Guide to Easy Living 03: Getting Set Up For Daily Life
Nakamura Ward Office:
36-31 Takehashi Cho, Nakamuraku, Nagoya
If you plan on renting your new apartment for more than three months, you’ll need to visit the Nakamura Ward office, which is the equivalent of local city hall. Here, you will essentially register your address to live in Nagoya. While you’re there, it’s a good idea to sign up for government health care as well.
What you need to know
Before going to the Ward Office, it’s a good idea to seek some help in knowing what to expect. Staff speak very little (if any) English, so the best place to start is at the Nagoya International Center. Here, you can get free consultations in English, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, Filipino and Vietnamese.
The Nagoya International Centre (名古屋国際センター)
1-47-1 Nakono, Nakamuraku, Nagoya
名古屋市 中村区 那古野1-47-1
The reason why it’s a good idea to visit the International Center first, is because when you arrive at the Ward Office, there are many different forms to fill out. So, to know what forms you’re looking for, and how to fill them out, it’s best to ask for help from a native.
Important Documents to bring with you
Make sure to bring your VISA; Passport; and a document with your new address on it (unless you have a Work VISA already, in which case it will already be printed on the backside).
Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for government healthcare. For instance, if you are living in Japan for more than three months and have a Work Visa, you’re eligible to enrol at the Ward Office. Monthly fees are based on your income and average from around $12-$20. Your monthly bill will arrive in the mail, and you can take it to any convenience store, such as Family Mart, and pay there.
After enrolling for health insurance at the Ward Office, you will receive a confirmation letter in the mail. Upon receiving this, you’ll need to bring the receipt back to the Ward Office once again, where you’ll exchange it for your official health insurance card. Even though you’ll be registered in the system, you must bring this card with you in the event of needing medical services. If you don’t have it when you visit a doctor, then you can most likely bring it back, with a copy of your hospital bill, and get reimbursed.
It’s a good idea to carry your health insurance card with you at all times.
For more information, visit the Nagoya International Center for free council, or grab a copy of the pamphlet there titled: City of Nagoya National Health Insurance Guide.
Japanese Red Cross Nagoya Daiichi Hospital (名古屋第一赤十字病院)
3-35 Michishita Cho, Nakamuraku, Nagoya,
For quick access to medical services, this major hospital is within the closest proximity to Nakamura Koen. From Nakamura Koen Station, take the subway toward Nagoya Station, and exit after one stop at Nisseki. From there, follow signs that lead you from the subway station directly into the hospital.
For information about medical services with foreign language speaking staff, call:
Aichi Medical Interpretion System Operation Office (T): 050-5814-7263
What you need to know
There are a couple ins and outs that will make your visit to the hospital a bit easier. First off, if you would like an English speaking social worker, they are available. Ask someone at the information center on the first floor. If the person at the information center does not speak English, saying “social worker” should help them point you in the right direction. The social worker offices are just to the left of the accounts/billing counter.
-While emergencies don’t generally happen at the best time, it’s best to visit the hospital during regular business hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., when you can be sure that an experienced doctor is available. After hours care tends to run a lot slower, and typically, trainees are the ones who will be handling your health issues. Ask a local and they will say: “if your emergency can wait until regular business hours, visit the hospital then.”
-Be prepared to wait. Socialized healthcare means there’s going to be a lot of people waiting in line at the hospital. Be prepared to spend a good chunk of time there, especially if it’s your first time, because you’ll need to fill out a lot of paperwork.
-Bring documents. Your VISA and health insurance card are necessary to bring with you. Depending on the hospital you visit, they’ll likely issue you their own hospital ID card. You’ll want to bring this with you to all future visits.
-Fees must be paid the same day as services rendered. Rates are typically low, and average anywhere from 1,000 yen to 30,000 yen. It all depends how much blood work and testing you have done during your visit.
-If you have any questions along the way, make sure to ask (or request) a social worker. They’re there to help you.