Emergency and Disaster

Making Emergency Calls

Police TEL:110
Ambulance TEL:119
Fire TEL:119
<When making an emergency calls>

  • * Emergency calls are answered 24 hours a day
  • * Emergency calls are free of charge
  • * Interpretation service for is available when you call 119 (English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese).
    It will take approx. 20 seconds to connect, please stay on the line until you are connected).
  • * While calling, do not panic and be sure to give the following information:
  •  (1) What happened? (accident, incident, illness, fire)
  •  (2) Location (your address or a noticeable landmark)
  •  (3) Your name and phone number
  • * When you hear the fire engine or an ambulance approaching your neighborhood, please come outside and guide them to the right place.
  • * Neither a telephone card nor money is required to call an emergency number from a public telephone.
  • If there is a red button on the public telephone, please press the red button first then dial 110 or 119.
  • When using a digital public telephone, pick up the receiver and dial.
  • * When making an emergency phone from a mobile phone, be sure to give your mobile phone number to the police or fire department.
  • It may be necessary for the police or the fire department to call you back and ask you for more information about the situation or your location.
  • Please stay in the same place and do not turn off your phone. If you are driving a car, please pull off to a safe place to make or receive phone calls.

Accidents and Incidents

Traffic Accidents

◆ If you are the victim:
* Report the accident to the police immediately. If the accident is not reported to the police, you will not be able to obtain the Traffic Accident Certificate or Kotsujiko Shoumei-sho, which is required to receive insurance claim payments.
* Confirm the address and name of the driver, the owner of the vehicle (if the driver is not the owner), vehicle number, the validity period of the vehicle insurance policy and the name of the insurance company.
Even if you think your injuries are minor, please get a medical check-up. Injuries may become worse as time passes.

◆ If you have caused an accident:
* Give first-aid to the victim and call an ambulance. Take precautions to observe road safety.
* If you cause an accident while driving a car or riding a bicycle, you must report it to the police.

Lost and Found

◆ If you have lost money or other valuables:
* As soon as you realize you have lost something, please report it to the nearest police station or police box.
* If you lose your money or other valuables on a train, in a taxi or a department store, report it to the concerned authorities immediately.
* If the lost property is found and is returned to you, according to the law you have to give the finder a reward equivalent to 5 to 20% of the value of the property.

◆ For articles left behind in taxis, buses or subways
* For Kyoto City Bus: contact- Kitaoji Transportation Information Desk Tel:075-493-0410
* For Kyoto City Subway: contact- Karasuma-Oike Station Tel:075-213-1650
* Taxi Lost and Found Center Tel:075-672-1110

◆ Offices to whom the loss should be reported
* Resident Card: First report to the police for a Certificate of Loss ("Funshitsu Shomeisho"), then report the loss to the Immigration Bureau and submit the Certificate of loss issued by the police.
* Passport: First report to the police for a Certificate of Loss ("Funshitsu Shomeisho"), then report the loss to your Embassy or consulate and submit the Certificate of loss issued by the police.
* Credit card: Report it to the firm that has issued the card immediately.
* Cash card: Report it to the bank that has issued the card immediately.

◆ On finding a lost article
* Report it to the nearest police station as soon as possible.
* If you find something on the train or in a department store, hand it to the nearest staff member.
* Be sure to receive a receipt for both cases.


How to avoid becoming involved in a crime or criminal activity

(1) Never give your cell phone or bank book to another person!
It is illegal to set up a mobile phone contract, open a bank account, apply for a credit card, and rent a room, etc. for another person in exchange for money or other form of remuneration.
In addition to being illegal, the account might be used in a crime and you will be accountable for any unpaid bills.

(2) Never let anyone borrow your Student ID or Health Insurance Card!
Do not let anyone borrow your Student ID, Health Insurance Card, Exchange Student ID, Resident Card, etc.
If someone asks to borrow your ID to provide an introduction to a part-time job, do not lend them your ID.
In many cases like this the ID is not returned and it is used to commit a crime.

(3) Do not take a part-time job accepting or sending packages for others or remitting money!
Part-time jobs accepting or sending packages, sending money from your account to an unknown person are scams.

*For any problems involving (1)(2)(3) or any combination, please visit the counter at the:

Kyoto Prefectural Police Headquarters, General Consultation Office
Monday to Friday 9:00-17:45(Closed Public Holidays, and New Year Holiday Period)
Otherwise please visit your nearest police station.

*For more information please contact:

Kyoto Prefectural Police Headquarters, Organized Crime Countermeasures Section 1

Injuries and sudden illnesses

Call an ambulance (Dial 119)

In case of sudden illness or serious injury, call for an ambulance by dialing 119. Dial 119 in the same way when using a mobile phone.
In cases of minor injury or non-life threatening illness, use a taxi or car, etc. to get to a hospital or clinic.
When calling for an ambulance, have the sick or injured person’s health insurance card and your patient registration card (Shinsatsu-ken) if any, ready with you before the ambulance arrives.

In case of illness on a holiday or at night when hospitals or medical facilities are closed:

Please use emergency medical facilities.
★ For the list of Hospitals and Clinics open at night and on holidays, click here


Calling the Fire Department (Dial 119)

If a fire breaks out, shout out "Fire! Kaji desu, kaji desu!" or "Fire!" to let the neighbors know and contact the fire department by dialing 119 from either a landline or from a mobile phone.
It is dangerous to try to extinguish a fire by yourself.


Preparing for an earthquake

  • (1) Find the safest place in your house
  • (2) Store enough drinking water for three days or more (at 3 liters per person per day)
  • (3) Prepare a backpack or emergency bag and make sure every member of your family knows the place where you keep it.
  • (4) Secure furniture and prevent it from falling over by using earthquake proofing devices.
  • (5) Apply shatter-proof film to glass items such as windowpanes, cupboards, shelves, etc.
  • (6) Make a list of emergency telephone numbers including the numbers of those who can speak your language.
  • (7) Confirm beforehand the route from your house to your nearest temporary evacuation center and hospital. Ask your neighbourhood association (Chonai-kai) or the volunteer fire brigade (Jishubousai-kai) in your vicinity about the location of temporary emergency shelter and evacuation center.
What should be kept in the emergency bag?

Flashlight, dry cell batteries, drinking water, food, portable radio, money (including some 10 yen coins for pay phones), copies of ID card, passport, valuables such as bankbooks, matches/lighters, candles, a first-aid kit, etc. (Those who require regular medication should be sure to take their medicine with them), a helmet or protective headgear, work gloves, socks, underwear, winter clothes, etc.

Check for the Nearest Evacuation Shelter!

A booklet showing “evacuation shelters” and “safety evacuation areas” where people can go when large scale disasters such as earthquakes occur on the map of Kyoto City in Japanese and English.

What to do when an Earthquake Occurs

The earthquake tremors will settle after a while, but aftershock may start. Move to safe location while shaking is stopped.

  • (1) Ensure your personal safety.
    Your life is the most important thing; when an earthquake occurs ensure your personal safety.
  • (2) Do not panic. Turn off the gas and electricity immediately.
    First, shout out to others “Hi o kese!” or “Turn off the gas and electricity!”, then turn off all electrical, cooking and heating appliances.
  • (3) Secure an exit.
    Often doors and windows are deformed by an earthquake becoming jammed and do not budge. Open doors and windows enough that you can create an escape route. Please take special precaution if you live in an apartment or a housing complex.
  • (4) If a fire breaks out, extinguish it immediately.
    Shout out loud "Kaji da!" and ask your neighbours to help you put out the fire while it is small and manageable.
  • (5) Do not rush out of a building.
    Do not panic. Be aware of falling objects such as glass fragments and roof tiles when you exit a building.
  • (6) Do not go close to or walk along narrow alleys, trenches, cliffs or rivers.
    Watch out for brick walls, gateposts, vending machines and other objects that may fall down easily.
  • (7) Watch out for landslides and tsunami
    If you are near a mountain or by the sea and feel tremors, prepare to evacuate immediately.
  • (8) Escape to a safe place on foot. Take the minimum amount of your belongings necessary.
    Walk to your closest designated evacuation center. Do not use a car or a motorcycle.
  • (9) Help others in emergency relief works.
    Work together with others to help the elderly, physically handicapped, and/or injured people.
  • (10) Get accurate information and watch out for aftershocks.
    Do not be bothered by rumours and false information. Obtain accurate information via TV or radio.

After an Earthquake

If you find it difficult to return home, please inform your embassy or consulate, your employer or your school about yourself and your family’s whereabouts.

Telephone message service during a disaster (Dial 171) (Saigai-yo Dengon Daiyaru)

During a disaster, making telephone calls to and from an affected area is often difficult. In such cases, use Saigai-yo Dengon Daiyaru or “Disaster Emergency Message Dial 171”.
It is a voice message board where you can leave a message to others and vice-versa.  
NTT runs this service during a disaster. The service provider inform people about the start of the service through TV and radio.
To use the service, dial 171 and follow the recorded Japanese instructions.

◆Telephone message service during a disaster(Dial 171)(Saigai-yo Dengon Daiyaru)

① Recording your message

Dial “171”
(Japanese announcement)
Dial “1”
(Japanese announcement)
Dial ***-***-****(Telephone number of the person you want to reach)
Dial “1”
(Japanese announcement)
Message recording(within 30 seconds)
(Japanese announcement)
Dial “9”
(Japanese announcement)

② Listening to the message

Dial “171”
(Japanese announcement)
Dial “2”
(Japanese announcement)
Dial ***-***-****(Telephone number of the person you want to reach)
Dial “1”
(Japanese announcement)
Replaying message
(Japanese announcement)
Dial “9”
(Japanese announcement)

Convenient Multilingual Information

Register for the Kyoto City International Foundation’s “Multilingual Useful Information” mailing list. You can receive useful information on daily life in Japan and on disaster prevention by e-mail.
For subscription, click here.

Kyoto City Disaster Prevention Center

Typhoons, Floods and Landslides

Preparing for typhoons, floods, and landslides


To minimize the damage caused by imminent catastrophes, such as typhoons, heavy rains, rainstorms, and landslides, regularly watch or listen to the weather forecast.

  • (1) Pay attention to the warnings and other information about typhoons and rainstorms broadcasted on radio and TV.
  • (2) Do not go out unnecessarily. If you do go out, please return home as soon as possible.
  • (3) Please check things around your house. If you find objects that can be blown away easily by strong winds, bring them inside or secure them firmly.
  • (4) Seal any gaps around windows and doors with vinyl tape, and if you have shutters please keep them closed.
  • (5) Keep a flashlight or some candles to use in case of blackout. Stock extra dry cells, too. Be prepared for a potential blackout. Have a flashlight and/or candles ready. Also, remember to stock spare batteries.
  • (6) Prepare an emergency bag for quick evacuation.
  • (7) If you live in an area where a flood is likely to occur, move furniture and electrical appliances as high as possible.
  • (8) Turn off the main gas outlet.
  • (9) Make sure that every member of your family knows the route to the emergency shelter.
  • (10) Lead elderly and physically handicapped people to a safe place as soon as you can.
  • (11) If you live on or close to a mountain and cliff and are unable to evacuate your residence in time, please take shelter in a place on the second floor facing away from the slope.

When do I evacuate?

Disaster prevention information regarding floods and landslides are divided into 5 levels.
Level 5 means that the disaster has already happened. Evacuate at Level4!!

Precaution Levels and the actions you should take

Precaution Level Actions You Should Take Type of Issuance Level

Take the utmost possible action to save your life.

Notification that a disaster has occurred.

Evacuate! Evacuate to a shelter as soon as possible.

If going out puts your life in danger, evacuate to the safest place in the house.

Call for Evacuation, Evacuation Order (Emergency)

Evacuate the elderly and others who need help.

Those who need extra time (the elderly, people with disabilities, babies and toddlers, etc.) should start evacuating.

Prepare for Evacuation/ Start Evacuating the Elderly

Confirm your evacuation actions.

Reconfirm your evacuation site and the route to get there.


Review your evacuation actions.

Monitor the latest weather reports.

Early caution

*These orders may not be issued in this order.
*Even if these orders are not issued, if you feel in danger, start evacuating.

Gas leaks

Using gas and gas appliances incorrectly is very dangerous.
If you find that you might have a gas leak, turn off the main gas valve and open the windows. Under no circumstances should you light a fire or cause a spark. Do not touch the ventilation fan or any electrical switches as they can create a spark. Propane gas is heavier than air, if possible try sweeping the gas out.
Contact the nearest office of your gas provider regardless of time and holidays. As for propane gas, please notify the contact address printed on the gas cylinder.

★ For Signing up for Water, Electricity and Gas Utilities, click here.

Risai Shomei-sho (Disaster Victim Certificate)

A Risai Shomei-sho (Disaster Victim Certificate) is necessary if you are applying for city tax deductions or tax exemptions for losses sustained due to fire and/or natural disasters, such as storms, flood, etc. Take photographs of the damage. Take these photographs to the local government office. For more information, please consult with the application section of your ward office/branch office.

* Applying for a Risai Shomei-sho (Disaster Victim Certificate)
Application forms for loss due to fire can be obtained at a fire department office and applications for loss due to water damage can be obtained at your ward office/branch office.