I am going to Japan for a week-and-a-half trip (leaving from the US). I often take Melatonin to help myself sleep, and especially want it to help with jetlag (in both directions). It is available over-the-counter here in the US, but as I understand requires a prescription in Japan.

As far as I can tell, Japan allows visitors to bring up to a 2 month supply of non-prescription medicine, and up to a 1 month supply of prescription medicine for personal use (except Narcotics and Psychotropics which are banned). In their FAQ (see Q1), they don't say you need a prescription to bring prescription medication, just that it must be <1 month supply for personal use and not in certain restricted categories. I don't have a prescription for the melatonin as that is not needed in the US.

Do I need a prescription to bring it with me to Japan?

  • I can't answer for Japan specifically, but for other countries they want a Dr letter saying why you need it -- I did this for Sudafed which is more regulated in other places than it is at home. Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 12:09

2 Answers 2


Submit an application for "Yunyu Kakunin-sho", as specified in the document you linked. You may try applying without a prescription and explain it is an OTC drug - the reviewer may ask you to provide one but if you could convince them then it wouldn't be an issue.

As stated in the official documents dated June 2023, individuals and doctors living in Japan need to apply for an import permit to get Melatonin.

  • Unfortunately, I'm leaving for japan today and so won't have time for them to get back to me :( Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 19:12

In practice no one cares about melatonin. In Japan, there are countless services that help local residents purchase melatonin abroad and get them shipped to Japan; people use it all the time, I have used it, and no one's ever said anything. As long as the quantity is clearly for personal use, nothing could happen.

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