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Can I bring medicine to Japan?


When traveling to Japan, it is important to know what items are allowed into the country, especially when it comes to medication. Many people rely on prescription medications for their health and well-being, so it’s natural to wonder if you can bring medicine with you on your trip. In this article, we will explore the rules and regulations surrounding bringing medicine to Japan.

Understanding Japanese Medication Laws

Japan has strict regulations on medications that are allowed into the country. It is important to note that many over-the-counter medications that are legal in other countries may be banned or restricted in Japan. For example, some common cold and allergy medications contain pseudoephedrine, which is illegal in Japan. It is best to check with the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country before traveling to ensure that any medication you plan to bring is legal.

Japanese Snack Box

Bringing Prescription Medication to Japan

If you have a prescription for medication, you may be able to bring it with you to Japan. However, you must follow certain procedures. You will need to bring your prescription with you, and it must be written in English or Japanese. You will also need to obtain a Yakkan Shoumei certificate from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This certificate confirms that your medication is legal in Japan and allows you to bring a 1-month supply with you.

Medications That Require Special Permission

Some medications require special permission from the Japanese government before they can be brought into the country. These include medications that contain stimulants or narcotics, as well as some psychotropic drugs. If you need to bring these types of medications with you, it is important to apply for permission well in advance of your trip.

Carrying Medications on the Plane

If you plan on carrying medication with you on the plane, it is important to keep it in your carry-on luggage. This way, you will have easy access to it during your flight and will not risk losing it if your checked luggage gets lost or delayed.

Declaring Your Medication at Customs

When entering Japan, you will need to declare any medication that you are carrying with you. You will need to fill out a customs declaration form and list all medication that you have with you. If you have any medication that requires special permission, make sure to declare it on the form.

Purchasing Medications in Japan

If you run out of medication while in Japan or need additional medication for any reason, it is possible to purchase some types of medication at pharmacies. However, it’s important to note that not all medications available in other countries are available in Japan.

Language Barrier

If you don’t speak Japanese, navigating the process of bringing medication into Japan can be challenging. It may be helpful to have a translator or to work with a travel agent who can help guide you through the process.

Risks of Bringing Unapproved Medication into Japan

If you attempt to bring unapproved medication into Japan, there can be serious consequences. You could face fines or even imprisonment if caught. It’s not worth risking your health or freedom by attempting to bring illegal medication into the country.

Traveling With Medical Devices

If you have medical devices such as insulin pumps or CPAP machines, it is important to check with the airline before traveling. Some airlines have restrictions on what types of medical devices can be brought onto planes.


If you are planning on bringing medication with you when traveling to Japan, it’s important to do your research ahead of time and understand the rules and regulations surrounding medication importation. With proper planning and preparation, you can ensure that your trip goes smoothly and that your health needs are taken care of while abroad.

What medications can you bring into Japan?

When traveling, individuals can bring up to a two-month supply of over-the-counter medication and the same amount of vitamins. The same rule applies to contact lenses. If you need more than two months’ worth of medication, you will need a Yakkan Shomei certification.

Do I have to declare medication at customs?

To ensure compliance with regulations, individuals must declare any drugs or medical products they have to the appropriate CBP official, carry them in their original containers, and only carry the amount necessary for personal use related to their medical condition, such as chronic pain. This applies to all substances of a similar nature as well.

Can I bring medicine through customs?

When traveling with prescription medication, it is important to keep them in their original containers with the doctor’s prescription label visible. It is recommended that you only bring personal use amounts, typically no more than a 90 day supply. This is important to keep in mind to ensure safe and legal travel with medication.

How much Tylenol can I bring to Japan?

If you are importing medication, you can bring up to one month’s supply without needing a certificate. However, if you plan to bring more than a month’s supply or important medication, you must have the necessary certificate. This guideline was last updated on August 6th, 2020.

What items are not allowed in checked luggage in Japan?

The Civil Aeronautics Act prohibits certain items from being packed in checked baggage. These items include toxic and flammable gases and liquids, as well as compressed gases. Other items such as dry ice, alcohol, and cigarette lighters are also not allowed due to their potential to cause harm.

Can I bring Xanax to Japan?

Regarding bringing Xanax to Japan, it is allowed to bring in a one month supply of the medication without needing a letter from your doctor. Simply bring it in the original prescription container, which should contain all the necessary information for customs. There is no need to disclose why you take the medication.

Alternative Options

If you are unsure about bringing medication with you to Japan or if your medication is not allowed into the country, there are alternative options. You can speak with your healthcare provider about alternative medications or treatments that may be available in Japan. Additionally, you can research local clinics or hospitals in Japan to see if they offer the care that you need.

Travel Insurance

It is always a good idea to invest in travel insurance when traveling abroad. This can provide coverage for unexpected medical expenses, including emergency medication needs. Make sure to read the policy carefully and understand what is covered and what is not.

Final Thoughts

Bringing medication with you when traveling to Japan requires careful planning and preparation. It’s important to understand the rules and regulations surrounding medication importation and to follow the proper procedures to avoid any legal issues. With the right planning, you can ensure that your health needs are taken care of while enjoying your travels in Japan.

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