Although traveling to Japan with Type 1 diabetes, or tōnyō-byō, can be tough, it really doesn't have to be. Proper preparation can make the whole experience as easy as pie, meaning you spend less time worrying over how to take care of yourself and more of it experiencing the wonders of the country. Over the course of the past four months, here's what I've learned about navigating Japan as a Type 1 diabetic.

Before you go

First and foremost, see your doctor prior to your trip and get in contact with one in Japan that speaks a language you do. Consulting your doctor for a full check-up before a large trip is always a good idea, but it is especially important for those of us who have chronic illnesses that might become more difficult to manage overseas. Since the time difference between home and Japan may make communication impractical, it's best to have a doctor here in Japan who is familiar with your history of treatment.