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What to Do in an Emergency in Japan

In an Emergency

For Ambulance and/or Fire Department services: Call 119

For Police services: Call 110


Phone Numbers

The emergency phone numbers in Japan are 119 for ambulance/fire dept., and 110 for the police. For emergencies only. Both numbers are available 24 hours from any phone (press the red button in a pay phone to make free calls to emergency services). Helpful terms: Ambulance = 救急車 (Kyuukyuusha)
Fire truck = 消防車 (Shoubousha)

Follow the green Exit signs to evacuate a building during an emergency.

Important Notes

Ambulance services in Japan are free, but should only be used in cases that require immediate medical attention. If you need both ambulance/fire services and the police (e.g., injured in a car accident), call the ambulance/fire services first before calling police. Calls from public phones are automatically traced. In non-emergency situations, please visit a local police box or police station for assistance, or the train staff if you’re on a train/at a station.


Medical Care

Japan has two types of medical facilities. Most of the time, you will want to go to a clinic first. These specialize in primary care, and can take care of most basic problems. If further specialization is needed, they can then refer you to a hospital. If you need mental health support, we recommend Tell JP for more information:

Important Notes

If you have allergies to food, medicine, etc., or dietary restrictions, please notify the receptionist or nurse in advance. If you are taking any medication, it is advisable to bring it with you on your visit. Make sure to bring your passport with you for identification purposes. For information on providers near you, or for more details on how to use the medical system, refer to the following website:

Natural Disasters

Japan is prone to Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Typhoons. Information on emergency preparedness can be found at:

Medical Insurance

Medical care in Japan is accessible and relatively inexpensive, but insurance is recommended in case of any emergencies, as acute care can become expensive.

Check With Existing Providers

If you have medical insurance at home, contact your provider before purchasing travel insurance. Ask your provider, “what happens if I break my leg in Japan?” They should be able to tell you about your current coverage options. If your coverage is not sufficient, check with your credit card provider. Many credit card providers offer basic medical insurance in addition to other coverage if you purchase your ticket for travel on their credit card.

Purchasing Travel Insurance

If you need to purchase coverage from a third party, be sure that they provide coverage in Japan. Consider the following two options recommended by the Japan Tourism Agency:

If you need more than 31 days of coverage, another option is Travelex:

Japanese National Health Insurance

For those living in Japan for longer than 3 months (i.e., with a work or student visa), Japanese health insurance will mostly likely be required in lieu of international insurance. Your employer/internship host should provide more information about this.

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