Reading the rules for the Yakkan Shoumei can be confusing. Add in the conflicting information online and Japan’s Bureau of Health and Welfare is bound to receive a ton of emails!
Originally, I’d planned to bring the prescription birth control I’d been on the last 5-ish years. However, around March 2017 it was bought out by a different pharmaceutical firm that completely changed it. The side effect were horrible and I dealt with them the whole month of June until I could see my doctor — after the trip to Montreal. She switched me to a higher dose combination but it was also made by the same company. While I didn’t have any break through bleeding, it caused other issues to the point I decided to switch to a 3 year IUD. Long enough that we can graduate, move to Canada, and settle before starting our family.
At first, I was apprehensive. All I’d heard about are the lawsuits for IUD complications. After reviewing the information and statistics abroad I decided to just get it. It saves me the hassle of applying for the Yakkan Shoumei to bring four months supply. I won’t be paranoid of my roommate messing with my pills. And yes. If you must bring more than one month of birth control to Japan – you will need a Yakkan Shoumei. That much is easy to find online without the need to email.
Fast forward to August 21st, the day of the eclipse and I got Skyla in right after. Here’s to seeing how the next month will be before my check up a few days before I leave. Note: It’s always good to travel with travel health insurance in case something happens or you get a cold. Mine was about $150 and covers the whole trip. There are even doctors within walking distance from the university in Japan that accept it.
With birth control taken care of. Onward to my second prescription.
The not so easy to find information related to asthma inhalers is…
Can we bring a 200 puff inhaler into Japan?
Well, that’s exactly what I set out to find!
After numerous hours spent researching and reading the laws, the answer was maybe. The way the rules are written online is confusing and doesn’t make much sense so I emailed the Bureau of Health and Welfare’s Medicinal Inspection and Guidance Division. Within a few days, I had a concrete answer for you.
Yes, anyone can bring an inhaler to Japan without a Yakkan Shoumei but you are limited to one inhaler. If you need to bring more than one, you must apply for the Yakkan Shoumei.
Since I don’t have my experience with apply for the certificate, I’ll go off a bit of knowledge a friend passed onto me. Generally, you can email the form after filling it out with your doctor’s letter and should receive a certificate back within two weeks. For the email I sent with the inhaler question, it only took about two days to receive an answer. In other words, plan ahead depending on your needs.
Here’s the specific email:
Note that laws are always constantly changing. For more information on bringing prescriptions to Japan, visit the Embassy of Japan, US link.