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About This Guide

YourGuide

Life in Tokyo: Your Guide is a lifestyle guidebook published for non-Japanese residents by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Citizens and Cultural Affairs to help them begin their new life in Tokyo. From the moment you enter the country, this guide has all the information you need to live your day-to-day life. You will even discover advice from fellow expats who have been living in the city for some time, providing extra knowledge that is sure to come in useful. Let this guide kickstart your new life in Tokyo!

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You can download a complete PDF version of Life in Tokyo: Your Guide, a lifestyle guidebook produced especially for expats starting their new life in Tokyo

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Life in TokyoIllness & injury

All citizens of Japan are enrolled in public medical insurance and can receive advanced medical care.
If you do not feel well, first go to a nearby clinic.

National Health Insurance & Employee’s Health Insurance

These are the two kinds of public medical insurance, and everyone must join one or the other. Once you join, you receive a health insurance card and need to pay only 30% of your medical expenses.
If you do not have insurance, medical fees will be expensive.

●Types of public medical insurance & eligibility

National Health Insurance Employee’s Health Insurance
Details of system Your copayment is 30% (i.e. when the medical cost is 1,000 yen, copayment is 300 yen).
Eligibility Self-employed people, those not working People employed by companies
Premium paid Varies according to income etc.
Inquiries National Health Insurance desk at your municipal office Person in charge of insurance at your company
National Health Insurance
Details of system Your copayment is 30% (i.e. when the medical cost is 1,000 yen, copayment is 300 yen).
Eligibility Self-employed people, those not working
Premium paid Varies according to income etc.
Inquiries National Health Insurance desk at your municipal office
Employee’s Health Insurance
Details of system Your copayment is 30% (i.e. when the medical cost is 1,000 yen, copayment is 300 yen).
Eligibility SPeople employed by companies
Premium paid Varies according to income etc.
Inquiries Person in charge of insurance at your company

* People from countries that have social security agreements with Japan might not be required to join.
* If you are a part-time worker, you might not be able to enroll in the employee’s health insurance program.

Health care system for the elderly aged 75 and older

This health care system is for residents who are at least 75 years old or those with disabilities who are between 65 and 74 years old.
Copayment is 10% (or 30%, depending on certain conditions).

For details

  • Senior welfare desk at your local municipal office.

Long-term care insurance

This system supports elderly people who need nursing care. Copayment for nursing care services is 10% (20% or 30% for those with more than a certain level of income).
Certification is necessary to receive services.

For details

  • Nursing care welfare desk at your local municipal office.

How to receive medical care at a medical institution

Gibo-chan

In Japan, all medical institutions will charge a fee.
Go to a clinic that can treat your symptoms.

Colds
⇒ internal medicine
(Naika)

Injuries
⇒ surgery
(Geka), etc.

  • 1

    Submit your health insurance card at the clinic reception desk and write your symptoms in the questionnaire form.

  • 2

    Wait in the waiting room until your name is called.

  • 3

    Enter the examination room when your name is called, and explain your symptoms.

  • 4

    When the examination is over, wait in the waiting room. When your name is called, you pay the fee and receive a prescription slip containing information about your medicine.

    After this, go to a pharmacy, show your prescription, receive your medicine, and pay the fee.

Seasoned residents say