How to buy medicine in Japanese pharmachy?

Japanese drugstore
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Japanese language high ability is required to get medicines in Japanese pharmacy or drugstore.

“I have a headache.”

“I have a cough.”

“ My child have a fever.”

You(foreign resident in JAPAN) may have  many problems about your health in daily life.

Then,let’s go to Japanese pharmacy(drugstore) to buy medicines!

Japanese drugstore
Japanese drugstores and pharmacy are full of Japanese(NIHONGO)! Can you understand?

“However,let me see…”

you may get worried about important point in shopping.

“I can’t understand Japanese.Is it OK? ”


“I can speak Japanese,but it’s too difficult to explain my symptoms correctly.”

As You know, Japanese pharmacy(drugstore) staffs are not good at English in many cases.They can advise you on dosage and treatment only in Japanese!

In Addition, the name of items and description of  medicine are also written in all Japanese!

Japanese OTC
Japanese OTC package and the description are written in only in Japanese(NIHONGO)! Can you read it?

“How can I do it !? I can’t buy medicine in Japanese pharmacy.”

Unfortunately, you need to use easy English and Japanese like the following phrases or you have to study Japanese language hard.

Do you have a headache medicine?(ZUTSUYAKU GA HOSHIIDESU)

Do you have a cough medicine?(SEKIDOME GA HOSHIIDESU)

Do you have a medicine for runny nose?(HANAMIZUDOME GA HOSHIDESU)

Do you have a fever medicine for kids?(KODOMOYO NO GENETSUZAI GA HOSHIDESU)

At last, you can buy medicines at the Japanese pharmacy(drugstore)!

However,is it the medicines you need? Is the effect of the medicines enough? Did you have a good communication with pharmacy staff?

In all honesty,Japanese pharmacy is inconvenience and unfriendly for foreign resident in JAPAN(except for foreign tourists).

If you need more effective medicines or detailed advices,you should go hospital.


The next time, I’ll try to tell you how to go to hospital in Japan.


You can buy prescription drugs from the online shop(GAIJIN-SEIKATSU) by personal import!