HIV Testing in Japan

Last Sunday I went to the Minami Shinjuku Building in Shinjuku, Japan, in the heart of Tokyo. I heard that there was a free testing center in Tokyo, and I was curious to know exactly where to go get them done. It’s not just hearsay, there actually is a free testing center on the third floor of the Minami Shinjuku Building. If you are at all concerned about your status or if you just wanted to take a test, this is the place and yes…it is COMPLETELY FREE. The attendants didn’t speak a lot of English, but the different forms I had to fill out were in English, too. I know, I know, there is a huge stigma associated with HIV testing, people feel ashamed and often embarrassed to even talk about it. For those who feel embarrassed, this place is perfect because it’s anonymous testing. I never even had to give my name. You are assigned a number, and you just come back at your scheduled date and time, and pick up your results…easy, right?

I must say that the woman who had draw my blood had a really tough time. After the inserting the needle, nothing came out…so she slid the needle into my arm at different angles…an unprecedented five times. She seemed like a really nice lady, but for some reason she just could not get the vein and tourniquet thing right, so she ended up having to use a syringe with suction. For people that hate needles, it would have been a nightmare for you, but it really didn’t hurt…seriously. I don’t think this is a common occurrence so please don’t panic. It is of course a free test, so I didn’t complain.

If you feel you’re at risk and you want to be sure, there is a test facility at the Minami Shinjuku building in Tokyo. If you have been exposed, the paperwork at the center says waiting sixty days after an potential exposure is a good marker, just to be certain. The Minami Shinjuku Building is pretty close to the station, but could be a little tricky to find, so I’ll show you how to get there:

Map to the Minami Shinjuku Building

The official address is
Tokyo Metropolitan Testing & Counseling Office
3F Minami Shinjuku Building
2-7-8, Yoyogi
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

The telephone number (all in Japanese, sorry) is

You’re supposed to be able to make a reservation by phone so won’t have to wait once you get there, but I didn’t know exactly how to do that, so I just went. I did end up having to wait for about an hour though (it was my day off, though, so I was alright).

I hope you won’t have to use this post out of necessity, but I do hope you found this information useful.

Thanks for reading,

Donald Ash

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  • Kave


    Thank you for the useful information. Please tell me how long does it take to get the answer and the weekdays working hours.

    Did you get the answer in English?

  • Bbsam

    Dear Donald, thx a ton for your post. Reading this I could muster courage to go for a test though not in shinjuku… It was negative. I was getting anxious to the point of getting crazy.
    Good news it’s negative. God bless you… Thx

    • Donald Ash

      Knowing that you’re negative really puts you at ease, right? I am really glad to hear that you built up the courage to go. I am even gladder to know that your test came out negative.

  • jason

    hi donald

    thanks for the great video! i’m thinking to go there and get tested in august…i don’t speak much japanese so i’m wondering if i should bother with trying to make an appointment and just go there myself…your thoughts? were there a lot of people waiting to be tested?


    • Donald Ash

      Thanks for stopping by. Don’t worry about the Japanese. I know the embarrassment factor bothers people sometimes, but if you don’t speak much Japanese, maybe you’ll be better off. They’ll show you everything you need to do and the form I had to fill out was anonymous with both English and Japanese. Honestly I didn’t try setting up an appointment, I just walked in. I ended up having to wait for a little while, but it wasn’t a problem. There weren’t a lot of people either. Maybe three or four. When you go back, the results are very straightforward (there’s a plus or a minus).

      I know it can be it bit nerve-wracking, but if I can do it, you can do it.

      Good luck, Jason.

  • Jodie

    I wanted to know what type of testing they do? Is it an antibody or antigen test. I had a recent high risk sexual encounter and I want to do the P24 Antigen test that can detect the virus after 4 weeks. I have been scouring the internet for somewhere in Japan that does this but I have not gotten results. Please help!

  • negative

    Donald, simply want to thank you for this information. These past 2 months I just had horrible feelings. I tested after 11 weeks after a sex encounter. Happy it was negative, very big relief. the doctor and I confirmed the number and all other details.
    for all that have questions, the test was using elisa and western blot test so the result was assured to be accurate after 60 days (as what they stated).

    God bless and take care

    • negative

      the answer was simply “-” or “+”

    • Donald Ash

      No, not at all. I am truly happy that the info was useful. Even happier to hear your results.

  • f

    Hi, just wanted to say I did the test too and it turned out negative. Phew! Thanks so much for the information. My only complaint was that your video is a bit too long and you don’t need to show the train ride from Akihabara (firstly people will be coming from all different directions! secondly, if you ARE coming from Akihabara I’d say it’s quicker to get the yellow Chuo/Sobu line to Ochanomizu and change there for the orange Chuo rapid line. Going to Kanda seems like an unnecessary diversion. But that doesn’t really matter so much). Anyway, the centre is still there a year and a half after you posted this, so that’s good.

    It’s worth noting, as you didn’t here, that the place only opens at 3:30 and closes at 7 on weekdays, and on weekends 1-4:30. They implied that it was busier at weekends, but I went on a Tuesday at 3:30 and I was seen very quickly, within half an hour of arriving. I was out of there by 4 o’clock. They let you choose the time you come back to get your results, as long as it’s more than 7 days later. And the instructions are all given in English; even if the person administering the test doesn’t have good English, they have a set of instructions for you to read. So all was well with that.

    Anyway thanks again for the information! Other places were quite ambiguous about it!

  • M

    Hi there, I got the negative result as well, thanks very much for your information. It was a nightmare over the last two months, but wonderful now even though typhoon is appoaching us at this weekend! All my best!

  • Komatta

    Hello! Thank u for very good info. Yesterday I went there and it was such as u explained. But I have a little problem. Because I live in other country, I can’t go to take results because I came to Japan on business trip and I will go to my country on 1st of October. Results will done only on 4th of October. In test center said that I can’t take results on phone. I don’t know how to take results because I come to Japan next time only next year. If anybody help me? Please, I need to go somebody to test center to take results as me. I took test anonymous, so it must be girl.

  • Nakimushi

    It should be stated that they see you if you can only speak English out of generosity. They would prefer you to make an appointment like others. But they are very kind and efficient. Thank you for this information, it was very helpful.

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