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Things You Need to Know About A Japanese Drug Store

Whether you are visiting in Japan or you already live there, there are some instances when you get to experience a severe headache and fever, and an ample amount of rest cannot soothe what you are feeling. Before this ever happens to you, you have to be aware of the know-how of availing a medicine in Japan.

You should be mindful that getting medicine from a drugstore in Japan might be different than how you get medicine from your home country. To give you a guide, here are certain things you need to know about a Japanese drugstore.

cover photo credit:The Photographer


1.Where to Buy Medicines in Japan

Where to Buy Medicines in Japan

 Where to Buy Medicines in Japan 2

Medicines can be bought in several establishments throughout Japan. Primarily, medication can be purchased in hospital pharmacies. Like any hospital, most of the Japanese hospitals have pharmacies with them.

Moreover, big pharmacy chains also have available medicines with them. These stores are situated in various locations across Japan. They do not only sell prescription drugs, but they also sell beauty products. The most common chains in Japan include Matsumoto Kiyoshi and SunDrug. Pharmacies could also be found in supermarkets.


2.Prescription Drugs in Japan

Prescription Drugs in Japan

Prescription Drugs in Japan 2

There are a few things to remember about prescription drugs in Japan. Primarily, it is worth noting that many of the prescription drugs which are sold in Japan may not contain the same formula as the drugs available in your country. Hence, consulting with a doctor is a vital thing to do in order to identify the outcome of the medicine you took.

In many cases, kampo, or traditional Japanese herbal medicines may be prescribed instead of prescription drugs. This is because the Japanese still value conventional remedies up until today. Herbal medicines are regulated just like any drug so you can be assured of the quality of the medicine given by your doctor.


3.Use of Foreign Prescription in Japan

Use of Foreign Prescription in Japan

 Use of Foreign Prescription in Japan 2

In case you want to purchase a medicine from these drug stores, it is worth noting that foreign prescription cannot be used in Japan. Since Japanese pharmacies will not accept such prescription, you need to get one from a Japanese licensed physician. You can avail of a prescription after your consultation. During the discussion with the doctor, you can bring your medication or prescription and the doctor will issue similar medicines depending on their regulations.


4.English-Speaking Pharmacies in Tokyo

English-Speaking Pharmacies in Tokyo

 English-Speaking Pharmacies in Tokyo 2

If you need to fill your prescription, you can always visit several pharmacies that offer their services in English. Here is a list of some of the English-speaking pharmacies in Tokyo.


National Azabu Supermarket Pharmacy
Since foreigners visit the supermarket frequently, its pharmacy provides services in English. Aside from medicines, they also offer health and wellness products.

Address: 4-5-2 Minamiazabu, Minato, Tokyo 106-0047, Japan
Phone: (+81)3-3442-3181


American Pharmacy
The pharmacy offers pharmaceutical products and consultations in English.

Address: Hibiya Park Building, 1-8-1 Yurakacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.
Phone: (+81)3-3271-4034


The Pharmacy at Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic
A pharmacy could be found at the clinic itself. This would be convenient considering the fact that doctors would be readily available on clinic whenever you need some consultation.

Address: 32 Shiba Koen Building, 3-4-30 Shiba-Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone: (+81)3-3434-5817

If you ever get sick while you are traveling in Japan, there is no need to worry about getting your prescriptions filled or buying medicine. There are several pharmacies across the country where you could purchase your medications. You only have to be guided by different facts and rules so that you will know what to do in case these situations happen.