There’s no such thing as an actual “doctor’s surgery” in Japan: doctors work at hospitals or medical centres. A basic consultation will cost around ten euros, and it should normally be possible to have your medical costs paid directly by your private travel/medical insurance. The British Embassy has compiled a useful list of doctors in Tokyo who are willing to accept English-speaking patients:
If you’re travelling to Tokyo during the summer months note that it can get very hot. The so-called heat island effect is a major factor, caused by a combination of the sun’s rays reflected off the asphalt, and the heat exhaust from air conditioning. So make sure you drink plenty of fluids so you don’t get dehydrated, wear protective clothing, and try and stay in the shade.
One bothersome aspect of life in Tokyo is the high pollen count, particularly from the cedar and cypress trees which grow in the region. You will see people wearing masks on the streets of Tokyo to block the pollen. The hay fever season starts in February, so if you’re a hay fever sufferer planning to travel in the spring you should definitely see a doctor and stock up on appropriate medication before you leave for Japan.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Tokyo is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Japan. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Japan: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.
For more information on expat health insurance in Japan, visit our partner APRIL International