Chronic medication when moving to Japan

  • Chronic medication when moving to Japan

    Posted by Marcel on April 28, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    Good day.

    First time posting, I’m planning to move to Japan and I want to know how what do I have to do about chronic medication?
    How much am I allowed to take with and do I need documentation for it. (diagnosis from Dr. etc?)
    Do I see a doctor for a follow up prescription when I’m done moving to Japan?

    Any help or advice will be appreciated.

    Josh Grisdale replied 2 years, 1 month ago 4 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Marcel

    April 28, 2022 at 10:08 pm

    Just as an extra note I’ve read Bringing Medicine to Japan

    which gave me basic idea (but not specifics) and I’ve contacted the help line on but due to Golden week I thought I’d try a different route while waiting.

  • Jiahui

    April 28, 2022 at 10:19 pm

    Hi Marcel,

    Nice to see you!

    I am Jiahui. I am planning to go to Japan these days, and as a person with a disability, I am preparing medical materials now. So maybe I can give some personal advice.

    It would be better if you can invite your doctor to write an introduction letter for you, to describe your current health situation. It might be fine if you don’t have one, but that way, you may need to go to a clinic in Japan to have this introduction letter, before going to the general hospital. The introduction letter should have the doctor’s signature, and it would be better if it is in the hospital’s envelope and has the seal on the envelope’s flap.

    The test result related to your health situation and the medical certificate may also be helpful.

    If you have further questions, please feel free to tell me : )

    • Marcel

      April 28, 2022 at 10:40 pm

      Thank you very much!

      I’ll go ask for the letter to help when done moving.
      I appreciate the advice!

    • Jiahui

      April 28, 2022 at 10:42 pm

      It will be more than happy if this advice can help : )

  • schroth-sensei

    April 29, 2022 at 1:32 am

    Hello Marcel,

    Jiahui’s advice is great, getting you doctor involved will probably make things easier. Thank you Jiahui for helping!

    Marcel, if you haven’t already, please check out the page on medications on Accessible Japan (found here: it may provide additional information you’re looking for. Nevertheless, if you have other specific questions, please feel free to ask and we’ll try to get you some answers.


  • Josh Grisdale

    May 1, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Some great advice here!

    While you will likely be able to bring a certain amount with you, eventually you will need to refill your prescription here as well since you plan do be here long term. So, you may want to start looking for a hospital in advance. Larger ones often have English speaking staff.

    With that, two things to keep in mind:

    Some larger hospitals require an “introduction letter” from a local doctor so, be sure to get in the healthcare system ASAP, see a local doctor to figure out if you can get your meds there or if it would be better to go to a larger hospital with English via their introduction.

    Secondly, not all medications available abroad are available here or the regularly prescribed amounts may be lower. So, just be prepared for a period of figuring out a new medication plan.

    Please keep in touch, we’re here to help!

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