Needed Documents

• Passport
• ID card
• Travel insurance
• Flight Tickets
• Address and reservation of first Hotel
• Vaccination Card
• Emergency contacts
• Yakkan Shoumei

Travel insurance
If you are staying for a longer period, you have to conclude a travel insurance for the time of your stay. You should check all the prices and benefits and really take some time to do so.
I decided for “Hanse Merkur” from Germany, because of many different reasons.

Vaccination Card
You have to have your vaccinations complete and valid. Maybe you should also think about adding “Japanese Encephalitis” if you want to stay for more than one or two months. The Japanese Encephalitis has to be injected three times and it isn’t cheap, but I’d say it’s worth it. You need to get the second injection around 30 days after the first and the third one around one to two years after the second one. After this, the protection will last for 10 years.

Emergency Contacts
You should print some cards (I decided for 10) and put them in many different bags and pockets, so you’ll have them with you all the time.
Of course you should write down every telephone number that can and has to be called whenever something happens.
I decided for the mobile phone numbers from my parents, grandparents and my brother and printed and laminated them in credit card size.


Yakkan Shoumei

What is a „Yakkan Shoumei“?

What do you need it for?

How do you get it?

How long will it take to receive a Yakkan Shoumei?

Example Documents: Import Report of Medication, Explanation of Product


What is a “Yakkan Shoumei”?

The Yakkan Shoumei is a document you will need in case you want to take medicine with you. The official upper boundaries and many further information can be found here:

1 month supply means the maximum dose per day multiplied with 30 days.
According to that 2 month supply is the maximum dose per day multiplied with 60 days.

In addition to that, there are boundaries for cosmetics as well (24 pieces each).


What do you need it for?

The Yakkan Shoumei is needed for anything (drugs, quasi drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, Narcotics, Psychotropics), that surpasses the upper boundaries.


How do you get it?

Now let’s come to the most important part: How to apply for a Yakkan Shoumei

You need to contact the Ministry of Health, Labour and welfare. The E-Mail address depends on the place of your arrival.

Kanto-Shin’etsu Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare
TEL: +81-48-740-0800
(Place of arrival: Narita International Airport, Haneda International Airport, etc.)

Kinki Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare
TEL: +81-6-6942-4096
(Place of arrival: Chubu Centrair International Airport, Kansai International Airport, etc.)

Okinawa Narcotics Control Office
TEL: +81-98-853-7100
(Place of arrival: Naha Airport, etc.)

When you found the fitting address for your place of arrival, you can send your documents via E-Mail (PDF) and write an extra polite request for the application of Yakkan Shoumei.
In my case, the people corresponding with me were extremely polite, friendly and helpful. They answered all my questions and didn’t even get angry after I did some mistakes in my first request.

The documents you will need to apply for a Yakkan Shoumei are:

  • A receipt from your (family) doctor
    • Copy of the prescription with your doctor’s sign
  • Completed application formula for the Yakkan Shoumei
    • Import Report of Medication
    • Explanation of Product
  • Document indicating arrival date and place (flight ticket or the likes)


How long will it take to receive a Yakkan Shoumei?

The processing period depends on several aspects:
Of course one is the completeness of your documents. They will only start when they got all the needed documents.
Another important aspect is the way you’ll send your documents to the Ministry. Via post they will take around 1 to 2 weeks to arrive in Japan, then will be processed and checked, what can take 1 to 7 days. Then they will be send back to you what will take 1-2 weeks once again. So Via post you’ll receive your Yakkan Shoumei after 3-5 weeks.
However there is another option to send in your documents. You can scan them and then mail them to one of the above-noted E-Mail addresses. Doing so you can save much time.

In my case I scanned all the needed documents and send them in via E-Mail. In my first attempt I mixed up the time and  place of arrival (since I will have two flights to Japan and I’ll arrive at two different airports but didn’t think about it). The next day I already got the respond, including my Yakkan Shoumei.
Then I noticed my mistake and asked about what to do. The same day they told me to just send them the corrected documents and so I did. After waiting two more days I received my corrected Yakkan Shoumei for both flights without any further complication.

In addition to that I asked about this vague upper boundary “1 month supply” and they told me how to calculate a 1 month supply.

All of their answers were very friendly and helpful.

In the following I’ll insert some pictures including the official example how to fill in the Import Report of Medication and the Explanation of the product.


I really hope these information could help you a little with the preparation for your own journey.