Donating blood

Donation Center

Donating blood is a quick and easy way to help out others.

In Akita there are 3 dedicated stations established for the sole purpose of blood donation. The official red cross page on donating blood in Akita is here. (Japanese only)

Because some places are rather strict on Japanese-requirements it might help if you brought with you a comprehensive translation of the other donation requirements. A full translation can be found here.

All locations offer all you can eat snacks and drinks as well as reading and viewing materials. Red blood cell donation should take under 20 minutes, while plasma donation can take up to an hour.

Donation Centers in Akita City

    • Note:This location will only accept donations from people who can speak fluent Japanese. If you don't feel comfortable visiting a doctor in Japanese I would recommend finding another place to donate.

Blood Donation Buses

You can donate at many festivals and events by visiting the blood donation buses. There will be two buses, often with people outside holding signs for blood donation. One bus is for checking your blood pressure and asking about your health/history, while the second bus is where you actually donate blood. The people are very friendly. If you cannot read or understand Japanese moderately well, you will need to bring a friend who does. The nurses and doctors know a few phrases in English, but the disclaimers and most important information is in Japanese.

Why stop by a blood donation bus?

  1. The people will remember you. There are not many foreigners in Akita, and even less who donate.
  2. You will get a bag of goodies. This often includes multiple snacks, drinks, tissue boxes, dish soap, and/or local trash bags.
  3. You will get a blood donation card with your type on it. This is very handy for emergencies and interesting for students, coworkers, or friends.
  4. You will get a blood test card mailed to you after every donation. The card includes information like white blood cell count and cholesterol levels.
  5. You are fulfilling the aim of the JET Program by promoting grass-roots internationalisation at the local level.

How It Works

  • You go to the bus area.
  • Before you go inside, a worker will show you a disclaimer sheet and ask you to confirm that you understand it.
    • If you have a blood donation card, you can show them and skip this step.
  • Once you go inside, they will ask for your card, then ask you to measure your blood pressure with a nearby machine.
    • If you don't have a card, you will need to give them your name, birthday, address, and phone number to make one.
  • The blood pressure machine will print your blood pressure afterwards.
    • It must be less than 140/100 to donate.
    • If your blood pressure is too high, they will check again right before donating.
  • You will give a worker your blood pressure reading, and they will start asking questions, including things like...
    • How long ago did you eat?
    • How much did you sleep last night?
    • Are you feeling well?
    • Are you currently taking medication?
    • How much are you willing to donate? (A standard donation is 400ml, though sometimes 200ml will be accepted.)
  • Once you have answered the spoken questions, they will point you to a screen that will ask about your health history. If you don't understand much Japanese, this is where a friend is handy!
  • If you get through this process, they will give you a folder with your blood donation card (if you have one), your blood pressure, your number, and some disclaimers to take to the other bus.
  • When you go inside the other bus, give them your folder. You will be asked for your name and birthday and asked again about your health history.
    • If you blood pressure was too high, they will check it again manually.
  • Then your blood will be tested for type and to make sure it is healthy. You will again be asked for your name and birthday.
  • If everything is in order, they will sit you in a donation chair, ask for your name and birthday again, and draw blood!
  • There is not reading material on the bus other than sheets on how to exercise while blood is being drawn. You will be asked to stretch and move your legs.
  • When you are finished, they will give you your card back (or a new card), give you paperwork about being careful, provide a number in case you have any questions about your donation or become ill after donating, and hand you a bag of goodies.

Akita Blood Donation Bus Calendar (in Japanese)

See also