[Bookmark Recommended] Basic Knowledge That Helps When You are in Emergency in Japan

2018 is closing . . . in this year, Japan has experienced several severe natural disasters.

If you are a Japan-travel-conscious people, you might easily be able to remind of Osaka earthquake (June 18th) and Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake (September 6th), which deeply affected not only people living in Japanese, but also a lots of people from overseas.


By the way, what would you do to ask help when you came across such disasters in Japan?

Even without they happen, what would you do to ask help if you or your friends got sick or injured or got involved in crime?


In this blog post, I’ve wrote about basic knowledge for emergency during your stay in Japan.


About Emergency Numbers 119 and 110

Japan has two major numbers for emergency.

One is 119 to report a fire or to ask for an ambulance or rescue service.

Another is 110 to report an accident or crime to the police call center.


Both emergency numbers can be called from home phones, mobile phones and public phones for free.

If you are in Tokyo, those telephone numbers definitely help you wherever you are and whenever you call (they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).


But . . . 119 and 100 Might Not That Helpful Nationwide (at this point)

However,if you are not in major cities in Japan, they might not that helpful because some don’t offer communication in English.

According to an article from The Nikkei news, only about 25% of fire department headquarters nationwide can support multi-lingual correspondence through a three-way call through interpreters (as of December 2017).

Although they are improving that rate to 100% until 2020 Tokyo Olympic comes, 119 (and maybe 100 as well) might not that helpful at this stage.

So . . . what would you do instead of calling those emergency numbers?


For that needs, I’ve searched it and compiled to 3 alternative suggestions.


Alternative Suggestions

1. Call Tourist Information Center Near By Your Location

How about calling a tourist information center?

Most of them are available in English and reliable because they are made to support tourists (you!).

They are placed through the nation, and you can easily search it through this very useful website by JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization).


Among them, my recommendation center is: Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center

They are located in Asakusa, the very popular tourist spots in Japan. That’s why, you can say that staffs in the center are veterans having much experience to support such kind of needs.


2. Call The AMDA International Medical Information Center

If you get sick or injured in Japan, their service must help you.

Since they founded as an NPO organization in 1991, The AMDA International Medical Information Center have provided non-Japanese-speaking people medical information in Japan.


In addition to that, they also are offering telephone interpretation service free of charge, which enables you to communicate with Japanese doctors easily.

They even explain the health care system in Japan.

Not only in English, but also multiple languages available. Check the details of their service before you get sick.



3. Ask Help to A Japanese Nearby

If you do not speak Japanese, you need to ask a Japanese person nearby to explain the situation to the operator of 110 or 119.


But how?


As for 119, some municipalities have provided a card with the minimum required information written in Japanese.

By showing the card a Japanese person nearby, you can ask help if you can not speak Japanese.


Before you actually travel in Japan,

you are better off to download the card and print it out, or bookmark this page:

外国人が119番通報時に通報を依頼するカードと日本語発音のリーフレット (Card & Leaflet to Ask Calling 119)


Where to Download An Emergency Report Card (PDF File)


The Card Close-up on Minimum Required Information

To ask a Japanese person to call an ambulance or to report a fire, show this to the person.


Those contents are sourced from: Oyama City Web Site



For Further Information, Ask Me

While I searched and compiled to solve the issue, you might still have lots of worries about it.

As long as I possible, I will reply to your requests and add information based on that.

Feel free to send me an inquiry through the link below or just comment here.


LightPocket Website Contact Form


Good trip starts from good preparation.
Hope your travel in Japan will be memorable.


Other Informative Websites

Online emergency phrase card for foreign visitors (NHK WORLD)

Calling for Help (U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan)


The contents of this article are from the data taken as of October 21st, 2018. If you noticed what I missed updating something, it would be great that you report that!

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