Where to get a COVID Vaccine Appointment in Japan – September Update

Japan’s government says more than 50% of the population has been fully vaccinated as of September 12th. If you aren’t vaccinated and are trying to get an appointment, here is an overview of your options for vaccination centers and clinics.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free of charge and fully funded by the government of Japan.

Receive voucher from municipal government

You will be mailed a vaccine notification and voucher to your registered address in Japan. Most municipalities have already mailed out packets to residents.

The notification packet will come from your city or ward office. Image: Ministry of Health

Sample of the vaccine voucher (coupon). The voucher is non-transferable and should only be used for yourself. Image: Ministry of Health

Find a vaccination center and make an appointment

The vaccination packet you receive will have a list of medical institutions and vaccination sites near your registered home address where you can make an appointment.

Follow the instructions in your notification letter to make an appointment. You can usually do so by phone or online; some municipalities also allow appointments through the LINE app.

However, some people have not been able to book an appointment immediately at one of the designated centers listed in their vouchers. One of the reasons is that the supply of vaccines is still limited, which limits the number of available appointment slots.

The government of Japan has said that everyone who wants a vaccine should be able to do so by the end of November, so you can periodically check the institutions or centers listed in your notification packet to see if you can get an appointment.

Where else can you get an appointment?

If you want to try other venues rather than waiting for availability at a neighborhood clinic here are your options:

The Self Defense Forces have opened two large-scale vaccination centers, one each in Tokyo and Osaka.

Tokyo Large Scale Vaccination Center

Where: 1-1-3, Otemachi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

Access: 2-minute walk from Takebashi station; 3-minute walk from Otemachi station; 15-minute walk from Kanda station, JR

Vaccinations are by appointment only and can only be made if you have received your vaccination notification and voucher. You will need the info in the notification to complete the application process.

Vaccinations are open to people between 18 and 39 years of age, who have received their vouchers and who are applying for the first shot. Currently, you can only make an appointment at the Tokyo Large Scale Vaccination Center for the first shot, not for the second.

As of Monday, September 13th at about 9:30AM, the information on the official website says that slots for appointments between September 4th to 25th are completely filled for the time being.

However, you may still want to try to see if a slot opens up, due to a cancellation, or to make an appointment for a later date once the the appointment calendar opens again on September 25th.

It may be worth it to bookmark the appointment website and access it as soon as the next reservation period opens up on the 25th if you are thinking of getting the vaccine at the Tokyo large scale vaccination site. Slots for the first reservation period (September 4th to 24th) filled up almost immediately after the website opened for reservations on September 3rd at about 6PM, and it is likely that they will do so again for the next round.

There are three ways to make an appointment:

Tokyo appointment website for the Tokyo Large-Scale Vaccination Center.

Tokyo LINE app application via this QR code:

Telephone for appointments in Tokyo:

Japanese: 0570-056-730

English: 0570-056-750

General information website for Tokyo Large Scale Vaccination Center (in Japanese)

Osaka Large Scale Vaccination Center

Where: Osaka International Convention Center, 5-3-51, Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka

Access: Directly from Nakanoshima Station, Exit 2

Similar to the Tokyo large scale center, the rules for the Osaka large scale vaccination center are that:

Vaccinations are by appointment only and can only be made if you have received your vaccination notification and voucher.

Vaccinations are open to people between 18 and 39 years of age, who have received their vouchers and who are applying for the first shot.

As of Monday, September 13th at about 9:30AM, the information on the official website says that slots for appointments between September 11th to 25th are completely filled for the time being.

However, you may still want to try to see if a slot opens up, due to a cancellation, or to make an appointment for a later date once the appointment calendar opens again on September 25th.

To make an appointment at the Osaka Large Scale Vaccination Center:

Osaka appointment website for the Osaka Large-Scale Vaccination Center.

Osaka LINE app application via this QR code:

Telephone for appointments in Osaka:

Japanese: 0570-080-770

English: 0570-060-221

Find a clinic near where you live

The guidance from the Ministry of Health is that you should receive the vaccination in the municipality where you are registered to live, except for people who are able to get the vaccination at a large-scale center, their place of work or university.

Use this Ministry of Health website to find a clinic in your city or ward that is offering a COVID vaccine: COVID Navi

A useful feature of this site is that it includes information about whether the clinic is currently taking reservations, the maker (Pfizer or Moderna), and contact info. Most of these facilities are smaller neighborhood clinics and most likely do not speak English. If you don’t speak Japanese, you may want to ask a Japanese-speaking friend for help making the appointment.

We have heard anecdotal reports from friends and co-workers that they were able to get an appointment at a local clinic for their first and/or second shots after having tried unsuccessfully to get an reservation at a large-scale center or from one of the designated clinics in their notification letter.

Screenshot from COVID Navi website showing results for the city of Machida, Tokyo. Image: COVID Navi, Ministry of Health

Municipal large scale vaccination centers

Some cities and wards have set up their own large-scale vaccination centers that may be open to residents outside the ward, depending on your age or occupation.

To see if your municipality has a large-scale facility, check your official city or ward website.

Here are the main ones in Tokyo.

Shibuya Youth Vaccination Center

Where: Shibuya City Labor & Welfare Hall 2F, Jinnan 1-19-8, Shibuya Ward

Eligibility: People aged 16 to 39 who live, work or attend school in Tokyo

Operation period: August 27 to October 8

Reservations:

Space is limited to 300 people a day due to high demand. Reservations are being made on a lottery basis.

Use the Tokyo Metropolitan Government official LINE account (add as a friend) here to enter the lottery:

Enter the lottery by 5PM the day before you would like to get the shot. You will be notified through the app by 7PM if you’ve been selected. Remember to bring your vaccination voucher, ID, and smartphone on the day of the appointment.

Tokyo Dome Vaccination Center

Where: Tokyo Dome, Koraku 1-3-61, Bunkyo Ward

Eligibility: Residents of Shinjuku, Bunkyo, and Minato wards aged 12 and older

Operation period: Vaccines are scheduled to be administered on these dates

  • October 4th, 5th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st from 9AM to 2PM

Reservations:

Space is limited to about 800 people per day.

Make a reservation through this website: Shinjuku Ward COVID vaccination website

Or by phone: 03-4333-8907

Those between 12 and 15 can only make a reservation by phone and must be accompanied by a guardian on the date of the appointment.

If you get your first vaccination at the Tokyo Dome Center you will automatically be given an appointment for the second shot.

At your workplace or university

Your office or university may have already set up facilities for their employees and students to receive a COVID vaccine, so you will want to check with your HR or student affairs office.


Sources:

Ministry of Health, Guidance for foreign nationals on getting the COVID-19 vaccine (in English)

Tokyo large-scale vaccination center official site (in Japanese)

Osaka large-scale vaccination center official site (in English)

Lead image: Tokyo Dome in September 2011, via iStock 459393841 Credit:winhorse