyAny Symptoms related to urine like UTI, and male’s problems

Shi ka


DentistryAny Dental Symptoms


  • Q
  • Are there any hospitals or clinics that can accept patients and communicate in English?


We have a lot. But, it might be difficult to find one near you by yourself.

In this case, you may want to ask an organization that provides information on medical institutions in Japan that can communicate in foreign languages.


  • Q
  • What should I do for emergency?


Call an ambulance. Press 119 for operators. You can tell the situation in English if it is difficult in Japanese.

But please remember, you can only use the ambulance during urgent times or emergency.

Read the manual for requesting an ambulance below.

Manual for usage of ambulance

  • Q
  • Are medicines sold in pharmacy or drug store effective?


In Japan, there are two types of medicines: over-the-counter medicine and prescription medicine.

Prescription medicines are provided by pharmacists following the doctor’s prescription. The pharmacist explains how to take the medicines.

There are many over-the-counter medicines that have strong effect.

But, remember that it is only for temporary suppression or relief. Compared with prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines are not enough to cure the symptoms.

If your condition does not get better after three days of taking over-the-counter medicines, you should go to a hospital and ask to prescribe an alternative medicine.