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Home > About NCC > Observership Visits for Doctors

Observership Visits for Doctors

Applications temporarily suspended
till further notice

We host doctors from around the world at our Hospital in Tsukiji (Tokyo) and at Hospital East in Kashiwa (Chiba), to share our expertise with the international oncology community. In 2019, we hosted 261 observership visitors from 35 countries and regions.
Both our hospitals are tertiary centers specializing solely in cancer care. Visitors with solid experience in specialized cancer treatment are likely to benefit most, and are very welcome to contact us. Some visitors, after returning to their home institution, continue to collaborate with our doctors on international research projects.

This is how our visitors are hosted, and who they are:

Category Observership for practicing cancer care clinicians.(without a Japanese medical license, physical engagement with patients, or advising on cases are disallowed)
Host Specific departments, mainly the endoscopy center, surgical and diagnostic/oncological radiology departments.
Duration Several hours to two weeks, up to a maximum of twelve weeks.
Language Japanese is dominant in the clinics/wards, most visits take place where information can be taken in visually. English proficiency (IELTS Academic 6.0/TOEFL iBT 60 or equivalent) is required of visitors.
Logistics Visitors are responsible for all travel/accommodation/insurance arrangements/living expenses, we regret there are no dormitories for visitors.
Certificate Issued upon attendance completion (issued once only, for visits over three days).
Coordination Office of International Affairs serves as the liaison for visits to both campuses.

We regret no financial aide schemes of our own are on offer for visitors.Observerships at NCCJ are unsuitable to students, nor will medical education credits be awarded as a result of the visit. NCCJ cannot provide evaluation forms of any kind on visitors.


To Apply – the Process

Plan Visit           

  1. your destination - clarify which Hospital (Tsukiji, Tokyo or Kashiwa, Chiba) or research institute and which department you wish to visit; you are encouraged to refer to the websites
  2. learning objectives – list them, the more specific the better, i.e. please do not simply state ‘oncology’ ‘latest surgical techniques’

Prepare Application

  1. fill in NCCJ Application Form (in english, please type all five sheets, signing where required)

 excel file (recommended)          word file (backup only)

        The application procedure for visits up to three days is simpler. Contact the Office of International Affairs (ias2●ncc.go.jp(Please replace ● with @))for further information.

  2.  prepare the following:

  • your updated cv (two pages max)
  • medical license copy
  • reference letter - from leadership of affiliated institution, on official letterhead stationery, with clear handwritten signature
  • IgG antibodies tests (EIA) results satisfying the following requirements:
    Measles(rubeola): ≥ 16.0 ・ Chickenpox(varicella): ≥4.0 ・ Rubella: ≥8.0 ・ Mumps: ≥4.0


  3.   check visa status
Visa exemption nationals are listed here(linked to extenal site).
If you need to apply for a visa, and require support documents from us, you must fill in intended flight/accommodation information, and the consulate/embassy to which you plan to apply for a visa on the application form.
We cannot be your reference (guarantor).

  4.  confirm – are signature pages printed, signed by hand, then scanned.

  5.  ensure everything is correct – incomplete or wrongly completed applications will not be processed

  6.  compile all into one single pdf file, send to  the Office of International Affairs (ias2●ncc.go.jp(Please replace ● with @))

  7.  please note that all returning visitors also are required to submit the application.


 Submit Application

Please send to the Office of International Affairs (ias2●ncc.go.jp(Please replace ● with @)) by 6 months to one year prior to the start date.

(Passport holders requiring a Japanese visa (i.e., PRC nationals) are encouraged to apply up to one year ahead, to ensure preparation time)


Your application will then be sent to the prospective host for evaluation. Please be informed that not all applications will be successful.


The decision of whether or not to host visitors is dependent on the following criteria :

  1. whether there is the capacity to do so at the set timeframe
  2. that we believe that your visit would be beneficial to you
  3. your ability to communicate either in English or Japanese, to ensure visits are fruitful .

If your application is successful, we shall inform you in good time, and send to you a formal invitation letter.


Arrange Logistics

  1. Visa

        If your visit is authorized, we shall issue a formal invitation letter, with which you can apply for a visa if required.
        (If you are bringing your family with you, please make sure to arrange their visas as well.
        We regret that we are unable to support visa application of dependents)

   2. Flights – Haneda airport allows better access to both campuses

   3. Accommodation - a list with search tips can be provided for your reference

   4. Inform the Office of International Affairs Section when visa is successfully acquired (for visa applicants).

   5. The office of International Affairs team shall set the meeting time and date for the first day. 

Expectations for observers

Rules & Regulations

Observers must comply with all NCCJ standards, rules and regulations.

NCC patients’ data are beyond the reach of visitors, whether or not for research purposes.

No photos please. No patient information leaves the premises.



English proficiency (good listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills) are an absolute requirement. We reserve the right to annul his/her invitation, should the visitor fail to demonstrate the ability. It may result in early termination of his/her participation, in which case any paid fees will not be refunded.



Observers are responsible for arranging their own accommodation and insurance before their arrival to Japan. We regret there are no dormitories available.


If there is no response from you for a whole month, we shall consider your requests void.


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Q : Is hands-on training an option?
    A : No hands-on training. Hands-in-pocket observation/shadowing only. Unless licensed by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Wefare, physical contact/consultation with patients are disallowed. 
  2. Q: Is there an attire code?
    A: Please bring your white/lab coat with you to wear in the hospital during your stay. We do have some to lend on emergencies, but we cannot provide coats of all sizes. If you are observing operations, you can put on our scrubs, you need not bring them with you.On your first day, we shall issue an ID card with your name, this will enable you to enter the facilities of the department you are being hosted. Please wear this ID card at all times. Casual attire is fine, but no jeans, no scents (chemotherapy patients can find this disturbingly nauseous) please.
  3. Q: Is the Observership Visit free for everyone?
    A: If a business sponsors your visit, i.e. airfare, accommodation, NCC may charge the company a fee. If this is the case, let us know. 
  4. Q: How can I find suitable accommodation?
    A: There are plenty to choose from these days. We can provide a list of frequented places for your reference upon request. For visitors staying for over a month, there are more economical packages available. Please note that we no longer have accommodation ready on/off-site. 
  5. Q: What means of communication are available once I arrive in Japan?
    A: At our Hospital, desktop computers with internet connection are available free of charge at the library. At Haneda/Narita airports, there are many wifi router rental servies available, you could consider making use of their services. We regret that there is no wifi in our hospitals.
  6. Q: Are there facilities for lunch?
    A: Staff cafeteria/restaurant/café/convenience store are located in the hospital building. 
  7. Q : It is too early for me to book flights/accommodation, do I still need to fill in the information?
    A : For those requiring a visa, this information is required so that we can issue necessary support documentation for your application. Please let us know your tentative plans, there is no need for you to make a reservation at the time of application, you can do that once the visit is accepted, and in good time.
  8. Q : Can I bring a dependent with me to Japan?
    A : Some long term visitors bring their families to Japan during their stay, you are welcome to do so. Please ensure that all visa requirements are cleared on your end beforehand. We regret that we are unable to issue visa letters for family members. 
  9. Q : How can I get around in Tokyo area?
    A : Public transport serves Tsukiji campus well, and there is fairly good access to Kashiwa campus too. Here are some useful links for finding your way by public transport :

    Japan Railway (JR)(linked to extenal site)
      Shimbashi(新橋) station closest to Tsukiji campus
      Kashiwanoha-Campus Station (Tsukuba Express(linked to extenal site)  ) closest to Kashiwa campus

    Metro Network(linked to extenal site)
      Tsukijishijo(築地市場)/Higashi Ginza(東銀座)/Ginza(銀座)/Shimbashi(新橋) are good access to Tsukiji campus

    Journey Planner(linked to extenal site)
      For searching travel routes between specific stations

Tsukiji campus map(PDF:498KB)              Kashiwa campus map(PDF:1,098KB)


Office of International Affairs, Strategic Planning Bureau

National Cancer Center

address :  5-1-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan

phone    :  +81-3-3542-2511

fax          :  +81-3-3542-2545

e-mail    :  ias2●ncc.go.jp(Please replace ● with @)