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). The language will be changed after you hear some music, so please stay on the line until you are connected.
  • ・While calling, do not panic and make sure that you 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 straight away.
  • ・When making an emergency call from a mobile phone, make sure that you 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(Koban).
  • ・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 to receive a Certificate of Loss (Ishitsu Shomei), then report the loss along with the certificate to your local immigration office.
  • ・Passport: First report to the police to receive a Certificate of Loss (Ishitsu Shomei), then report the loss to your embassy or consulate and submit the Certificate.
  • ・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
  • TEL:075-414-0110
  • Mon. - Fri. 9:00-17:45(Closed on Public Holidays, Year-end and New Year's Holiday)
  • Otherwise, please visit your nearest police station.

*For more information please contact:

  • Kyoto Prefectural Police Headquarters, Organized Crime Countermeasures Section 1
  • TEL:075-451-9111

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. Calling an ambulance is free of charge, but you are required to pay for your medical treatment at medical institutions.

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

Please use emergency medical facilities. Go to Emergency Medical Treatment at Night, on Weekends and Holidays.

Checking out the facilities


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 evacuation shelter and hospital. Ask your neighbourhood association (Chonai-kai) or the volunteer fire brigade (Jishubousai-kai) in your vicinity about the location of evacuation shelter and safety evacuation area.
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!" or "Fire!" 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 shelter. Do not use a car or a motorcycle.
  • (9) Help others in emergency relief works.

    Work together with others to help the elderly people and persons with physical disabilities and/or injured persons.
  • (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)

In 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)

Disaster Message Board (Web 171)

In a disaster, you can leave your text message from affected areas via internet on the Disaster Message Board (Web 171) using your phone number as a PIN. With the PIN, anyone can check the messages left for your number and add new messages. The person whom your message is addressed to can be notified of the message, and you can also read messages left for you on the Dial 171. NTT notifies you of the start of the service through TV and radio.

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

Kyoto City Disaster Prevention Center (Shimin Bosai Center)

Kyoto City Disaster Prevention Center provides an earthquake simulation program, fire-fighting training with a fire extinguisher as well as first-aid training.

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 and get prepared.
  • (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 people and people with physical disabilities 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 from 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 warning of flood and landslide damage from level 1 to level 5.

Precaution Level Weather information Actions You Should Take Official Announcement from Kyoto City

Heavy rain emergency warning・Ongoing river flooding information Take the utmost possible action to save your life.

Landslide alert information・Flooding danger information・Storm surge emergency warning・Storm surge warning
Danger-level ‘Very dangerous’ (light purple)

Let’s pay attention to the official announcements from Kyoto City in the areas where the disaster is anticipated.

Even if there is no announcement, check the danger level and evacuate if needed.

Evacuation Order (Emergency)


Call for Evacuation


Heavy rain warning (Landslide disaster)・Flooding warning・River flooding warning Information・Storm surge advisory
Danger-level ‘Warning’ (Red)
Pay attention to the official announcements from Kyoto City in the areas where the disaster is anticipated.

Prepare for Evacuation
Start Evacuating the Elderly

こうれいしゃとう ひなんかいし

River flooding advisory・Heavy Rain advisory・Flooding advisory・Storm surge advisory
Danger-level ‘Advisory’ (Yellow)
Check out the areas where the disaster is anticipated and the route to the evacuation shelter on the Hazard Map etc.

Early stage advisory Pay attention to the weather warnings and be prepared for a disaster.

*The Official Announcements from Kyoto City are announced by districts. In case you don’t know which district you live in, let’s ask your neighbors.

Checking out the danger-level *It might change often.

Checking if there is a disaster anticipated in the area you live in. *Japanese

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. if possible. 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.

Signing up for Water, Electricity and Gas Utilities

Disaster Victim Certificate (Risai Shomei-sho)

A Disaster Victim Certificate (Risai Shomei-sho) 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 Disaster Victim Certificate (Risai Shomei-sho) 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/ward branch office.