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How to Visit a Japanese Hospital

How to Visit a Japanese Hospital

Have you ever visited a Japanese hospital? When you get sick you may have to go to the hospital and have a doctor check your symptoms. However, some of you probably feel nervous about visiting a hospital in Japan, or talking with doctors and nurses. This article offers some useful information about hospitals in Japan, and in Kyoto.

Getting Medical Treatment

1. Reception

After you arrive at the hospital, you would go to the reception counter and hand in your consultation ticket and insurance card. If you are visiting for the first time, you may be asked to answer an interview sheet called a “monshinhyo”. In the sheet, you will be asked about the condition of your health and your allergies and so on. After you finish answering all questions on the sheet, you should return it to the reception counter. Then, please wait calmly until your name is called in the waiting room.

2. In the dispensary room.

After your name is called by a nurse, you will move to the dispensary room and be seen by a doctor. Convey your symptoms to the doctor as accurately as you can.

3. After the consultation

After your consultation, you will go back to the waiting room. After your name is called, you will pay and get your medicine. If the nurse gives you a sheet called a “shohosen” instead, you have to go to a pharmacy to pick up your medicine. In the pharmacy, hand over your sheet and the pharmacist will prepare your medicine. You’ll pay for your medicine at the pharmacy.

How to explain your symptoms in Japanese

Ailments English Words Japanese Words (mostly onomatopoeia) Japanese sentences English reading of Japanese words English Translation
headache splitting ガンガン (gangan) 頭がガンガンします。 atama-ga-gangan-shimasu. I have a splitting headache.
throb, stab ズキズキ (zukizuki) 頭がズキズキします。 atama-ga-zukizuki-shimasu. My head is throbbing.
stomachache sharp, acute, stabbing キリキリ (kirikiri) お腹がキリキリ痛いです。 onaka-ga-kirikiri-itaidesu. I have a sharp stomachache.
queasy ムカムカ (mukamuka) 胃がムカムカします。 i-ga-mukamuka-shimasu. My stomach feels queasy.
consciousness dizzy くらくら(kurakura)

ふらふら (furafura)

ふらふらします。/めまいがします。 furafura-shimasu./memai-ga-shimasu. I feel dizzy.
half-conscious もうろうと (mourouto) 意識がもうろうとしています。 ishiki-ga-mourouto-shiteimasu. S/he is (I am) half-conscious.
eyes irritated  チカチカ (chikachika) 目がチカチカします。 me-ga-chikachika-shimasu. My eyes are irritated.

Although in some countries, the hospitals people are allowed to visit are determined by where they live, in Japan, you can freely choose the hospital that you want to go to, regardless of whether it is public or private.
If you are worried about speaking with the doctor in Japanese, you can use Kyoto City translation services. In Kyoto City, there are four hospitals where you can use this service!

Kyoto City Hospital  (time: 9:00~12:00)
Chinese: Tuesday, Friday
English: Friday
Korean: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
△If you want to use the Korean translation service, you have to book five days in advance.

Ijinkai Takeda General Hospital  (time: 09:00~12:00)
Chinese, English, Korean: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday
△If you want to use the English or Korean translation services, please book five days in advance.

Kyoto Katsura Hospital  (time: 09:00~12:00)
Chinese, English, Korean: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
△Regardless of the language you use, please book five days in advance.

Kousei Takeda Hospital  (time: 09:00~12:00)
Chinese, English, Korean: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday
△Regardless of the language you use, please book five days in advance.
You can make an appointment by calling, or by going to the hospital directly.