Basic Utilities


In order to start your electricity, you will need to contact your local electric power company.
You can sign up online or by phone to start the service the following day, and it doesn't require actual visits of the technicians to your house.
You can learn more from Kansai Electric Power's "A Guide To Electricity".

♦City Gas♦

In order to start your gas, you will need to contact your local gas company either online or by telephone. Actual visit of the technicians is required. We recommend you to contact the gas provider as early as possible during the peak moving season in March and April.
You can learn more from Osaka Gas.


To start getting water, please contact your Kyoto City Waterworks Bureau by phone, online, or by fax. Kyoto City’s water department is open 24 hours a day for immediate service.
For online and fax applications, it is necessary to apply three business days in advance before the water starts flowing. In general, no technician visits are required, but please make sure that all water faucets are turned off so that there are no issues when the water is turned on in your residence.

Garbage Disposal

In Japan, garbage is collected by municipalities. The collection day is set according to the type of trash being collected, and it is common to have to put one’s trash out at the collection site no later than 8 a.m. Collection days and sorting methods vary by municipality.
In Kyoto, people must throw their trash away in two types of authorized trash bags, which are available for purchase at convenience stores and supermarkets.
Trash collection in Kyoto is divided into 1) burnable trash; 2) cans, bottles, PET plastic bottles; 3) plastic container packaging; 4) small metallic items; and 5) large trash items. Recycling of waste paper including magazines and newspapers by private recycling companies is also taking place.
Download the official guide by Kyoto city.

Emergency Calls

Calling 110 will put you through to the police.
Calling 119 will put you through to the fire department.
Foreign language response is available depending on location.

♦Calling 110♦

Please call the police for reporting traffic accidents or crimes.
In Kyoto Prefecture, people can call in English as well as Japanese.

♦Calling 119♦

Please call 119 to report a fire or an emergency (such as, sudden illness or injury).
Kyoto City has an interpretation service so that people can call in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese. Please do not hang up until you get transferred to an interpreter.
If you feel unwell on a holiday or at night and need to see a doctor but do not require an ambulance, please use an emergency medical clinic.

♦Emergency medical clinics♦

These are facilities that provide emergency medical examinations for people suffering sudden symptoms at night or on holidays when other hospitals and clinics are closed. Patients only receive medication for one day or over a holiday. As it is a temporary treatment, patients should follow-up with a medical institution the next day or after the holiday.

#List of emergency hospitals

Hospital Visit

#List of hospitals or clinics available in English

Japan does not have a family doctor or private practice system, such as those found in the United States and Europe. If you need to see a doctor, you should choose a kind of doctor appropriate to your symptoms.
If you need specialized treatment or a specialized medical examination, the doctor will refer you with a letter of introduction to a specialist or a large hospital.

♦Making an appointment♦

You should go to the hospital on the day and time specified. If there is an appointment system, you should get an appointment. Dentistry often utilizes a reservation system.
Please bring your insurance card and patient ID card at the time of consultation.

Hospitals usually issue patient ID card for first visits.
Not all hospitals accept credit cards for payments, so it is important to have cash with you when you go to the hospital or doctor’s office.

Prescriptions issued by hospitals are often filled at external pharmacies, which are usually located near the hospital, although some hospitals do have pharmacies within them.

♦Medical Insurance♦

If you work for a Japanese company, you can join an employment-based health insurance program through your employer.
If you don’t work for a Japanese company, residents who have been in Japan longer than three months are required to be enrolled in the national health insurance program.
However, those on a short-term stay visa are not eligible for joining the system. For those short-term residents, it is recommended to get traveler’s insurance.
There are overseas travel insurance plans that you can even join in Japan.
If you do not have insurance, you will be responsible for all costs.
Therefore, it is important to prepare and have the appropriate health insurance coverage for your time in Japan.

♦Medical Interpreters♦

In Kyoto, medical interpreters are available at four hospitals in the city. There is no additional fee for their service, but they are not always available for all languages and on all days. You might need to make a reservation five days in advance; so if you feel you need interpretation service, please check for availability in advance.

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