English speaking medical services are still very much needed service in Japan. Perhaps with the recent tourism boom too, they could even be a little insufficient for today’s needs. Due to their importance, we will continue to build up this thread as we recognise the demand for English speaking medical services will also continue to grow. In this guide, we currently have information on Doctor’s, medical specialists and hospitals in Tokyo and the surrounding area.
Recently, my father came to Japan for his third visit, but this time he decided to come during spring. As he has a lot of allergies and asthma, he became susceptible to many of the same irritations that continue to hurt the Japanese. Especially, as this was the season which starts the onset of Hayfever.
The Japanese word for asthma is 喘息 (ぜんそく or zensoku) which actually means ‘children’s asthma’. The Japanese believe that children eventually grow out of the condition. However, for some people, case in point my father, this is not the case. So, he continues to suffer from its effects and requires puffers and nebulisers even today. As we eventually discovered, actual nebuliser machines can be purchased. From the likes of Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera you can find them, but they are not that common so best to bring your own machine just to be safe.
As a result, his puffer was not enough to keep his asthma at bay. Additionally, with his nebuliser back in oz, he needed to see a Doctor, and quickly. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday and how many medical practices do you think are open in Tokyo on this day with English speaking staff? Well, luckily we found one on the outskirts of Adachi-ku, Tokyo.
Known as Takahashi Clinic, and a bit of a hike from central Tokyo, it is based in Nishiarai, Adachi-ku. It takes about an hour from central Tokyo. Yet, the beauty of this particular clinic is their operating hours include Sunday mornings. Plus, they are basically a one-stop shop being a clinic and pharmacy in one. While I am sure they have limited supplies in certain medicines, they were sufficient to help my Dad and I would assume most common types of medical problems.
Hiroo International Clinic
Recently, another friend of mine had been suffering what seemed like a bad cold of late. It continued to linger, and so he decided it was time to see a Doctor. He found a medical clinic in Hiroo that had English speaking staff and so he decided to visit during the week. Upon his visit, he said the experience from start to finish was very smooth. He also stated all the staff spoke English very well, and he could understand everything being told to him easily. In the end, due to lack of insurance, he had to pay quite a bit due to cover all expenses. However, it was something he couldn’t avoid, as he was diagnosed with bronchitis and needed prescription medicine.
Appropriately named Hiroo International Clinic, it is a short 8-minute walk from the station to the medical centre. Alternatively, you can find them on google maps at BARBIZON34, BLDG 7F, 4-14-6 Minamiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo or you can contact them on 03 5879 8861
Kameda Kyobashi Clinic
A couple of years ago I visited a clinic in Kyobashi, called Kameda Kyobashi Clinic. Located right above Kyobashi station via Exit 3, you can find it on level 4 of the adjacent building. They had one nursing staff who was able to translate the doctor’s English into Japanese and vice versa my English into Japanese. While the GP did speak some English, he still needed the translators to help for more complex terms and phrases. Overall, it was still a pretty smoothy visit without any major issues and I was happy with the outcome. I would also be happy to return if I needed further treatment.
Kyobashi can be found right outside the station via Ginza Line exit 3. Alternatively, you can find it on Google maps via Tokyo Square Garden 4F, 3-1-1 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo or you can contact them on 03-3527-9100.
St. Luke’s International Hospital
In terms of medical specialists, I need to get my skin checked for melanomas due to the history of skin cancer in my family. As a result, I figured I would prefer an English speaking doctor in this situation. Particularly due to the potential complexity of the issue. St. Luke’s International Hospital was the place I needed to check out. My last experience there was very quick and stress-free. The doctor removed one mole which he thought looked suspicious. Upon further testing, it proved to be fine, but in this case, it was best to be safe than sorry. On the whole, I was very satisfied with the outcome.
St. Luke’s International Hospital is very close to Tsukiji Fish Market. Accessible via Tsukiji train station on the Hibiya line, it is only a short 7-minute walk away. You can also find it on google maps at 9-1 Akashicho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo or you can contact them on 03 3541 5151
What has been your experience of medical services in Japan, have you had a positive experience? Do you have any other recommendations inside Tokyo or in a different area? We would be glad to hear from you to keep this list up to date and relevant.