There’s a good chance that if you lose something in Japan, you’ll be able to get it back again. Overall, people are fairly honest if they have come across something that’s not theirs and lost items are often turned into police and returned to their owners.

Of course this isn’t a guarantee. But if you have the right knowledge and language tools to navigate a situation where you have lost something, then that will help increase the chances of your lost item finding its way back to you. 

Learn more in our article about what to do if you lose something in Japan and some helpful words and phrases.

What to do when you lose something in Japan

If you have lost something like your wallet, residence card, or passport and you’re unsure where you lost it, then you should go to your nearest kōban 交番, or police box. If no one has handed it in then you’ll be asked to file a police report.

Police box sign saying "Koban"

If you have lost something inside a shopping mall, on a train, in a taxi, or other similar locations, we recommend contacting the specific place where you lost your item. All major train stations will have a lost and found counter and there will be service desks inside shopping malls. If they do not have your item, then visit your nearest police box. 

There may be additional steps depending on what you have lost. If you have lost your wallet with credit cards inside, you will need to contact the issuer of your cards and cancel them as soon as possible. Similarly, if you have lost your phone then you will need to quickly get in touch with your mobile company. Report to your embassy if you have lost your passport and they will be able to advise you on your next steps. 

For a lost residence card you will need to visit your local Immigration Bureau. You will need to reapply for a new residence card within 14 days of losing it. Take your police report along with an ID photo, passport and application form to the immigration centre. You can find all the information you need for reapplying for your residence card after losing it here

In the event you lose your My Number card, you need to suspend it as soon as possible. You can do this by calling the Japan Agency for Local Authority Information Systems. The service is available in different languages – refer to the website linked for all the information.  

You can find more information on what to do if you lose something in Japan on the official National Police Agency website

Useful phrases

There are two words for a lost item:




忘れ物 refers to something you have lost by forgetting it. For example, you accidentally forgot your umbrella at the train station and now you can’t find it. 

落し物 refers to an item you have lost without realising, such as a wallet that’s fallen out of your pocket. 

I lost ~
~ を無くしました。
~ をなくしました。
~ o nakushimashita

I lost my bag.
かばん を なくしました。
Kaban o nakushimashita.

I dropped ~
~ を 落としました。
~ を おとしました。
~ o otoshimashita

I dropped my wallet.
さいふ を おとしました。
Saifu o otoshimashita.

black wallet dropped on ground with person walking away in background

I am looking for something I lost.
わすれもの を さがしているんですが
Wasuremono o sagashiteirun desu ga.

Can I have a Lost Property Report please?
いしつ もの とどけ じゅり しょうめいしょ を ください。
Ishitsu mono todoke juri shōmeisho o kudasai.

Is there anyone who can speak ~?
~ ご を はなせる かた は いますか?
~go o hanaseru kata wa imasuka?

Is there anyone who can speak English?
えいご を はなせる かた は いますか?
Eigo o hanaseru kata wa imasuka?

Never be at a loss for words: learn Japanese with Go! Go! Nihon

Knowing Japanese makes life in Japan so much easier and Go! Go! Nihon makes it easy to take those first steps to learning the language. We partner with some of the top language schools in Japan to help people choose the right school for them. 

You won’t need to stress about the application process as our team will help you apply for the school, apply for your student visa, help you find accommodation and more. 

If you’re not quite ready to study in Japan, you might like to consider our online courses. They have been developed together with Japanese language schools to suit a range of levels, from our beginner courses to business Japanese. Visit our website for our full range of courses.

Contact us if you would like to start your journey living and studying in Japan.