Miscellaneous Medical Information


Most medicines available back in the home countries of Westerners are available around Tokyo in similar or identical form. However, several drugs sold over the counter in certain countries are illegal in Japan. For example, (this information is coming soon)

HIV testing is available and can cost from Y5,000 to Y20,000. Please contact the Tokyo English Life Line HIV/AIDS Line for confidential information. Its phone number is given in The Telephone section.

Inoculations are available from the Tokyo International Clinic (03-3582-2646) for such diseases as typhoid or cholera, if you are travelling to countries that may need a shot for them. These diseases' inoculations require several days for the process to be complete so plan accordingly. Other "mainstream" shots or vaccinations, such as TB, polio or measles, can be received at Sayama's Hoken Centre (959-5811, in Japanese). The monthly city bulletin, Koho Sayama, sometimes has a vaccination schedule.

For a full list of hospitals, clinics and dentists in Sayama, please refer to the "Sayama Residents Guide" mentioned above. It is written in English and is available from the City Hall's International Cultural Affairs Section, floor 3. Call 953-1111 extension 379.


AMDA - International Medical Information Centre, provides information on hospitals where staff can speak foreign languages. Their number, along with that of the Tokyo Health and Medical Information Centre, another useful organisation, can be found under "Useful Telephone Numbers" in The Telephone section.



If you are sick. it is not always convenient to go into Tokyo to try and get an English speaking doctor. Travelling such a long way is troublesome. Often an "English speaking doctor" does not have the meaning we think it does. However, a handier alternative exists, Irumagawa hospital, here in green tea Sayama. (Or any other hospital for that matter in the city). All Japanese doctors have learnt English as part of their study. They will know some English, particularly the medical terms that you most require. The following is a quick guide to getting around.

On entering Irumagawa hospital, you will be faced with a desk near the entrance. On it is a pile of these pieces of paper which you need to fill out...

For full translations of medical forms and medical terms and for more on...

Womens Health

...watch this space.

Please note: For those reading this who do not live in Sayama, some but not all of the information stated on these pages may be useful for any hospital you go to in Japan.

For Irumagawa Hospital (Sayama)

When going to hospital you must take your hokensho (medical insurance card). This allows you to receive medicine at a fraction of the cost. It is needed if you want to register at a hospital.

If you have registered already the process is as follows: (this is assuming you do not have something serious, like heart failure, etc).

Fill in the slip of paper.

Hand this, your hokensho and your hospital card (it is plastic and is the same size as a credit card) to the nurse at the main desk. It is on your right as you enter.

Sit down and wait for some time before your name is called.

When your name is called, a nurse will ask you to sit outside the room where the doctor is.

The doctor might comment on what you wrote on the slip of paper, then examine you. S/he will write you a prescription and send you on your way. (Without any paper). Wait again until your name is called.

Pay the small fee for the doctor's visit and any in office treatments you received at the main desk. You will receive a slip of paper.

Take this outside to the dispensary. DO NOT go out the door through which you entered. Instead, on your left as you stand at the main desk, go straight through a corridor, towards an exit that is at the back of the hospital. You will leave the hospital building, but the dispensary will be on your immediate right. Once in the dispensary, hand in the slip of paper to a person at the desk that is in the foreground of the room.

Be prepared to wait again.

When they call your name, you will receive your medicine. Pay the charge for the medicine.

The lengthy process is over.

The National Defence Medical College Hospital in Tokorozawa has some English speaking staff. It is a compromise between a clinic in Sayama and the international hospital St. Lukes, in Tokyo, which has SOME medical staff that speak various languages. The National Defence Medical College Hospital can be telephoned on 042-995-1511 for more information. The address is, 2 Namiki, 3 chome, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama-ken. It is a 10 minute walk from Kokukoen Station.

St. Lukes can be called on 03-3541-5151 or faxed on 03-3544-0649. The address is, 9-1 Akashi-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-8560. To get to St. Lukes an explanation is provided below. Please note that a consultation fee of Y3000 will be charged for going to any hospital outside your local area i.e. one in Tokyo like St. Lukes (unless you have been referred there by a doctor in your local area first. Then the fee is waived).

For St. Lukes

  1. a) Ride the Seibu Shinjuku Line to Seibu Shinjuku Station and then walk 10 minutes to Shinjuku Station.
  2. OR

    b) Get off one stop before Seibu Shinjuku at Takadanobaba and from there ride 2 stops to

    Shinjuku Station.

  3. Take the subway, the Marunouchi Line to Kasumigaseki.
  4. From there take the Hibiya Line (still on the subway) to Tsukiji.
  5. Leave the station at exit 4.
  6. Take a left and go straight.

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