Clinics and Hospitals
Hospitals in Japan are large institutions with multiple specializations, capable of handling emergencies and in-patient care. Due to the large number of patients, wait times can be very long. Many hospitals require a letter of referral from another facility, and may charge a penalty of ¥3000-¥5000 for patients without one. Because of these factors, for most non-emergency cases it is best to visit a clinic when sick or injured in Japan. However, it is always best to confirm beforehand if the clinic has support for non-Japanese patients.
Drugstores & Dispensing Pharmacies
“Drugstore” in Japan is used to refer to shops that sell non-prescription drugs. Prescriptions can only be obtained from dispensing pharmacies with a qualified pharmacist. Recently, the number of drugstores able to handle prescriptions is on the increase. When receiving a prescription from a doctor, it is best to confirm the location of the nearest pharmacy before you leave the clinic. You will usually be given a medicine notebook to keep track of all your medications on your first visit to a pharmacy. The Useful Phrases section of the Dr. Passport App has a section dedicated to drugstores and pharmacies.