A Guide for Bringing Medication to Japan

Bringing medication to Japan can be dangerous, as even some common prescription and over-the-counter drugs are illegal.


Over the Counter Drugs

Over-the-counter medicines, such as some types of inhalers, allergy medicines and sinus medications are illegal in Japan.

Products containing stimulants or codeine are prohibited if they exceed the permissible amount. This includes medicines like Actifed, Sudafed, and Vicks inhalers that contain Pseudoephedrine.

By law, travelers can carry up to two months’ worth of approved over-the-counter medicines or vitamins.

Prescription Medications

As a visitor to Japan, you are allowed to enter the country with prescription medicine without any special procedures if you adhere to the following conditions:

  • It is only for your personal use
  • It is not a drug that is illegal in Japan
  • The quantity is up to 1 month’s supply

Up to one month’s supply of prescription medicines, that are permitted by Japanese law, can be carried into Japan. We recommend bringing a copy of your prescription as well as a letter stating the purpose of the drug.

If you need to carry more than one month’s supply, you will need to obtain an import certificate called a Yakkan Shomei. This has to be done at least two weeks before you depart to guarantee that you receive your certificate. Then you must present your certificate, and your prescription medicines to Customs.

This list of allowable medicine is subject to change. We strongly recommend that you visit the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare website and contact them via email to confirm that your medications are permitted in Japan.

Please remember that the decisions regarding medications that can be legally imported are made by the Japanese government and are subject to change. To stay informed for your trip, we recommend that you check with the proper authorities before your trip.

Kasagatake Takayama

Drugs Prohibited in Japan May Surprise You! | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan

Which Prescription Medicines are Banned?

Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, opium, cannabis (including CBD oils), and some prescription medications like Adderall, Vyvanse, and Dexedrine are banned in Japan. There are no exceptions for prohibited medications, even if the medication is legally obtained outside of Japan.

Travelers can be charged if they are bringing medications to Japan that are illegal, even if they come with a foreign prescription or a customs declaration form. There are no exceptions. Travelers importing prohibited items can be detained by Japanese customs officials.

Note: This information is not legal advice and is meant only as a guide. For more information on Japanese laws and regulations, contact the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare directly or your local Japanese consulate.

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