I had asked a Chinese friend for some advice on getting Chinese herbal medicine in Tokyo a while ago and he had, very kindly, researched me a little list of clinics practicing this alternative form of medicine who spoke Chinese (a bit easier to for me to handle than in Japanese).
He recommended going to one in Omori [大森] not too far outside the Yamanote line [山手線] on the south west end of Tokyo. Mainly because he was under the impression that they spoke Chinese and most importantly, they accepted National Health Insurance - which gives a hefty discount if you have a low income (including students) so you only need to pay 30% of the full consultation fee. It also gave a discount on most of the items that they prescribe; be it western treatments or herbal remedies. This is quite unusual, as the Japanese Government don't really seem to recognise as a valid form of treatment and thus does not usually qualify for government subsidy. Anyway, this clinic does, so that's good. Apparently, the use of Chinese Herbal medicine is on the rise, here it's known as kanpo [漢方 かんぽう].
If you are a new patient you have to attend on a certain day of the week (not the weekend, but the clinic is open on Saturdays for returning patients) presumably so that you get seen by a particular doctor. The doctor that I saw did speak a little Chinese, but his English was significantly better. He'd apparently studied in China for 6 months.
It was a bit of a trial to fill out the questionnaire that I was given at the reception, on the account that it was in Japanese, but the receptionist said that what I couldn't fill out the doctor would confirm with me later. Basically it was full of questions about your bodily functions, your digestive system, sleeping habits, general temperament, how your body reacts to food and so on. He also did the whole poking of my stomach thing and tapping of my belly to see if I were hollow. After the interview we were told to wait outside while he composed the list of herbs he thought I should have.
The consultation cost 1020yen, and I requested to have the medicine in herb form, the other choice being powder form - which is quicker to prepare, but apparently less potent. The prescription was obtained from a very conveniently placed dispensing pharmacy around the corner, which appeared to deal in only herbal remedies. We watched the guy pull out all the drawers that contained the things I was meant to have, then measure out the amounts and pour them into a long oblong tray thing, and then pull a lever. This was apparently to split the herbs into equal portions. I had enough for 14 days, one pack a day, to be taken in the morning and evening after a meal. The medicine was already put into stewing bags... just like huge, compost filled, teabags, much better than the stuff I used to get from Malaysia which involved a lot more direct ingestion of the herbs than I really liked. It cost me less than 2000yen...which I think is pretty cheap, as I'm pretty sure that mum paid a lot more than that for me when we used to go to the famous Chinese Doctor in China Town, London all those years ago when I was a kid.
The medicine was a lot yellower than the stuff I'm used to, and definitely more bitter, eurgh!