Ultimate Guide to Physio in Tokyo

By Joshua Matsuda | January 30, 2023 

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    Were you in pain or currently in some form of pain and curious about visiting a physio in Tokyo? If you’ve never been before, physiotherapy does not require any X-rays or references from your doctor. So, if you are in pain, there is nothing stopping you from visiting a physio!

    If you feel there is an abundance of information online and want to know what a visit to the physio in Tokyo is like, then you came to the right place. While we are not medical experts, we have done the research to help give you a realistic picture of what your visit is going to entail. We’ll look at how long your session may be, how much it will roughly cost you, and 5 clinics you can visit!

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    What is Physiotherapy

    Physiotherapy is a broad category and there are multiple types of physiotherapy that each clinic specializes in. A certain clinic may provide physiotherapy for unusual back pain, while others may specialize in recovering from a recent stroke. The range of what a physio can provide is vast, and we will go through the specifics of what a physio can provide for you.

    Anyone is open to visiting a physio of their choosing. Students and the elderly alike are welcome to go visit a physio and get treatment for whatever ails them. However, it is advised to see an A&E (accident and emergency) or minor injuries unit if you suffer sudden or traumatic injury [concussions, spine fractures, face trauma, etc].

    Also worth noting - physiotherapists in Tokyo are professionals who have to graduate from a physiotherapy program and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination. Unlike some professions which can be practiced without any genuine certifications, you will be dealing with a professional who knows what they are doing.

    What type of treatment can a physio in Tokyo provide?

    Therapy from a clinic can include equipment that could involve heat pads, electrotherapy, and more! There are multiple different machines at physios that are available for you. This can speed up the recovery process and is not something that is available to you at your local doctor’s office.

    In addition, physios will also give advice and educate you on how to lessen the pain now and prevent potential injuries in the future. This can include different techniques to do, the root cause of the pain, and more! But, follow their advice and you will be back in tip-top shape in no time!


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    Participation is key

    You as a client will have to be willing to participate and be consistent in following the therapy routine given by a physio. Exercise routines are designed for optimal recovery time and efficiency. The workout routine will vary depending on the level of injury and type of injury.

    However, we can’t stress more the importance of your part in the healing process. Consistency is one of the main important things to remember after visiting a physio. This includes doing the exercises consistently and visiting the physio regularly (no skipping out). The exercises will be for the recovery of the body or for the prevention of certain diseases. Their main focus is diagnosing the problem, giving a solution, and providing support on the side. This allows you to continue your working schedule and live your daily life.

    Different types of physio

    Some types of physiotherapy include but are not limited to neurological, neuromusculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and respiratory. Here is a quick breakdown of what different types of physiotherapists will treat:

    • Neurological - strokes, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s recovery and prevention
    • Neuromusculoskeletal - back pain, sports injuries, and arthritis
    • Cardiovascular - heart disease and heart attack recovery
    • Respiratory - asthma, pulmonary disease, and cystic fibrosis

    To see other different types of physios click here.

    Physiotherapist is treating a patient. She is holding the patient's arm and applying pressure for a shoulder treatment at a physio in Tokyo

    3 Misconceptions About Physio

    My friend said this or my friend’s friend said that or I read this online - Let’s dispel some notions you might have about visiting a physio. These are common questions physios receive, and were answered by an actual physio in Tokyo!

    You only need to visit once

    First, physiotherapists are thought only to provide exercises, so visiting only once to get a routine is all you need to do - not true. As we covered earlier, physiotherapists provide exercise routines, allow you to use their equipment, and provide advice to you. Other examples of advice can include certain activities that can be detrimental to your injury and how to reduce the probability of injury in the future. But healing properly is an ongoing process and you will need to commit to being there regularly for more than a few sessions.

    You need a reference from a doctor

    Second, when you visit a physiotherapist, you do not need to have a reference from a doctor or even be in any pain. You may be concerned about one aspect of their health or another, and in truth, you can visit a physiotherapy clinic without having a reason! They can help with the prevention of certain diseases as well, so a physiotherapist may be able to provide you with a helpful routine and some advice on how to prevent that disease if it runs in your family.

    Exercise is all I need

    Third, just receiving an exercise routine for your diagnosis is only half of the solution. Some examples can include ankle workouts to strengthen an ankle sprain and stretches to increase movement for knee pain. Just knowing some exercises are not enough, a physio will provide a clear road for their client to take in order to be able to fully recover. Properly following the given path will heal the injury the most efficiently.



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    Is Physio the right treatment for me?

    Determining whether physio is the right course of treatment involves knowing what type of injury you have and what type of physiotherapy the clinic provides. Clinics will list their specialties and what areas of physiotherapy they focus on. However, if you are in pain or want to reduce the chance of being in pain in the future, it does not hurt to visit any physiotherapist!

    Common issues for going to the physio

    Some common issues that people have that physios are highly recommended to help with include:

    • Pain involving bones, joints, and soft tissues
    • Pain involving the brain or nervous system
    • Pain involving the heart and circulation
    • Pain involving the lungs and breathing

    Some people may recommend a chiropractor for your injury, but there is a big difference. A chiropractor focuses on alignment and putting the spine back into a good position (especially for those sitting behind a laptop all day!). A physiotherapist, on the other hand, will provide a workout regime, advice on what you should or should not do, and help you with using their specialized equipment for your treatment.

    Let’s break down some of the types of injuries that a physio in Tokyo can help with.

    A bandaged arm of women is pictured with an icy hot patch or salonpass because of a injury to the hand.

    Minor injuries

    The following are (but are not limited to) minor injuries that physios can treat:

    • Ankle sprains
    • Knee pain (daily pain or when you bend your knees)
    • Muscle strains or Tendonitis (pain in muscles)
    • Back pain (daily pain or when you bend over)
    • Body aches (daily pain or when you move)
    • Muscle overuse (muscle fatigue)

    If you feel any of these pains, or pains involving your muscles, joints, and soft tissues, then a neuromuscular physio will likely help you recover. Muscle pains are also treated by physios, so if your muscles won’t stop aching, a physio should be a contender for your treatment moving forward.

    Moderate injuries

    The following are (but are not limited to) moderate injuries where you should see a physio:

    • Carpal tunnel
    • An injury doing sports (pain after physical activity)
    • Arthritis
    • Concussions
    • Incontinence
    • Rehabilitation after surgery (almost all surgeries need rehab)

    If you experience any of these pains or pains after doing physical activity, then a physio can help. Physical therapy is the most common form of recovery for athletes after an injury, so do not hesitate to see a physio after an injury after doing physical activity! However, it is recommended to see an A&E (accident and emergency) or a minor injuries unit if you suffer any sudden or traumatic injury.

    Severe injuries

    The following are (but are not limited to) severe injuries where you should see a physio

    • The aftermath of a stroke
    • Parkinson’s
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • Achilles tendon rupture
    • Rotator cuff injury

    If you feel any of these pains or pains regarding the brain/nervous system, heart/circulation, or lungs/breathing, then - you guessed it - physio! However- if your injury is severe and not noted in one of those categories, it is probably a safer bet to head down to your local hospital first.


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    What to Expect at a Physio in Tokyo

    Now that you know you want to go to a physio in Tokyo, what should you expect? The following is generally what happens when you visit so let’s run through it starting from when you enter the clinic.

    When you enter

    After you walk into the door, you will be greeted by the staff. Then, they will first ask for your ID and health insurance card if you have one. If this is your first visit, you will need to fill out a form stating your personal information and information regarding your pain. For returning customers, you may still need to fill out a form regarding your pain. You can check out more information on the zairyu card by reading our Guide to Health Insurance in Japan.

    Where does your information go?

    Personal information is usually asked from customers in order to make a membership. Most clinics in Japan will make you get a membership card in order to speed up the process of signing in. It is also a branding strategy to make the trade-offs of switching clinics more timely, so be prepared to join the clinic’s membership!

    Information regarding your pain will involve where your pain is, the severity of the pain, how long you have had the pain, etc. Clinics ask for specific and detailed information in order to be able to provide the best possible treatment for you and so they have a clear possible picture of what the problem is. 

    Lastly, after the clinic gets the information they need, then (after a short wait) your physio session will start. Numerous clinics provide different time packages that you can choose from. A typical clinic has options ranging from 30-minute to 60-minute sessions. After deciding on how long you want your session to be, your treatment will begin.

    What happens in a typical physio session in Tokyo?

    A physio will have multiple types of treatments that they will provide for you. This includes providing a workout regime, giving tips/advice, and giving therapy with their equipment as previously mentioned. There is an occasional treatment where a physiotherapist may apply pressure to the client in order to allow the body to stretch past its natural force. 

    The first physio session can last up to 45 minutes to 75 minutes because of paperwork and setting up. The first session consists of an evaluation and paperwork, so there will be additional time added to the total appointment time. After the first session, a session may take around 15 to 45 minutes depending on the consultation time one chooses.

    How many times do I have to go?

    There is no set number of visits you need to meet when visiting a physio. Depending on the injury, the physio will recommend the number of visits a client may need to fulfill to fully recover their injury. It is recommended to consistently (1-2 times a week) visit a physio for a month or until full recovery is achieved. As a former high school athlete, I have been to a physical therapist every day during the season, so I could allow my body to perform at the most optimal level. It is recommended to go to the physio until you feel comfortable about the recovery of your injury.

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    Common questions for physio in Tokyo

    Q: Is physio very painful? 

    A: Doing physical therapy will cause some pain occasionally. There is occasional post-treatment pain after an appointment that may last for 48 hours to 72 hours. This is pain that one’s body may feel as the body's muscle fibers are being stretched or stimulated in a way that is new to them. Think of this as pain after a workout at a gym or physical activity. As Jane Fonda stated, “no pain, no gain!”

    Q: Does insurance cover my physio visit?

    A: Not all physio in Tokyo will accept insurance to cover their treatment cost. The first search result is a clinic called Tokyo physio, and they do not accept insurance. So before visiting a physio, it is recommended to see if they will accept insurance for their treatment options. Keep on reading, and there will be 5 choices of physios you can visit in Tokyo, and whether they will accept insurance to cover the physio visit!

    Will the staff speak English?

    Physios that advertise themselves as English-speaking or foreigner-friendly will most likely have staff that speaks English. There are many people in Japan who can speak and understand at a level of English that will be able to treat foreigners correctly. However, be aware of some clinics that will advertise themselves as such only to have one staff member who can somewhat communicate in English. Remember to check the reviews or call the clinic ahead of time to avoid such situations!

    However, clinics on the outskirts of Tokyo or clinics that do not claim to be English-speaking/foreigner friendly may not be able to accommodate people who only know English. Do not fear! Clinics in Tokyo may be used to having foreign customers or clients may be able to communicate using broken Japanese/Japanglish (a mix of Japanese and English). Japanese schools also have mandatory English classes, so Japanese residents are at least familiar with English. A clinic not advertising itself as English-speaking or foreigner-friendly is not a recommended option for foreigners who know no Japanese, but not impossible to go to!

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    Male patient at physical rehab walking with the help of parallel bars. The therapist supports him. Both are wearing protective face masks.

    What do I need to bring to a Physio in Tokyo?

    To go to a physio in Tokyo, you will need to bring an ID, cash or credit card, and any medical history documents (if it is a recurring injury). A health insurance card is highly recommended, but not mandatory.

    Finding a Physio in Tokyo

    1. Tokyo Physio

    Starting off, if you search for physio in Tokyo, this will be the first result to pop up. They are arguably the most well-known physio in Tokyo and have lots of clinics located throughout Japan.

    Location: 2F AY Building, 3 Chome-15-5 Higashi, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0011, 15 minutes from Shibuya station

    Contact: 03-3443-6768

    Open hours: 7 am-9 pm weekdays/8 am-6 pm weekends

    English support: yes

    Specialty: sports injury, knee, headache, women’s health, tendon issues, back, neck

    Price: health insurance does not work. Be prepared to pay close to ¥10,000 ($77) or more for a consultation

    Google Review: 44 reviews, 5 stars

    Link: Tokyo Physio

    A physio in Tokyo. It shows a patient bed in a room where treatment is done. There are basic sanitary and equipment pictured.

    2. Club 360

    Up next is Club 360 which offers sports massages, consultations, boxing, coaching, lessons, etc. They have a wide range of services, mostly sports related. 

    Location: B1F Vort Motoazabu, 3-1-35 Motoazabu, Minato-ku, 7 minutes from Roppongi-Itchome

    Contact: 03-6434-9667

    Open hours: 6 am-9 pm weekdays/7 am-6 pm weekends

    English support: yes

    Specialty: back, neck, sciatica, muscular injuries, tendon injuries, sprains, sports injuries, work-related injuries, chronic pain

    Price: Expensive, be prepared to pay close to ¥10,000 ($77) or more for a consultation. They do not state if they take insurance.

    Google Review: 135 reviews, 4.9 stars

    Link: Club 360

    3. Hiroo Field

    Next, Hiroo Field is a unique physio that does not use traditional physical therapy devices such as electrotherapy or ultrasound. Uses more conventional equipment and has an approach like a chiropractor. No massages are offered and the focus is on using common sense logic with treatments.

    Location: Camellia Hiroo 1F, 5-1-36 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0012, 10 minutes from Hiroo station

    Contact: 03-6277-2809
    Open hours: 9 am-7 pm on weekdays except for Wednesday. Wednesday and Saturday 9 am-2 pm. Closed Sundays and holidays

    English support: yes

    Specialty: whole body correction, pregnancy support, beauty acupuncture, face correction, diet, lower back, fractures, insomnia, 

    Price: around ¥5,000 ($38) for treatment, does not take health insurance

    Google Review: 85 reviews, 4.9 stars

    Link: Hiroo Field

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    4. Satoru Seikotsuin

    Coming next, Satoru Seikotsuin are a more local physio that offers medical treatment and massages. There are 2 types of courses to choose from and use traditional physical therapy devices.

    Location: 〒150-0011 2-23-6 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Ikeda Building 2F, 15 minutes from Shibuya station

    Contact: 080-3932-4290

    Open hours: 9 am-6:30 pm weekdays, 9 am-1 pm Saturdays and closes Sundays (last reservation is accepted for the day at 5 pm.

    English support: yes

    Specialty: acute and subacute pain (fractures, bruises, contusions, sprains, etc.) Also offers massages and equipment
    Price - ¥2000 for physical therapy, ¥3000-¥6000 for a 30-minute massage to a 60-minute massage. They do not state if they take insurance.

    Google Review: no reviews

    Link: Satoru Seikotsuin

    5. Teco Center

    Finally, Teco Center is a sports club, chiropractor, acupuncturist, and massage fusion physio. They offer training, manipulative treatment, acupuncture, and diet programs. They have a membership you can join for ¥11,000 per month for unlimited gym equipment use and will give you a discount for all their other services. Other services are also independently accessible without membership.

    Location: 4-9-22 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo Aura Building B1 Floor, 10 minutes from Omote-Sando station

    Contact: 03-6804-6466

    Open hours: 10 am-10 pm Monday to Saturday except for Wednesday, 10 am-7 pm on Sundays and holidays. They are closed every Wednesday.

    English support: yes

    Specialty: training, chiropractic, acupuncture, diet support, shiatsu, personal training

    Price: Membership monthly is ¥11,000 to gain unlimited access to the training facility, the cheapest treatment for one day is ¥3,300 and can go up to ¥6,600 for acupuncture services. They do not state if they take insurance.

    Google Review: no reviews

    Link: Teco Center


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    How does a Physio in Tokyo compare to the US?

    Physios in Tokyo are quite similar to their US counterparts, but also provide some notable differences. One similarity is that you can use health insurance if the clinic accepts it, both will provide their knowledge and expertise to help you recover. The requirements for licensing are also quite similar for both.

    A women is laying her back on a yoga ball in a physio in Tokyo. She is arched in a way that allows the body to stretch. She is located in a dark room with lights focusing on her at a physio in Tokyo.


    Starting off, physios in Tokyo and the US will both usually take insurance to help cover costs for treatment. However, since the US average salary for physiotherapists is higher, it will typically cost more for treatment in the US even with insurance. 

    It is notable that in Tokyo there are clinics that offer lots of services and are unique from a normal physio, which leads to you not being able to use your health insurance. You may find difficulty finding a clinic that gives you what you need and taking health insurance. The difference between a clinic not accepting health insurance between Japan and the US is clinic regulations for Japan and what type of health care you have in the US.


    In addition, in both Japan and the US, physiotherapists are highly demanded, so there is a sense of quality in both places. However, since in the US, they have a higher average salary and higher growing population, the number of physios has gone up every year since 2010. Japan has a lower average salary and a declining population which leads to not as much of a higher growth of physios throughout like the US. This leads to more competition for the US and competition for quality.

    Although competition in the US is higher, since the demand is also high, all the physios in the US get paid a healthy sum. The quality of clinics, however, is higher than the average in Japan. More money circulating through the clinics results in better equipment, better science breakthroughs, and more clinics using the top of line methods.

    Personally speaking, physios in the US are more corporate and have the main objective to try to get as many customers as possible while trying to make them come back. In Tokyo, if you go to a more local physio, there is a sense of getting to know you better and really helping you recover. Some local clinics may not have the best quality equipment but you are more likely to form a more genuine relationship with your physio and they, too, will be more invested in your recovery.

    Requirement for licensing

    Furthermore, both Japan and the US have similar requirements to become a physiotherapist. Both take around 3 years to complete and require lots of studying to be done on human anatomy. 

    For Japan, a physiotherapist will need to graduate from a physical therapy school or program, or have an equivalent license, then take the national exam to finally be granted a physiotherapist. It normally takes around 3 years to complete.

    In the US, a physiotherapist will need to graduate from a physical therapy school or program, which is getting a doctor’s degree, then take the state exam to finally be granted a physiotherapist. It normally takes around 3 years to complete.

    Click here to see a more detailed study done on the differences between a physio in Japan and a physio in the US.

    On top of a stariway in Japan, which is close to Roppongi. It is located in Tokyo and may have physios nearby.

    Important Japanese phrases for visiting a Physio in Tokyo

    Conversations in Japanese will follow a pattern, and even though you do not know much Japanese, you can use some phrases to get by the conversation! In addition to important Japanese phrases, we will cover body parts and injuries in Japanese as well for your next trip to the physio!

    Body Parts

    First, here is a list of body parts in Japanese that you can use to describe where your injury is. These are common Japanese phrases for body parts you can use for your next visit to the physio!




    頭 (あたま)






























    Types of Injuries

    Second, here is a list of injuries or types of pain in Japanese that you can use to describe how your injury is. These are common Japanese phrases regarding injuries that you can use for your next visit to the physio!

    Japanese Romaji English
    体の中(からだのなか) karada no naka Inside of body
    体の外(からだのそと) karada no sota Outside of body
    ズキズキする痛み(ずきずきするいたみ) zuki zuki suru itami Throbbing pain
    動くと痛い(うごくといたい) ugokuto itai Hurts when you move
    時々痛い(ときどきいたい) toki doki itai Occasional pain
    とても痛い(とてもいたい) totemo itai Very painful
    泥漿(けいしょう) keishou Minor injury
    捻挫(ねんざ) nennza Sprain
    骨折(こっせつ) kossetsu Fracture
    骨折(こっせつ) kossetsu Broken bone

    Useful phrases

    Third, here is a list of useful phrases in Japanese that you can use. These are common Japanese phrases regarding visiting a physio that you can use for your next visit to the physio! Click here to get additional Japanese phrases that you can use!











    daijoubu desu

    It's okay (it also works to say no in a polite way)


    ogenki desuka

    How are you



    This one


    soredake desu

    That is all


    onegai shimasu

    What to say after you give a paper or health insurance to a worker


    arigatou gozai masu

    Thank you very much


    itami ha koko desu

    The pain is here


    hokennshou tsukaemasuka

    Can I use health insurance?


    The physio is a helpful place that will provide support with your injuries and help you in the future for reducing injuries. With pain, it is hard to be able to enjoy life to the fullest, so make sure to visit the physio then!

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