When Things Don’t Go According To Plan...EmergencyEdit

In an emergency you can refer to your JET diary, it can be very useful in a number of situations.
In case of serious injury call 119. If you call from your home phone they can track where you are. However, from a cell phone you will have to explain where you are.
On the first page of your JET diary there is Emergency Telephone Japanese.
Tell the operator :
(1) it is an emergency (2) what has happened (3) where you are (address or some notable landmarks) (4) your full name (5) the phone number from which you are making the call. If neccessary dial your supervisor`s number. Tell them: where, what, who, etc.


Japanese hospitals have good medical care, but provide only the bed, basic food, and medical treatment. You will need to bring clothing, toiletries and any snacks you feel you can’t live without (some hospitals don’t allow this). It’s a good idea to keep an overnight bag packed with the above, and in an easy to find place just in case someone needs to pick these things up for you.
Be prepared to pay 30% of the cost when you are discharged. You might want to set money aside just in case you do get seriously ill or injured.
Don’t be afraid to seek medical help – a small problem could develop into a bigger one if you leave it. Colleagues will often give you a small monetary gift after a long hospital stay, and you should give omiyage when you return to work.

Going to the DoctorEdit

Prepare for an emergency - A little bit of preparation can go a long way.

  • When you arrive at your contracting organization you will receive your Social Health Insurance Card. Keep it with you at all times. Many Japanese hospitals do not offer 24 hour service, so it’s a good idea to locate an emergency hospital in your area. Find out the name of the hospital, drive there and see where it is.

Note: On an international scale the medical system in Japan is good! There are equivalent medicines and technology to those you would find in your home countries.

  • Register at the hospital. They will give you a patient id card that you keep and can use at any hospital in Japan. At most hospitals you don’t need to register until you consult a doctor for the first time. If you don’t speak Japanese take your supervisor or JTE with you.
  • Make a list to keep in your wallet of any prescription medicines that you take and allergies that you have and try to find out what they are in Japanese.
  • Finally make sure you have easy access to the phone numbers of your supervisors and key fellow teachers. Try and get their personal cell phone or home phone numbers in case your emergency is outside of working hours.

Doctors in JapanEdit

If you don’t speak Japanese you should take your supervisor, JTE, or a Japanese friend with you to the doctor to help you fill in all the forms and figure out what you’ll have to do.
Most Japanese Doctors can read English, but are not very confident about speaking it. Be prepared to describe your ailment in basic Japanese. Bring your JET Diary and a dictionary.
Search this website for a list of hospitals and clinics that offer services in English Wakayama Medical Information Services

Annual Health TestEdit

In Japan, employers have a duty to provide their employees with a yearly health check. They are required to pay for it, and they will let you do it during work hours. The contents of the examination are specified by law, and without a physician's explicit authorisation, nothing may be omitted. For many professions, including teachers (that's you), this medical examination is mandatory.

Preventative CareEdit

Everyone gets sick from time to time, but what can you do to help limit those trips to the doctors? What preventative measures can you do to Generally Look After Yourself!

Eat Well:Edit

Many of you may be on your own for the first time and this means that you’re going to have to cook for yourself. One sure way to make yourself sick is to eat ramen every day for dinner. Remember to eat a varied diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables. Take a daily multivitamin if you feel that your you're not receiving your minimum daily mineral and vitamin requirements. If you’re feeling down and homesick, then the right food can help pick you up. If you’re looking for some familiar stuff, there are several foreign food stores in Wakayama City, and many supermarkets stock some foreign products. There are also online stores that carry foreign foods like foreign buyer’s club.
Be careful with perishable products. Food spoils quickly in the summer heat and humidity, and the last thing you want is food poisoning!

Exercise Regularly:Edit

As well as being good for your body, exercise is also good for your mind. There are many gyms and health clubs in most towns. Ask someone in your area where the nearest gym is. Just so you’re aware, some gyms may have restrictions and strict policies on tattoos.
Alternatively you could learn a little Japanese culture by taking up a martial art, kendo, or taiko. The cheapest way of doing any of this is by joining in with your students in their club activities. The students and teachers love it when you participate. You’ll get to know the students better, it’s fun, and best of all it’s FREE!

Take Care Of Your Body:Edit

The levels of heat and humidity in Japan are extreme during the summer, and your body may have a lot of adjusting to do. This is especially the case while you are getting over jet lag and adjusting to the time zone, so take it easy for the first month or so. You will probably perspire a lot during the summer months, so drink a lot of water – two liters a day is recommended. Most Japanese people carry a fan and a small towel or handkerchief to help dry off. Japanese antiperspirant/deodorant is not always as strong as at home, and men’s can be difficult to find. Some people prefer to get a supply from home. High heat and humidity provide a perfect environment for all sorts of fungus, so be especially aware of athlete’s foot, thrush, and other fungal infections.


Meditation takes many forms and whilst often linked to some form of religious belief; most people tend to associate meditation with Yoga. Many Yoga classes include meditation sessions and if you’re interested in joining a meditation class, probably the easiest way to do so is by registering with the nearest Yoga class available.

Aromatherapy stores:Edit

The history of aromatherapy in Japan is as old as the use of incense in temples, however the popularity of aromatherapy really took off after the Aromatherapy Association of Japan was established in 1996.
Nowadays, it is very easy to find aromatherapy products in Japan; as well as large stores like Lush or The Body Shop that has their branches here, aromatherapy products can be found available in drug stores and home centers throughout the country.

Alternative Healing and Medicine:Edit

Looking for traditional healing services in Japan, shouldn’t be too difficult; indeed shiatsu (literally means finger pressure in Japanese) even originated in Japan.


Shiatsu refers to the use of fingers and the palm of the hand to apply pressure to particular parts of the body to correct physical imbalances and maintain and promote good health.
Shiatsu was created in 1912 by Tokujiro Namikoshi; who developed the technique whilst trying to alleviate his mother’s rheumatism by pressing certain parts of her body with his thumb; subsequently the first shiatsu clinics were opened in Sapporo in 1925 and Tokyo in 1933.


Acupuncture comes from latin word acus, “needle”, and pungere, “to prick”; widely practiced in China it is said to have been originally developed in that country.
Modern acupuncture uses fine stainless steel needles to make painless insertions in the skin; the type of needle and depth of insertion varying according to the ailment being treated.


Reiki is another healing technique that originates from Japan; based on the laying on of hands in the to transfer the healing energy that flows through the body from practitioner to patient.

Chinese MedicineEdit

Chinese Medicine has been practiced for over 2000 years; in Japan it is better known by the generic term Kampo – according to recent figures 70% of physicians in Japan prescribe Kampo cures to their patients and 80 medical schools teach Kampo to their students.

Health SpasEdit

A popular health treatment chosen by many seeking to be pampered is a health spa; perhaps the best option for visiting a spa would be to take advantage of the services available at many five star hotels where many staff will be able to communicate in English.