Health

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There is an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus in Japan, including instances of in-country transmission. It may cause more severe symptoms in older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions. There are enhanced quarantine procedures at entry points to Japan such as airports and ports. The authorities may carry out extended health checks on arrival including compulsory hospitalisation. You should comply with any additional screening measures by the authorities if asked to go through extra checks.

As a preventative measure against the spread of coronavirus, the Immigration Services Agency of Japan has announced that, unless there are exceptional circumstances the following people are not permitted to enter Japan:

  • foreign nationals who have been to Hubei or Zhejiang provinces in the People’s Republic of China within 14 days prior to arrival
  • foreign nationals who have a Chinese passport issued by Hubei or Zhejiang provinces in the People’s Republic of China.

Some flights from Japan to mainland China have been suspended or cancelled; check with your travel provider for updates. The Japan National Tourism Organisation has a 24 hour hotline (+81 50 3816-2787) which provides support and advice for visitors in Japan including on coronavirus. NHK news (English) has the latest information about coronavirus in Japan.

If you’re returning to the UK from Japan, consult the latest advice from the Department of Health and Social Care on actions you should take if you develop symptoms on your return. 

Further advice on coronavirus is available from Public Health England and on the TravelHealthPro website.

Medication

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You may also want to check the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare webpages on advice if you bring medicine into Japan, a general Q&A as well as a list of banned items.

Medical treatment

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 119 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Medical facilities are good, but the cost of treatment is high. Hospitals and clinics are well equipped and staff highly trained. There are very few British doctors practising in Japan, but some Japanese doctors may speak English. You will be expected to pay the whole cost of any treatment you receive and there have been cases where treatment has been delayed whilst medical facilities check the legitimacy of the insurance. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance that covers pre-existing conditions and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Residents in Japan will be required to enrol in either Employee or National Health Insurance.