Lost items, accident and other emergency *

Have you ever encountered a difficult situation whilst travelling abroad? Especially when you don’t speak the language.

In today’s post I will be talking about what you can do if you lose something valuable and other emergency services available to you in Japan.


Lost Items

Losing your phone/wallet/other valuables can be a horrible thing but I think it is better to lose them in Japan than anywhere else.

Japanese people are very nice and will usually hand a lost item to the police. If you lose anything, the first thing you should do is report it.

If you know where you lost your item, e.g. the train, subway, a department store, you should start there. Talk to someone working at the establishment and ask if they have a lost and found. It may already be there and problem solved!



If not, report it to a police box called a “koban”. They are scattered all around the city so you should be able to find one fairly easily.

They will issue you a B5 size memo, which the reference number will be written on it. You will need this to renew your documents and check up the current situation of your purse.


The report memo that issue by the Police


There might be a fair chance you will get your wallet back with all the contents still inside.

However, there is also a thing called “the finder’s fee”. It is customary to give 5-20% of the amount that was in your wallet to whoever found it. However, many people who turn in wallets don’t leave their contact information so that the owner of the wallet doesn’t feel the need to give them the fee. Such kind people🙂

I myself have found the lost wallet once while walking around in the city. When I returned it to the police, I told them I don’t need the finder’s free. I left my phone number and the owner of that wallet called to thank me. That is quite enough.

Another thing is you could go to your embassy to lodge an report if you lost your PASSPORT!

Click [HERE] for the location of your country’s embassy in Tokyo.

Losing something isn’t the only thing that could happen to you while abroad. What should you do in other emergency situations?


Getting sick


Getting sick is not a good time and even more so when you’re abroad and supposed to be having fun.

However it is important you take care of yourself and get proper treatment. If you cannot speak Japanese and are not sure what to do, there are some English language hotlines you can call and they will help you.



  • Japan Helpline, 24/7, 0570-000-911 (Assists with a wide variety of matters)
  • Tokyo English Life Line, 9:00-23:00 every day 03-5774-0992 (For counseling and mental health)
  • The AMDA International Medical Information Center can help direct you to a health care facility that has support in your language 03-5285-8088

Reference : Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)



Emergency numbers

A post about emergencies wouldn’t be complete without emergency numbers.

  • 110 Call the police to report accidents and crimes
  • 119 Call for an ambulance or firetruck

These numbers are toll free and you can even use public phones to call them without charge. Ambulances and firetrucks are also free in Japan.

If you need to talk with the police but don’t want to use the emergency number you can reach them here 24/7 with foreign language support: 03-3501-0110

Also check out our Earthquakes Survival Guide to learn about what to do in the case of an earthquake.



tip.pngIt is highly advisable to purchase travel insurance before you traveling abroad. Travel insurance doesn’t just cover the hospital bill but also it covered when you miss you flight, lost your wallet or passport, giving you the peace in mind while travelling.


Blog by Christine


Illustrator by Kammasorn P. 




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