How to go to the Doctor in Japan?

Have you been to the doctor in Japan? Are you afraid not to be able to explain your condition in Japanese? Being sick in Japan is one stressful experience if you are not comfortable communicating in Japanese. The good news is that if you have a simple cold, you can skip the hospital and go to a drug store to find some common over-the-counter drugs.

At the drugstore, you can simply say:

“Excuse me, I do not feel well.”
すみません、ちょっと具合 ぐあい具合がわるいです。

If you would like to see a doctor, be sure to have your Japanese medical insurance card (保険証ほけんしょう) or any insurance document issued for your travel. Bring cash as many Japanese medical institutions do not accept credit cards. As long as you have money, you will be accepted. We understand that it can be a stressful experience. Do your best!

Most hospitals and clinics have walk-in system. You can skip the call to make an appointment and go directly to the closest one. Search what clinic or hospital could be in your area.

Hospital: 病院 びょういん
Clinic: クリニック
Reception: 受付 うけつけ

The first thing you need to find is the reception. Start the conversation like this:

“Excuse me, I do not feel well.”
すみません、ちょっと具合 ぐあい具合がわるいです。

They will most likely ask you if you have an appointment and if this is your first time in their clinic:

“Do you have an appointment?”
予約 よやくはありますか。


“Is the first time?”
初めて はじですか。

はい、初めて はじです。

You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire, most likely written in Japanese. Prepare yourself with the following questionnaire created for tourists. Do not hesitate to ask for help. Even if you can speak little Japanese, gestures can help a lot to understand what information is asked.

Going to the Doctor's in Japan

After waiting for your turn, you will be called to the examination room (診察室しんさつしつ) to see the doctor. Here some useful sentences for you to explain your condition in Japanese:

Talk about your condition:
I have a fever: ねつがある
I feel sick: 気分きぶん悪いわるい
I feel nauseated: 吐き気はきけがする
I have diarrhea:下痢げりです
I have constipation: 便秘べんぴです
Explain your pain:
I have a headache: あたま痛いいたい
I have a stomach pain: お腹おなか痛いいたい
My throat hurt: のど痛いいたい
My ear hurts: みみ痛いいたい
I have a toothache: 痛いいたい
The word for pain is easy to remember. You can simply show your body part, saying “it hurts here”.
Pain: 痛いいたい
It hurts here: ここが痛いいたいです。

Once your condition has been diagnosed, the doctor prescribes you some medicine or cold medicine. If you have some allergy, be sure to let the doctor know! If your pain is severe, you will receive some pain killers.

Medicine: くすり
Cold medicine: 風邪薬かぜぐすり
Pain killers: 痛め止めいためどめ
I am allergic to…: アレルギーがある
Pharmacy: 薬局やっきょく

You are facing an emergency?

Ask for help to call an ambulance! Show them the following sentence: 救急車きゅうきゅうしゃ呼んでよんでください。」.

We know that going to the doctor in Japan is not easy, but do your best!

大事だいじに !
Please take care!

Not to be mistaken with Ki o Tsukete, which can also be used to ask others to be careful in Japanese!

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