To new OISTers

Welcome to OIST!

This page provides you with basic information on health and medicine that you may need before/after coming to Okinawa/Japan.



Please check here for general information on health care system in Japan.

You can find English available clinics/hospitals nearby OIST here and health services in your residence area here.

  • If you are undergoing any medication in your country, please bring a doctor's note with your treatment history and one-month supply of your medication at least. Please read here for the procedure of bringing your medication from your country.
  • The regulation of OTC (over-the-counter) medicine may differ depending on countries. OTC medicine in your country might needs a prescription by a physician in Japan.
  • Birth control pill needs a prescription in Japan. This cannot be covered by health insurance unless you have any diagnosis such as dysmenorrhea and endometriosis so on.
  • Some of the non-prescribed (OTC medications) in other countries can be illegal in Japan. Specifically, products that contain stimulants (medicines that contain Pseudoephedrine, such as Actifed, Sudafed, and Vicks inhalers), or Codeine (can be found in painkillers, cough medicine, cold medicine…etc) are prohibited if it contains more than allowed quantity of stimulant raw materials. If you are considering about bringing those medicines, please ask your medical professional if you can get any substitute in Japan or please contact OIST Health Center prior to your departure.



Please refer here


Health Checkup

In Japan, students and employees are legally required to take annual health checkup. All new OISTers are requested to attend the closest scheduled group health checkup on campus from their arrival. Also as students have possibility of using lasers as part of their PhD program, there will be a group laser safety eye checkup on campus. Please note that the annual health checkup and the laser safety eye checkup are mandatory. We will inform you further information after your arrival. Please visit here for more information on health checkups.


Special Health Screening

If you are planning to regulary use hazardous materials/ engage in hazardous works, such as organic solvents, specified chemical substances, ionizing radiation, lead, lasers, acidic chemicals, submergence, etc as part of your research at OIST, you will be required to take special health screening. Please check with your supervisor if you have any relevant works, and if applicable, please notify the OIST Health Center through your supervisor. You can find more information about special health screening here


Other considerations
  • The closest drug store and local medical facility are about 10 minutes by a car from campus.
  • Currently there are no medical facilities with English speaking staffs which you can take free STI (sexually transmitted infections) checkups around OIST. You can take STI checkups at a local clinic/hospital and each items cost about few thousands yen plus a consultation fee. Health insurance does not cover them without any STI symptoms.


Please check OIST Health Center’s website for more information.

Please keep yourself in good condition prior to your brand new start in Okinawa. We are looking forward to seeing you soon:)

OIST Health Center   Email    Phone +81-(0)98-966-8945