Coping with Unexpected Situations

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You are travelling when the weather suddenly turns cold. You thought you will be well-covered with a jacket but you are getting sick, so you go to the pharmacy to get some medicine. Then, you find out that it is not sold there, and you can’t decide what other medicine to buy because it is all in Japanese. What will you do?

One of the things we find difficult to cope with (even in everyday life) is unexpected situations. It is especially difficult to cope when you are not familiar with your surroundings, and not sure where to get help. This includes getting sick, valuables getting stolen, and losing your passport. We all want to enjoy during travel, but things don’t always turn out the way we want.

In this article, I will share about places that you can get help for the different kinds of situation that you may run into. I will explain about three major places – police station, hospital and embassy. Do bookmark this page so that you can refer easily!


 1. Police Station

Situation: theft, lost and found, traffic accidents and other accidents, making report for lost or stolen passport

Emergency Hotline no.: 110
Lost & Found Hotline no.: (+81)3-3814-4151
English helpline (Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department): (+81)3-3501-0110 (Monday to Friday only, 8:30 AM – 5:15 PM)

You probably have heard that Japan is a save country, and many travellers managed to get back their misplaced items at the lost and found. But no matter how safe a place seems to be, crimes do happen in Japan.

If you encounter any situation listed above in outdoor settings, you can make a report at the police station. If the incident happens in your hotel, a restaurant, or a mall, you can first contact the manager and they will help you.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department in Chiyoda, Tokyo.
Image by hans-johnson / CC BY-ND 2.0

While you can make a report at the police station, you can choose to have a consultation for your case at the koban交番or police box beforehand. Koban is basically small police stations that can be found in every neighbourhood. You can ask the hotel front for the nearest koban in the area.

When police officers are on patrol or attending to other incidents, the koban may be empty. In this case, look for a telephone and notice on the table beside the entrance. Without dialing any numbers, just pick up the phone and it will automatically connect you to the precinct’s police station.

An unusual-looking koban in Ginza area.
Image by Colin McMillen / CC BY 2.0


2. Hospital, Clinic & Ambulance

Emergency Hotline no.: 119
Useful Website: http://www.jnto.go.jp/emergency/eng/mi_guide.html

The first thing you should do when you fall sick is diagnosing the kind of help you need. There are three main categories:

Emergency Hospital

  • For emergency care

Need Doctor’s Assistance

  • Visit a clinic, general hospital, or after-hours reception

Do Not Need Doctor’s Assistance

  • Pharmacy
  • Drugstore

Note: If possible, get consultation from a pharmacist. Some medicine cannot be purchased if the pharmacist is not present.

The useful website link above helps you to search for medical institutions around you. On top of that, there is also language options, diagnosis and treatment department classification for primary symptoms.

If you are staying at a large hotel, they probably have access to on-call medical services, an in-house doctor or a clinic. Do inquire at the front desk for more information.


3. Embassy

Situation: reissue a lost passport, visa problem, death, report missing person

Depending on the situation you are in, services at the embassy charge consular fees. For more information on the charges, visit your country’s embassy website in Japan. Below is a list of embassies with useful information.

SEA Countries

Cambodia
Chancery: 8-6-9, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 107-0052
Tel. no.: (+81)3-5412-8521
Other location beside Tokyo: Osaka Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka

India
Chancery: 2-2-11, Kudan-minami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 102-0074
Tel. no.: (+81)3-3262-2391/7
Other location beside Tokyo: Osaka

Indonesia
Chancery: 5-2-9, Higashi-Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 141-0022
Tel. no.: (+81)3-3441-4201
Other location beside Tokyo: Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka

Laos
Chancery: 3-3-22, Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 106-0031
Tel. no.: (+81)3-5411-2291/2
Other location besides Tokyo: Nagoya, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Nishihara (Okinawa)

Malaysia
Chancery: 20-16, Nanpeidai-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 150-0036
Tel. no.: (+81)3-3476-3840
Other location beside Tokyo: Fukuoka

Myanmar
Chancery: 4-8-26, Kita-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 140-0001
Tel. no.: (+81)3-3441-9291/4
Other location beside Tokyo: Nagoya, Kobe

Philippines
Chancery: 5-15-5, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 106-8537
Tel. no.: (+81)3-5562-1600
Other location beside Tokyo: Osaka, Naha

Thailand
Chancery: 3-14, 6-Chome, Kami-Osaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 141-0021
Tel. no.: (+81)3-5789-2433
Other location beside Tokyo: Osaka, Sapporo, Nagoya, Naha

Singapore
Chancery: 5-12-3, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 106-0032
Tel. no.: (+81)3-3586-9111/2
Other location beside Tokyo: Nagoya, Osaka

Vietnam
Chancery: 50-11, Moto-yoyogi-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 151-0062
Tel. no.: (+81)3-3466-3311/3313/3314
Other location beside Tokyo: Osaka, Fukuoka, Kushiro, Nagoya

Middle East Countries

Iran
Chancery: 3-13-9, Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 106-0047
Tel. no.: (+81)3-3446-8011/5
Other location beside Tokyo: none 

Jordan
Chancery: 39-8, Kamiyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 150-0047
Tel. no.: (+81)3-5478-7177
Other location beside Tokyo: none

Kuwait
Chancery: 4-13-12, Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 108-0073
Tel. no.: (+81)3-3455-0361
Other location beside Tokyo: none

Lebanon
Chancery: Residence Viscountess #410, 1-11-36, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 107-0052
Tel. no.: (+81)3-5114-9950
Other location beside Tokyo: none

United Arab Emirates
Chancery: 9-10, Nanpeidai-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.
Postcode: 150-0036
Tel. no.: (+81)3-5489-0804
Other location beside Tokyo: none

If your country is not on the list, or you need more information, visit this website.

JAPAN WALKER SEA Editorial Team
JAPAN WALKER SEA Editorial Team
A fun-loving group of editorial team on the mission to introduce Japanese culture and lifestyle to the masses.

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