Taking care of vaccinations can be quite a challenge and expense in Japan. Because many vaccinations are illegal in Japan, many people will tell you that it is impossible to get certain vaccinations or that you don't need them.
Consult the US Center for Disease Control home page for the most up-to-date information. The Quarantine Center at Kansai Airport is also a good resource: 0724-55-9012
Where to get vaccinations
Kobe Keneki-sho (Kansai Airport)
They administer the shot every Tuesday at 1:30. You need to make an appointment. They will fax you directions and a map to the center. The cost is ¥2,220, which is actually quite cheap. Please call the Quarantine Center of Kansai Airport for details.
International Clinic Tokyo (インターナショナル、クリニック)
You can order an oral vaccine from this international clinic. The pills cost ¥9000 plus ¥1000 for refrigerated shipping. This clinic also has the vaccine for Meningicoccal Meningitis, but you must go to Tokyo to get it!
1-5-9 Azubudai Minatoku, Tokyo
This foreign doctor brings polio boosters back from England every year. The oral booster costs ¥4,000 yen. You need to make an appointment. They will fax you a map and directions. He also can give you the vaccination for Japanese Encephalitis.
Ninomiya Pearl Mansion, 4F
23-11-3 Ninomiyacho, Chuo-ku, Kobe
Tetanus, Cholera, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B
Joyoejiri Hospital Himeji
You can get an injection from Mon to Sat, 9-12. Dr. Kiyoko Hirano speaks fluent English and is very helpful.
Kobe Adventist Hospital
This hospital has all of these vaccinations available.
Kobe Kaisei Hospital
Also recommended for vaccinations.
The drug mefloquine is officially illegal in Japan, but is still sold in some pharmacies. The cost is ¥1,500 per dose. You should review the risks and benefits before taking this drug as it can cause side effects such as nausea and hallucinations but is still highly recommended if you are going to be traveling to a malarial zone.
You can walk into most clinics to get a shot. It costs 2500 yen (it's not covered by insurance).
Tips on Vaccinations
- Tetanus vaccinations need a booster every 10 years. The cost is ¥1,500.
- Cholera vaccinations need two shots, one week apart. The cost is ¥3,000 per shot. The vaccination is only good for six months.
- Hepatitis A vaccinations come in three shots. The second shot is taken two to four weeks after the first shot. The third shot should be taken twenty-four weeks after the second shot. You should be 99% safe for the six months between the last two shots. Each shot costs ¥5,900.
- Hepatitis B vaccinations require a set of three shots and a blood test.
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