Ultimate Guide to English Speaking Doctors in Tokyo

By Nora W | July 21, 2021 

Living in a foreign country is an exciting and great adventure, but if you find yourself suddenly coughing or with a fever, it can be quite frightening not to know what to do or which doctor to visit. Because no one wants to go down a spiral of googling symptoms, in this guide, we'll give you some useful tips and tricks on how to approach various medical situations in Japan and a list of the best English speaking doctors and specialists in Tokyo.

We'll discuss English speaking doctors and services in Tokyo, including where to get a PCR test for Covid-19, Japanese emergency numbers, National Health Insurance and its coverage, and will include a comprehensive list of different specialists in Tokyo, their procedures and useful vocab.


Want to know more about Life in Japan? Also check out on BFF Tokyo: 
Guide to Moving to Japan
Finding Cheap Apartments in Tokyo 
Ultimate Guide to Making Japanese Friends
Japanese National Holidays 2021


 

Your Japanese leaving people in the dark?

Our biweekly newsletter for beginner to low intermediate learners will start guiding you to the proverbial Japanese light.

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    English speaking doctors - tokyo

    You need a covid test but don't speak Japanese

    The current pandemic is affecting all of our daily lives. Studying and working from home, being socially distant from friends, or being geographically cut off from family is tough for everyone. Living in Japan as a foreigner during this situation adds extra difficulty with the language gap. Therefore, it is important to know how to talk about the issue and to know where you can get tested if need be. If you are traveling overseas or going back home, it's likely you'll need a negative test some 72 hours before boarding the plane. A lot of information in English is readily available online, but finding English speaking doctor for it can prove to be challenging.

     

    Do you have symptoms of COVID-19?

    If you experience symptoms, you can call the following English supported numbers for consultation:

    • 0570-550571 for Coronavirus Call Center for inquiries about your symptoms or related issues. 
    • 03-5320-4592 for Tokyo Fever Consultation Center, in case you have a fever

     

    How to get tested with Covid symptoms

     

    Get a free government Covid test

    If you need or want to get a test whilst experiencing symptoms, it's advised that you call your local public health center (hokenjo) for a free government test. However, it's unlikely someone will speak English. So what should you do?

    If you need English support to call your local health center:

    • 03-5285-8181 for Himawari. Himawari is the metropolitan government's health advisory service who can assist you in calling the local health center and also in making appointments to get tested. 

    Get an English Covid test (at your own expense)

    If you're really anxious about the whole governmental process and just want to get a test as soon as possible, there are some English speaking doctors that offer tests even if you have symptoms, but keep in mind that these aren't cheap and that you have to call them first.

    • Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic will ask you to schedule a consultation remotely by phone first, and the doctor will then decide if you need a test. The consultation itself is 13,750 yen and the test 22,000 yen and with the convenience and security to get English speaking doctors, this might well be a good option if you have symptoms and don't know who to turn to. 
    • Sanno Hospital also accepts calls beforehand and will have a nurse guide you in the hospital. There is no fee for calling but consultation price isn't mentioned. The PCR test itself is 29,700 yen. 

    Order a self-test kit

    Say you just want some peace of mind, but don't want to call or leave the house, you can order a self-test kit and get it delivered right to your doorstep! 

    • You can order a PCR test with an English guide at Nishitan clinic for 16,500 and 22,660 if you require a negative certificate. They have the option to purchase a set of 10 test/tickets, in which case you'll only pay 9,900 per ordered test. This means you can have your family and friends tested too.
    English speaking doctors in tokyo - covid

     

    What is a PCR test and what do I need to bring?

    A PCR test uses your saliva and/or nasal samples so you're asked not to smoke, drink, eat or even brush your teeth 30 minutes to an hour before the test, the time depending on the clinic or hospital. The test itself only takes 10 min. Make sure you bring your passport and Health Insurance card as it might be needed! 

    Traveling overseas

    Both departing from Japan as well as arriving at your destination will require a negative Covid-19 test within a certain time period, which usually is 72 hours before boarding. It's important to check which test results are needed for your destination country.

    Where to get tested without symptoms

    There are various English speaking doctors that offer PCR testing. Prices for a PCR test with English support vary widely because they are not covered by health insurance if you're asymptomatic, and so they usually cost around 30,000 with a certificate.

    The cheaper options

    • The most affordable option is to get tested at one of the PCR SmartAmp stations. They offer very cheap tests for the price of 1,890 yen, but an online reservation has to be made in Japanese. If you use a translation device on your web browser though this is a great option!
    • The same counts for the New Corona PCR Testing Center, where, with a little Japanese knowledge and Google translate, you can make an appointment online for 3,190 yen. 

    These cheaper options might take some time to translate plus you may have to wait a while for your appointment, as they're very popular. If you need a quick and easy test, then one of the clinics below with English service may be better for you.

     

    Fully English speaking doctors

     

    You might need a certificate for traveling overseas, so be aware that this adds extra costs.

    • T Care Clinic Hamamatsucho  
      PCR test: 16,500. With certificate: 22,000. 
      The most affordable English speaking doctors seems to be at T Care Clinic. You can call or make online reservations. Same-day results and certificate the next day are possible. 
      Tel. 0120-939-421
    • Tokyo Cancer Clinic
      PCR test: 16,500. With certificate: 22,000
      You can make reservations online. Same-day results are also possible.
    • Sendagaya International Clinic
      PCR test: 27,000. With certificate: TBD
      You can make an online appointment or make a call with their friendly English speaking staff. 
      Tel. 03-3478-4747
    • Mita hospital
      PCR test: 27,500. With certificate: 30,250
      You can email or call them to make a reservation. Next day certificate possible.
      Tel. 03-3451-8121
      E-mail: p.m._mita@iuhw.ac.jp
    • Sanno Hospital
      PCR test: 29,700. With certificate: 33,000
      You can call beforehand if you have symptoms and will be guided in the hospital. If you are asymptomatic, you can make an appointment by phone.  
      Tel. 03-6864-0489
    • Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic
      PCR test: 22,000. With certificate: 33,000
      They accept consultations online if you have symptoms. You can also schedule a remote consultation if you're asymptomatic.
      Tel. 03-3436-3028

     


    Want to know more about Covid in Japan? Also check out on BFF Tokyo: 
    14 Days to prepare for the COVID 19 Corona Virus in Tokyo


     

    Useful Coronavirus phrases and vocab

    Even though we listed English speaking doctors, it is still good to know some words just in case you visit a clinic or wish to make a reservation elsewhere. Here are some useful phrases and words when you schedule or take a PCR test.

    コロナウイルス

    korona uirusu

    Coronavirus

    パンデミック

    pandemikku

    Pandemic

    緊急事態

    kinkyuu jitai

    State of Emergency

    PCR検査

    PCR kensa

    PCR test

    感染者

    kansensha

    infected person

    陽性

    yousei

    tested positive

    陰性

    insei

    tested negative

    保健所

    hokenjo

    public health center

    息苦しいです

    ikigurushii desu

    I have difficulty breathing

    味覚がありません

    mikaku ga arimasen

    I cannot taste

    匂いがしません

    nioi ga shimasen

    I cannot smell

    手指を消毒してください

    teyubi o shoudoku shite kudasai

    Please apply hand sanitizer

    マスクの着用をお願いします

    masuku o chakuyou o onegai shimasu

    Please wear a face mask

    体温測定を実施しています

    taion sokutei o jisshi shite imasu

    We are taking your temperature

    体温計を貸してください

    taionkei o kashite kudasai

    Could I borrow a thermometer?

    Looking for a Job?

    Join our newsletter and be contacted from companies who are looking to hire awesome people like you.

    English speaking doctors in tokyo - emergency

    Who do I call in case of emergency?

    If you're suddenly unwell or find yourself in a dangerous situation, would you know where to call? In Japan there are actually three different numbers to remember. These numbers are operated by Japanese employees, and although sometimes your operator will speak a little English or will refer you through to someone who does, it's very likely you'll have to explain yourself in (simple) Japanese. Here we'll list the common numbers and provide a list of useful vocab.

    Dial 119 for an ambulance or fire

    Make sure to remember 119 (you could think of it as a backwards 911). This is the most commonly used number for medical emergencies as they will get you an ambulance if you need it. Because this number is not just used for ambulances but also for fire rescues, they will ask you which of the two emergencies it is.

    If you need an ambulance:

    救急車がいる (kyuu-kyuu-sha ga iru, I need an ambulance)

    If there's a fire:

    家事です (kaji desu, There is a fire)

    They will ask your name and location and describe the problem in detail. At the end of this section, you can find a list with words to help you explain the situation.

    Ambulance service in Japan is free!

    Dial 110 for the police

    This is the police. If you witnessed a crime or traffic accident, you can dial this number. You will also have to give your name and explain what happened, when, and where. Again, you can refer to our list down below.

    Dial 118 for coastal guards

    If you're on the beach and have to report a crime, you can call this number to connect to the Japanese Coast Guard. Same counts as before: name, location, and explanation are asked for.

    Useful emergency vocab and phrases

    If you're faced with an emergency, you might not be able to respond quickly, but make sure you know these terms or bookmark this page so you can quickly access it in case you need to explain something but can't find the words. The operator on the phone will ask you first and foremost for your name, location and what happened.

    Make sure you say the following:

    名前は ...(namae wa ..., My name is ...)
    住所は ... (juusho wa..., My location is ...)
    電話番号は ... (denwa bangou wa ..., My phone number is ...)

    When they ask you what happened, you can use this table to explain.

    どうしましたか? (dou shimashita ka?, What happened?)

    出血です

    shukketsu desu

    (Someone is) bleeding

    怪我です

    kega desu

    (Someone is) injured

    病気です

    byouki desu

    (Someone is) sick

    骨折です

    kossetsu desu

    (Someone has) a broken bone

    毒物です

    dokubutsu desu

    (Someone was) poisoned

    誰が倒れました

    dare ga taoremashita

    Someone collapsed

    交通事故です

    koutsou jiko desu

    There's a traffic accident

    Lastly, if you need someone else to call the ambulance, you can say the following:

    119番に電話してください (ichi ichi kyuu ban ni denwa shite kudasai, Please call 119)

     

    Should I call an ambulance or go to the hospital myself?

    If you don't know whether you should call an ambulance or go to the hospital by your own transport, Tokyo EMS provides an English site that will guide you through some questions about your symptoms to figure out which option is best. 

    Japanese with Friends

    Know anyone who has passed N1?
    Want to escape the teaching trap?

    OUR HOSTS

    Tyson Batino

    Tyson Batino

    Tyson is the director and a co-founder of Japan Switch and One Coin English. He has spent 15 years in Japan and achieved N1 in just 3.5 years. Listen in as he shares his tips to becoming successful.

    Colten

    Colten Nahrebesk

    Colten is the owner of Risu Press. He spent 6 years working in various industries in Japan and achieved N2. Tune in to hear more about his experiences and advice for living in Japan.

    English speaking doctors in tokyo - health insurance

    Japanese Health Insurance

    Health insurance in Japan, 健康保険 (kenkou hoken) can be such a hassle with signing up, filling in documents, receiving bills and knowing if you're covered or not. Health Insurance is mandatory for anyone staying in Japan over three months, even if you're privately insured. So even if all the documents you need to fill in and the problems of making yourself understood aren't exactly fun, having your health insurance settled drops a great load of stress from your mind, especially if you find yourself sick all of a sudden. Plus, Japan does have a good healthcare system!

    If you're employed

    So you came to Japan on a working visa. Lucky for you, you're under the Japanese Health Insurance or 健康保険 (kenkou hoken) type of insurance and don't need to take care of anything. It means your employer takes care of your health insurance and its documentation. Under this type of insurance, you only pay 30% of your medical costs. Your bills are calculated according to your annual income in the previous year and automatically deducted from your paycheck so you technically don't have to worry about paying these bills. Your pension money will also be deducted at the same time.

    What if you're a student or work less than 30 hours?

    If you're in Japan as a student or work less than 30 hours, you are entitled to 国民健康保険 (kokumin kenkou hoken), the Japanese National Health Insurance. This also covers 70% of medical costs, but you need to make sure you sign up for it yourself at your local ward. You also have to let them know you're not working, working less than 30 hours or if you don't want a pension. The whole process can be quite frustrating, because they usually won't speak English and often there will be some miscommunication. Our best tip: have someone from your school or work who speaks Japanese help you in the process. 

    Did you move or receive a bill too high?

    • Make sure that when you move, you also double check your health insurance. If you switch wards, you receive a new health insurance and it's possible a miscommunication occurs between wards. 
    • If you get your new yearly health insurance bill and it's way higher than before, have someone call your ward to explain it. It should be reduced once the problem is found. More often than not, your new ward will be confused as to whether you paid your bills during the time before you moved or didn't understand you're not working full-time.

    What if you don't have health insurance yet?

    Make sure you get it asap! Especially if you don't have private insurance to cover you in case of an emergency, you want to make sure you get your health insurance as soon as you arrive in Japan. Keep in mind that you'll pay for your insurance from the moment you arrive in Japan, even if you only sign up two months later. 

    What procedures are covered by Health Insurance?

    A rule of thumb is that Health Insurance will cover any symptoms and pain, like injuries and diseases, but if you're just going to your doctor for an annual check, then it isn't covered. Things like cosmetic surgery, teeth whitening, vaccinations and abortions aren't covered by Insurance.

    If you want to ask if something is covered under your Health Insurance you can ask

    これは健康保険に入っていますか?
    kore wa kenkou hoken ni haitte imasu ka?
    Is this covered by my Health Insurance?


    Want to know more about Social Security in Japan? Also check out on BFF Tokyo: 
    Guide to Health Insurance in Japan
    Ultimate Guide to the Japan Pension System
    The Ultimate Guide on Japanese Visas


     

    English speaking doctors in Tokyo

    How are English speaking doctors in Japan?

    Before we jump into what happens when you visit English speaking doctors in Tokyo, you want to know how the general Japanese medical practice works. Every country has different policies and practices, and although we will cover the specificity of each different type of doctor later, it might be good to know how the general system in Japan works and what expat experience has to say about it.

    Why is it so difficult to find English speaking doctors in Japan?

    If you've been living in Japan for a while, you know it can be tough to find a good doctor that also speaks English. And although this heavily depends on the clinic and the doctor you get that day, it's a frustration that the expat community faces in Japan. I've heard from many friends and colleagues that they miss their own healthcare system or doctors at home. Usually, it comes down, not so much to a language problem, but to a problem of uncertainty and an unfamiliarity with the Japanese system. So if you haven't found a good doctor yet, it might just be that you're unfamiliar with Japanese practices. In this section, we'll explain some of the biggest miscommunications and differences and how you can navigate through Japan's medical system more easily.

    What is the English level of doctors in Tokyo?

    First and foremost, don't expect your doctor to speak perfect English. I've experienced times that I had to fill in the gaps with difficult words like "tissue" myself, but this doesn't mean that doctors don't know what they're talking about. A positive aspect of Japanese culture is that people try their best to be empathetic. English speaking doctors especially will understand the difficulty of a language gap and they will usually take their time to make sure you understand. Even if doctors can't speak as well, their English level is usually quite high and they'll understand everything even if they have trouble communicating or coming up with the words sometimes themselves.

    Why am I given antibiotics?

    It's a common experience among expats in Japan that doctors overprescribe antibiotics. Although over the years Japan has developed its practice guidelines concerning the overuse of antibiotics, doctors might still overprescribe antibiotics. In some cases antibiotics are the first and best medicine but make sure you understand why and for how long you're taking it. It could be detrimental to your health to take too much for too long.

    Affordable Online and Offline Morning Lessons in Tokyo

    Learn Japanese with us online or offline and make your JapanSwitch

    • Affordable Japanese Lessons
    • Monthly Contrtacts
    • No Entrance and Hidden Fees
    • 200+ Students
    • Online or Offline LEssons

    Should I go to a clinic or specialist?

    Knowing what your symptoms are related to makes it a lot easier to find a doctor that can help you in Japan. Although a general clinic can provide you with a flu shot or medication, doctors in primary care might not know a lot about specific issues related to specialized care such as cardiology or gastroenterology. Of course, a doctor might refer you to a specialized clinic, but the referred clinic might not speak English and you'll have to return to the same clinic to get a consultation on your results. There is also a lack of communication between primary care and specialized clinics which is a gap in Japanese medical training. This means it is usually better to go to a specialized (English speaking) clinic from the start if you know which type of issues you may be dealing with. 

    Medication: should I visit the doctor or go to the pharmacy?

    A good thing about the medical system in Japan is that it is very easy to schedule an appointment with a doctor last-minute or walk in. If you need medication, it's usually better to go to a doctor, because the medication is cheaper through a clinic than if you try and figure out what you need from the pharmacy. The pharmacies are usually around the corner from a clinic too, so in case your doctor doesn't have the medicine on hand, you can get it quickly next door.

    How do I find good English speaking doctors?

    The truth of the matter is: doctor shopping. English speaking doctors aren't always the best for you specifically, so you need to figure out who and where works out best for you. You might go to a clinic and really love the doctor but the next time you might have a bad experience with a different doctor at the same clinic. To make things a little easier, we've compiled a list down below with clinics, hospitals and specialized practitioners, so you can be one step ahead already in your search.  

    English speaking doctors in tokyo

    Your first visit

    So you decided you need a doctor and make an appointment. Here are some tips on the process so you know what is expected and what to bring with you.

    What to do on your first visit

    When you get to your clinic or hospital at your appointed time or for a walk-in, the first thing you need to do is give your health insurance card and referral letter (in case you have one) to the reception. You'll then be given a medical form on which you have to write your personal details, medical history and your symptoms (unless you filled in an online application form already). If you're at an English speaking facility, they usually have English forms, which will make the task a lot easier.

    You might have to wait a bit until you get your consultation. Hospitals are usually more crowded, and the larger the institution, the longer you'll usually have to wait.

    How to get your medicine

    After your visit to the clinic or hospital, you might have to pick up some medication at the nearby pharmacy (薬局, yakkyoku). They usually don't speak English, but with a prescription, it should be easy to get your medicine. Go to the counter and give your prescription. Sometimes a clinic will send you to a pharmacy that only accepts prescriptions. There, you will be called by name or number to pick up your medicine. In Japan, these pharmacies only give the exact amount of pills prescribed, so you might end up with a mix match of different strips.

    Once you can speak with your doctor, don't be afraid to explain all your symptoms, even smaller ones. It is very common in Japan to go to the doctor for minor illnesses (see a list further below for common ailments and symptoms). According to your symptoms, the doctor will give you a diagnosis (診断, shindan).

    After your consultation, you will usually wait in the waiting room again until you're called to the reception and given the bill (with or without medication). You can usually pay by card, but be prepared with cash just in case they don't. 

    Sometimes you'll also receive a personal card for the clinic. This makes it easier for them to look you up in the system next time you visit. 

    Advertisement

    Part Time Job in Tokyo at OCE
    One Coin English Logo

    Teach English Part-Time at One Coin English

    In addition to awesome articles, we also run an English school with more than 100 teachers and 7000 students in 10 locations in Tokyo.

    English speaking doctors: clinics and hospitals

    Clinic versus hospital: what's the difference?

    Going to either a clinic or hospital usually depends on the scope of your problem. Clinics are smaller and found almost everywhere, whereas hospitals are bigger and have fewer locations. Clinics sometimes also specialize further, so you might want to consider a clinic if you have a specific issue like a skin rash. A hospital has more up-to-date technologies, however. Weighing out which of the two you need really depends on your personal feeling, but it's advised to go to a clinic first if your symptoms aren't severe, because a hospital generally caters to emergency issues. More often than not, you'll find English speaking doctors more easily at clinics than at hospitals.

    If you need surgery

    In case you get injured, surgery can be quite stressful no matter where you live. In Japan, you'll first go to your local surgeon or doctors and they'll take a scan. If you ruptured something and need surgery, it's possible you have to book an appointment if they're full or be referred to a different clinic or hospital. This process isn't easy, because you want to be treated as soon as possible. With this type of ailment, you'll definitely want secure health insurance, because surgery is expensive. Even 30% will be quite hefty. I heard you can also get extra private insurance after paying and get money back. It's also good to know that after surgery, the painkillers might be less strong than what you're used to. You'll just have to ganbaru (doing one's best) through it.

     


    Worried about banking and payment in Japan? Also check out on BFF Tokyo: 
    A Foreigner's Guide to Transferring Money to Japan
    The Ultimate Guide to Debit and Credit Cards in Japan
    The Ultimate Guide to Banking in Japan


     

    Some common ailments and symptoms

    When you're at the clinic or hospital you want to be able to explain what's wrong. In the rare case that a doctor at an English speaking clinic doesn't speak fluently, keep in mind these common phrases and vocab in case you need them.

    症状

    shoujou

    symptom

    副作用

    fukusayou

    side effect

    熱がある

    netsu ga aru

    I have a fever

    頭が痛い

    atama ga itai

    I have a headache/ My head hurts

    お腹が痛い

    onaka ga itai

    I have a stomachache

    喉が痛い

    nodo ga itai

    My throat hurts

    耳が痛い

    mimi ga itai

    My ear hurts

    気分が悪い

    kibun ga warui

    I feel sick

    下痢です

    geri desu

    I have diarrhea

    便秘です

    benpi desu

    I have constipation

    かゆいです

    kayui desu

    I'm itchy

    腫れ

    hare

    swelling

    食前

    shokuzen

    before a meal

    食後

    shokugo

    after a meal

    If you don't know what hurts, you can point to the painful area and say:

    ここが痛い 
    koko ga itai
    It hurts here

    Top clinics and hospitals

    • Sendagaya International Clinic offers English speaking doctors and nurses. Doctors take their time and the nurses are friendly. 
      Accept Health Insurance: yes
      Tel. 03-3478-4747
    • NTT Medical Center Tokyo in Shinagawa has a wide range of departments including Neurosurgery, Hematology, Dermatology and Dentistry. You might need a referral letter from your clinic first.
      Accept Health Insurance: yes

      Tel. 03-3448-6111
    • Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic in Shiba-koen has a great reputation in the expat community and offers medical check-ups as well as specific issues in cardiology, dermatology, ENT (otorhinolaryngology), gastroenterology, gynecology, internal medicine, obstetrics, ophthalmology, orthopedics (including subspecialties), psychiatry, surgery, and urology. Their doctors are also fluent English speaking.
      Accept Health Insurance: no
      Tel. 03-3436-3028
    • Tokyo Midtown Clinic is located in Akasaka. Dr. Grant Mikasa is a recommended English speaking doctor. 
      Accept Health Insurance: yes
      Tel: 03-5413-0080
      Internet Reservation
    English speaking doctors in tokyo - ob-gyns

    English speaking Ob-gyns

    As a woman, there are extra complications you may have for which you need an ob-gyn. You might feel strange about seeing one because it can be quite personal, and I've heard horror stories about Japanese ob-gyns, but it's really important to know of a good one. Even if a specific procedure or attitude is not as you're used to back home, Japanese ob-gyns do usually perform their tests well and non-judgmentally. You will have to bring your Health Insurance card to an ob-gyn, but a specific procedure may not be covered

    You will get a consultation with the doctor first to explain your reason for visiting. If you're going for an annual check, you will then be guided to a separate room where you can take off your underwear and sit in the chair. The nurse or doctor will ask you if you prefer the curtain open or closed. After the examination or test, you will be guided back into the doctor's office to explain the procedure and when to return for your results (often doctors want you to come back in person to explain any test results, even if nothing's wrong). 

    How to get birth control in Japan

    Obtaining easy and cheap birth control is a tricky thing in the Japanese medical system. In Japan there's a limited amount of birth control options at high prices because they're not covered by Health Insurance. The mini-pill is unavailable but you have a few options for birth control strips or ピル (piru, pill) although it'll be between 2,000-4,000 per month and requires monthly or bimonthly blood check-ups. You can get the pill with a prescription from your gynecologist.

    English speaking doctors in tokyo - birth control

    You can get monophasic pills that run on a 21 day cycle, like Marvelon (マーベロン) and Ortho M-21 (オーソ)and multiphasic pills both on 21 and 28 day cycles, most popular being Triquilar (トリキュラー), Ange (アンジュ), New Phase (シンフエーズ), Ortho 777 (オーソ777), and Marvelon (マーべロン).

    Alternatively, you can get condoms at any drugstore or convenience store. 

    Morning after pill

    Unfortunately, you can't get the morning after pill ((モーニングアフターピル, mouningu afutaa piru) without an appointment at a gynecologist. As this is an emergency treatment, it is wise to just go to any nearby clinic for a walk-in or try and get an appointment as soon as possible.

    There has been a rise in requests to make the morning after pill more easily accessible in Japan, but as of now, no legislation has been passed.

    Where to get an STD test

    You can get STD checks at any gynecologist or urologist (for men). You can get checked for HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Candida, Trichomoniasis, Hepatitis B and C, and Syphilis. A full screening won't be covered by Health Insurance if you have no symptoms, but some ob-gyns do take Health Insurance for it. 

    Being pregnant and giving birth in Japan

    Being pregnant and giving birth is an exciting time, but more often than not also a scary situation to be in if you cannot communicate your fears, pains and complaints. 

    You can get a pregnancy test at any drugstore or go to a hospital or women's clinic to check for pregnancy. The doctor might give you a certificate stating you're pregnant. With this statement, you can register at your local health center and get the following goodie bag that includes a mother and child handbook (母子健康手帳, boshi kenkou techou), which records your prenatal checkups, birth certificate and tracking of your child's vaccinations and other milestones, a pregnancy marker that you can attach to your bag (マタニティーマーク, mataniti maaku) and a health checkup coupon book (妊娠健康診査受診票, ninshin kenkou shinsa jushin hyou).

    Giving birth

    Although giving birth is expensive at first, you will get money back through Health Insurance. Without Health Insurance, you're looking at 500,000 yen. With Health insurance you can get 420,000 yen back to help with the financial burden of childbirth. This is regardless of nationality. There are other allowances you can receive post-partum, so make sure to discuss maternity allowance, child rearing allowance and childcare subsidies with your employer or local health center. 

    English speaking doctors in tokyo - birth

    Can my child receive Japanese citizenship?

    If you give birth to your child in Japan, it does not necessarily mean they'll receive Japanese citizenship. Your child will only receive citizenship if one of both parents is Japanese. There is an extra rule if both parents are without nationality, in which case the child will be Japanese.

    Pregnancy leave

    Check with your current employer what your exact details are for pregnancy leave. Usually, as a mother or expecting mother, you have to sign up with your employee yourself to get time off from six weeks before the due date until eight weeks after giving birth. You will be paid full-time.

    Childcare leave

    Childcare leave applies to both mother and father. During this leave, you get 67% over your gross monthly salary

    2 Ebooks to Jump Start your Japanese

    Subscribe to our newsletter to get bi-weekly study tips, advice and stories on how YOU can improve your Japanese.

    10 Ways to kickstart your japanese
    Free Japanese Study Ap

    Abortion in Japan

    Abortion is legal in Japan but is not covered by Health Insurance. They are surgically performed by specific Ob-gyns for economical and social reasons. You need a written consent from the patient as well as the partner, although I also heard that you can get any man to sign this form. Usually it costs between 100,000 and 200,000 and needs to be paid in cash. You can call TELL lifeline support if you need to make a difficult decision about your pregnancy. 

    Useful vocab you might need at the ob-gyn

    経口避妊薬 

    keikou hinin yaku

    birth control

    ピル

    piru

    birth control (common)

    コンドーム

    kondoumu

    condoms

    アフターピル

    afuta piru

    morning after pill

    尿路感染症

    nyourokan senshou

    UTI

    不正出血

    fusei shukketsu

    abnormal bleeding

    性病

    seibyou

    STD

    出産

    shussan

    childbirth

    妊娠検査薬

    ninshin kensayaku

    pregnancy test

    妊娠届

    ninshin todoke

    confirmation document of pregnancy

    中絶

    chuuzetsu

    abortion

    Top Ob-gyns

    • At Aiiku Hospital they have rotating ob-gyns, but they have English speaking doctors available and have been praised for their procedures. Aiiku Hospital provides services for  labor, delivery, postpartum and newborn care, and medical examinations and treatments for disorders of the female reproductive, and urinary systems as well as adolescence & menopause disorders. 
      Accept Health Insurance: yes

      Tel. 03-6453-7311  
    • Omotesando Ladies Clinic is said to have nice and professional staff. Although 100% native English isn't spoken, communication is deemed very well. For their general ob-gyn services, they provide services, amongst others, for menstrual problems, PMS, birth control, STD, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, hormonal treatments, and abortion, as well as cancer screenings. They perform day surgeries with anesthesia like miscarriage surgery, endometrial biopsy, breast needle aspiration, contraceptive implant removal, and cesarean section scar plasty. Besides that, they also offer prenatal care and answer questions related to a wide variety of matters including childbearing anxiety, breastfeeding issues and child-rearing concerns. 
      Accept Health Insurance: yes, but depends on issue
      Tel.03-5771-3781
    • Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic in Shiba-koen has an overall good reputation, and their obstetrics and gynecology department is no different. It's a great clinic that offers services like antenatal care, genetic screening, amniocentesis and ultrasonography with video recording, HPV testing, colposcopy and LEEP procedures. 
      Accept Health Insurance: no
      Tel. 03-3436-3028
    • Toho Women's Clinic in Kiba has a female, English speaking practitioner. Their website is in Japanese, but you can turn on the Google translation tool to navigate the site and make an appointment. 
      Accept Health Insurance: unk.
      Tel. 03-3630-0303
    • Ginza Clinic Femina in Sasazuka offers the latest medical care for women and provides very good privacy and communication in a soothing clinic.
      Accept Health Insurance: depends on the treatment, for general gynecology and internal medicine, yes.
      Tel 03-5537-7171
    English speaking doctors in tokyo - dentist

    English speaking dentists

    Going to the dentist may seem like a trivial thing if you're not in pain, but getting your annual check is important. And if you're suffering from a toothache, then you definitely want to know where to go and how to communicate! Dental care in Japan is actually top-notch and training is standardized across the country. As long as you have your Health Insurance up to date, going to the dentist isn't that pricey either.

    I hate the dentist! What should I do?

    It's very common to have a phobia for the dentist. I know at least three friends on top of my head that find it extremely uncomfortable to be poked in the mouth. The scraping or drilling in particular can be very off-putting. But fear not! In Japan, they seem to know the discomfort and really try to make you feel at ease. They will put a small towel or sheet over your face, so you can relax more and won't be blinded by the light. If it's cold, they will also ask you if you want a blanket to keep warm and will store any accessories you're wearing safely.

    Do Japanese dentists use anesthetics?

    You may have seen horror stories of teeth being drilled without anesthetic in Japan. Japanese dentists tend not to use a lot of local anesthetic, but that doesn't mean they won't. Most English speaking dentists have foreign training, which means they are up to date on Western practices. We'll provide a list of dentists below and will mention if they use anesthetic or not.

    Useful vocab at the dentist

    歯医者

    haisha

    dentist

    歯が痛いです

    ha ga itai desu

    I have a toothache

    虫歯があります

    mushiba ga arimasu

    I have a cavity

    ホワイトニングしたいです

    howaitoningu shitai desu

    I want to get my teeth whitened

    歯が欠けています

    ha ga kakete imasu

    My tooth is chipped

    親知らずを抜きたいです

    oyashirazu o nukitai desu

    I want to remove my wisdom teeth

    詰め物が取れました

    tsumemono ga toremashita

    My fillings have come out

    麻酔を使いたいです

    masui o tsukaitai desu

    I want to use anesthetics

    Top Dentists

    • Kansaku Dental Clinic in Asagaya is a personal recommendation from a friend. Dr. Kansaku has training in the U.S. and he's applauded for making you feel very at ease whilst in the dentist chair. They also use anesthetics, which may be a decisive factor if you're scared of dentists. They might not have a full English website, but it's easy to navigate and schedule an appointment.
      Accept Health Insurance: yes
      Tel. 03-3338-0755
    • Mihara Dental Clinic in Shibuya is a very experienced English-speaking clinic. They are said to be quite cheap and is popular among foreigners. They also use anesthetic.
      Accept Health Insurance: yes
      Tel. 03-6407-1646
      E-mail: info@miharadentalclinic.com
    • Nakashima Dental Clinic in Roppongi is an expert in handling foreign clients, both adults and children. The main practitioner had training in the U.S. and specializes in, amongst others, cosmetic dentistry, endodontics, implant dentistry, periodontics, root canals and wisdom tooth extractions. 
      Accept Health Insurance: yes
      Tel. 03-3479-2726
    • If you need medical treatment for tumors or cysts, or need wisdom teeth removed, you can check out the dentistry department at NTT Medical Center Tokyo in Shinagawa. 
    English speaking doctors in tokyo - psychiatrist

    English speaking Psychiatrists

    Living in Japan as a foreigner, things like communication problems, working hours, cultural differences and not feeling at home are very common feelings to experience. Sometimes these may build up and could hold you back or make you feel panicked, depressed, unfocused, etc. Finding someone you can talk to, in a language you're comfortable with, can be the solution to feeling happier and more satisfied in your life in Japan.   

    Psychiatrist versus Clinical psychologist: What's the difference?


    Psychiatrists

    Psychiatrists usually diagnose and treat mental health problems like depression, eating disorders, insomnia, anxiety, etc. They kind of act like doctors, because they take 30 min consultations and can prescribe medication. They also take Health Insurance. 

    Clinical psychologists

    Clinical psychologists are the therapists we are used to back home: they'll have face to face (or online) counselling sessions and perform psychological tests but don't prescribe medication. There is no national license for clinical psychology so service can depend on the psychologist him/herself. These services are also NOT covered by Health Insurance which means they can be pricey. You can expect to pay around 10,000 per hour.

    Diagnosis of depression

    If you are diagnosed with depression, rest assured that you will be advised along the way, with or without medication. Although Japan is still quite hesitant when it comes to mental health and therapy, most people do understand the burden. Talk to your doctor and see what is best for you in terms of treatment. You can receive a letter from your doctor in case you need time off study or work.

    Psychiatric emergencies

    If you're in a psychiatric emergency, you can always call or chat with Tell (Tokyo English Life Line). It also offers great information for those with friends with mental health deterioration. 

    It's difficult to find hospitals or clinics to go to in case of an emergency. Unless the danger is in self-harm, emergency hospital admission may not be possible. Be aware that English service will also be difficult. If someone near you might commit self-harm, you can call the police by dialing 110 who will direct you to the nearest psychiatric coordinator or the previously mentioned Tell Lifeline.

    Useful vocab at the psychiatrist

    療法士

    ryouhoushi

    therapist

    セラピスト

    serapisuto

    therapist (non-medical)

    精神病

    seishinbyou

    mental illness

    中毒

    chuudoku

    addiction

    アルコール依存症

    arukouru izonshou

    alcoholism

    鬱病

    utsubyou

    depression

    やけ食い

    yakegui

    binge eating

    摂食障害

    sesshoku shougai

    eating disorder

    ストレス

    sutoresu

    stress

    向精神薬

    kousei shinyaku

    psychotropic drug

    Top psychiatrists and counseling 

    • Tokyo Counseling services in Shimokitazawa provide English service in different counseling options, including individual, group, family and partner counseling, as well as art therapy workshops. This is a clinical psychiatrist only (see above) so no Health Insurance is accepted.
      Accept Health Insurance: no

      Tel. 03-5431-3096
      E-mail: info@tokyocounselling.com
    • Tokyo Meguro Counseling Center, located in the Shibuya-Ebisu area has native English speaking psychiatrists and provide services in insight-oriented psychodynamic therapy, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), supportive psychotherapy, life coaching, marital/divorce, family, child & adolescent counseling, and psychopharmacology-integrated psychotherapy. Skype sessions are possible. 
      Accept Health Insurance: only for prescribed medication
      Tel. 03-3716-6624
      E-mail: Mail form
    • American Clinic Tokyo Psychiatry Clinic is located in Akasaka and offers native English services through a Western approach. Some conditions treated are anxiety disorders such as panic disorder and social anxiety disorder, mood disorders such as depression, Bipolar affective disorder, post natal depression and premenstrual dysphoria disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Psychosis and Emotional instability, attachment disorders and so-called personality disorders. You can make an appointment on their contact form or call/email them. 
      Accept Health Insurance: no
      Tel. 03-6441-0969
      E-mail: info@americanclinictokyo.com
    • Tokyo Medical and Surgical Center also offers English speaking psychological therapy through Doctor Colin Coxall. He treats conditions including depression, OCD, phobias, social anxiety, body dysmorphia, Olfactory Reference Syndrome, hoarding, eating disorders, Trichotillomania, stress, addictions, IBS, diabetes, medically unexplained symptoms, cancer support, separation anxiety, insomnia, ASD and self harm. EMDR is available on request. You can also have text-based appointments. 
      Accept Health Insurance: no
      Tel. 03-3436-3028

     


    Need a break? Clear your head? Also check out on BFF Tokyo: 
    Guide to Camping in Japan
    Ultimate Guide to Karaoke in Tokyo
    Guide to Cafes in Tokyo


     

    Learn Japanese The Way You Want

    Lessons | Dialogues | Flashcards | Formality

    $29.99/mo | Monthly 

    $15.49/mo | Yearly

    $1,500 | Lifetime

    English speaking doctors in tokyo - dermatologist

    English speaking dermatologists

    No one likes acne or a rash but a more malignant issue like skin cancer is also a dermatologist's area. If you have a skin problem, going to a dermatologist might make more sense than a general practitioner. If you're worried about general issues like cancer, then you can also speak to your doctor first and he/she can refer you through to a dermatologist if need be. An appointment usually works the same way as a general clinic but there are frequent questions concerning ethnicity specifically that make this topic relevant for its own section.

    Can a dermatologist in Japan treat my (foreign) skin?

    A lot of expats ask this question. Skin problems can indeed slightly differ depending on your ethnicity, from moles and skin cancer to ingrown hairs. If you're going for a specific issue, like the removal of a mole, you can simply ask the dermatologist. Your skin type will usually not matter, especially for English speaking doctors who have training abroad. Immediate surgery or removal is highly unlikely, but dermatologists can treat it on appointment or refer you to a hospital for surgery. Be aware that dermatological treatments might be more conservative because it's a very specialized area and because Japan requires rigorous testing for newer procedures and medicines. This means that Accutane, a very common medicine for acne, isn't available legally in Japan. 

    Useful vocab at the dermatologist

    皮膚

    hifu

    skin

    皮膚科

    hifuka

    dermatology

    皮膚科医

    hifukai

    dermatologist

    皮膚病

    hifubyou

    skin disease

    皮膚癌

    hifukan

    skin cancer

    痒み

    kayumi

    itching

    あざ

    aza

    itching

    湿疹

    shisshin

    eczema

    黒子

    hokuro

    mole

    ニキビ

    nikibi

    acne

    埋没毛

    maibotsumou

    ingrown hair

    水ぶくれ

    mizubukure

    blister

    イボ

    ibo

    wart

    蕁麻疹

    jinmashin

    hives

    Top Dermatologists

    • A popular all-round English speaking dermatologist in Tokyo is Meguro Dermatology Clinic near Meguro Station. The details on their website for specific treatments for skin, laser, and cosmetic treatments are in Japanese, but they have English practitioners.
      Accept Health Insurance: yes
      Tel. 03-6409-6079
    • Azabu Skin Clinic is another well-established dermatologist clinic in Minami Azabu. They have medical, cosmetic and internal treatments including acne, pigmentation, facial or body lifts, fillers, botox, hair thinning, liposuction, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), and food allergies. You can make an appointment through free dial, e-mail or their online form
      Accept Health Insurance: no
      Tel. Clinic: 0120-005-327 
      Tel. Medical Spa: 0120-890-992 
      E-mail: azabuskinclinic.info@gmail.com
    • Garden Clinic Hiroo is Dr. Keong,'s dermatologist's office in Minami Aoyama. She stays up to date with the newest treatments and receives good reviews in the expat community. She offers treatments in allergies, lasers, Botox, IPL hair removal, skin rejuvenation at reasonable rates.
      Accept Health Insurance: only for general dermatology, yes.
      Tel. 03-6427-9198
    • The NTT Medical Center Tokyo in Shinagawa also has a department in dermatology. They treat atopic dermatitis and psoriasis vulgaris, athlete’s foot, senile wart, atheroma, shingles, warts, and hives. You can fill in their online form for inquiries, although you might need a referral letter first.
      Accept Health Insurance: depends on the treatment

    From Beginner to Pro

    Our bi-weekly emails for beginners to low intermediate students will give you the tips and motivation to self-study Japanese your way to Japanese fluency.

    582721_Scene_Japanese Sports

    English speaking doctors in Tokyo: So how about it?

    It's tricky to find good English speaking doctors in Tokyo, but hopefully this article gives a good overview of which services are available, how to communicate and how the general practitioner as well as specialized medical services in Tokyo work. 

    Scroll to Top