When preparing to go on vacation, the last thing anyone wants to do is think about what-ifs! But as a practical matter, knowing what to do when encountering a disaster, injury, or just a bad cold, you'll feel much more at ease.
Here we've listed some essential tips for finding a medical institution in Japan – from going to the reception to paying the bill. Also, we will explain what to do if you have symptoms that suggest COVID-19 infection or if you test positive for COVID-19 while in Japan.
*Information updated September 20, 2022.
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1. How to find a medical institution in case of injury or illness

・Head to the hospital before your symptoms get worse
With the health insurance system in Japan, people can receive treatment at a self-pay amount of 10-30%. For that reason, many people casually use medical institutions.
However, many health insurance systems exist worldwide, and not everyone has medical insurance, as in Japan. Also, in other countries, there are costs for ambulances, medical costs differ depending on the hospital or doctor, and medical bills are expensive.
For that reason, many foreign visitors will use over-the-counter drugs for any injuries or illnesses they encounter during their travels and go to medical institutions once their symptoms worsen.
Once your symptoms get severe, your treatment bill could get more expensive, and in some cases, you might have to delay your return or even risk spreading infectious diseases.
We recommend going to a medical institution sooner than later. However, remember that since the spread of COVID-19, many such medical institutions have become crowded, and it is not easy to get an appointment.

・How to find a medical institution in Japan
There are about 5 ways to find a medical institution while traveling in Japan.
(1) If you are on a tour, ask your travel agent or the tour conductor
According to the survey conducted by the Japan Tourism Agency, about 50% of travel agencies have predetermined medical institutions to introduce to foreign visors if they become injured or ill. Also, depending on the agency they will accompany you to the medical institution.
However, it is difficult to predetermine medical institutions in every location, so in some cases, they won’t be able to refer appropriate medical institutions.
(2) Ask the concierge or front desk at your lodging facility
If you let them know your symptom, they might be able to refer a medical institution. However, it is very rare for them to accompany you.
(3) Ask a…

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