Population: 127 million
Official language: Japanese
Time zone: Japan Standard Time (JST)
Emergency #: 119
Vaccinations required: No
Risk of malaria: No
Popular travel destinations in Japan include Tosho-gu, Himeji-jo, Daisetsuzan National Park, and Mount Fuji.
The standards for patient care and medical services in Japan may differ from your home country. Japan has both public and private health sectors, both of which provide high quality care that meets international standards. Privately-run facilities provide the majority of care and employ most of the country’s medical professionals. Compared to other high-income countries, Japan has a relatively low supply of doctors and a shortage of nurses.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in Japan typically require upfront payment in cash or credit card, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in Japan.
Essential medications are widely available in Japan and pharmacies are well-stocked. Japan places strict restrictions on controlled substances – drugs that are classified as having a high potential for abuse or addiction, which can include narcotics and psychotropic medications. Certain medications (such as Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and other medications containing stimulants) that you can purchase over-the-counter in most countries may be unavailable or restricted.
If you are travelling with medication, check with Japan's embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. If your medication is a narcotic or psychotropic, you can review Japan's regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Roads are generally well-maintained, though traffic can be congested in and around major cities. In urban areas, most people rely on the public transportation system, which is highly efficient and safe. Road rules are well followed and enforced. Driving occurs on the left-hand side of the road.
Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for Japan. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:
IAMAT-affiliated doctors are available in Japan.