Apr 12, 2018

How to deal with pollen allergies in Japan

In Japan, hay fever is a prominent issue in spring. If you suffered from hay fever in your home country, chances are high you will also suffer from it in Japan.

If you only stay for a year or less, it might be the best to just bring your allergy medication with you if you take any. If you stay longer it might be necessary to look for suitable medication that is available in Japan. Besides allergy pills, Japan also offers a lot of other goodies to help you deal with your allergies.

Allergy medication

Some allergy meds are available in drug stores without a prescription.

How to deal with pollen allergies in Japan photo

You can find a wide variety of allergy medication in drugs stores. 

In my experience, these either don’t work or make you feel very tired. Therefore I would recommend going to a doctor and get prescribed meds. Usually, these are cheaper as well, as 70% of the cost is covered by your health insurance. If you buy at the drug store you have to pay the full price out of your own pocket. You can get allergy meds at internal medicine clinics (内科) or special allergy clinics (アレルギー科). 

Sprays and crèmes 

Besides the pills, you can also buy sprays and crèmes that are supposed to prevent the pollen from sticking to your skin and clothes. I have tried several of these but none of them really seemed to help.

How to deal with pollen allergies in Japan photo

Don't waste your money on these.

Other goodies 

Of course, we cannot forget about the go-to item in hay fever season, the mask. You can find a great variety for all occasions in drug stores. 

How to deal with pollen allergies in Japan photo

It helps to prevent the pollen from affecting your nose and mouth, but as the pollen sticks to the mask it will now affect your eyes even worse. 

But don’t worry, there are also special hay fever glasses that you can wear to protect your eyes. You can buy them at most convenience stores, drug stores or even the 100 Yen store.

How to deal with pollen allergies in Japan photo

Hay fever glasses for children 

The only issue here is that if you wear mask and glasses together the glasses will fog up pretty easily. 

If you buy some of the more expensive ones (e.g. the hay fever glasses from JINS), you can also get glasses with fog-up protection.

Now you’re only left to deal with the issues that you will look like a complete weirdo and that your iPhone X face recognition won’t work anymore.

Hay fever season in Japan can be pretty nasty so it is important to prepare accordingly. 

But there is also some good news. In Japan, tissues are handed out almost everywhere for promotion purposes, so at least you will never run out of tissues.



Hi, I’m Eli. I’m from Germany and moved to Japan a few years ago. I am a typical nerd and like collecting Pokémon merchandise.Follow me on twitter (@hannari_eri) for the latest nerd News from Tokyo. I also write a blog in German over here. https://lifeinjapanisstrange.wordpress.com/