Prescription Medication

Drugs that are hallucinogenic, narcotic, or psychotropic are not allowed in Japan except under very special circumstance in which case prior approval is required. For all other prescription medication not including injections, paperwork or prior approval is not required for up to 1 month's worth. This also applies to prescription drugs sent in the mail. Those wishing to bring more than than a month's supply or who take medication via injection must apply for a Yakkan Shoumei or import certificate. This certificate is to be shown at customs in Japan. For information on how to apply for a Yakkan Shoumei, review the Medications Q&A sheet provided by JCMU here.

It is recommended that you bring your doctor's prescription for the medication and a note from your doctor explaining the purpose of the drug as well as how often you are to take it.

Non-Prescription/Over-the-Counter Medication

Travelers are allowed to bring 2 month's worth of non-prescription medication without filling out any paperwork. 2 month's worth of vitamins are also allowed. Travelers wishing to take more than 2 mont's worth of non-prescription medication should apply for a the //Yakkan Shoumei// import certificate.

WARNING: Many common over-the-counter medications in the USA are illegal in Japan. Medication including stimulants (specifically Pseudoephedrine) and Codeine are prohibited which means that many inhalers and cold and allergy medications are not allowed. Medications which cannot be brought into Japan include but are not limited to:

  • Tylenol Cold
  • NyQuil D (Not to be confused with NyQuil or DayQuil Cold/Flu Multisymptom Relief which as of 2006 no longer contains Pseudoephedrine)
  • Actifed
  • Sudafed
  • Advil Cold & Sinus
  • Dristan Cold ("No Drowsiness")
  • Dristan Sinus
  • Drixoral Sinus
  • Vicks Inhaler
  • Lomotil
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAO) used in any anti-depressant capacity - such as Moclobemide marketed as Aurorix
  • any conventional Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) - the list is too exhaustive for this page.

For more information visit this page from the US Embassy website and this page from JCMU's official website.