Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies have been provided at hospitals along with conventional medicine in industrialized nations. Previous studies conducted in Japan revealed high proportion of Japanese had experience of using CAM, but failed to discuss how it should be provided. The present study aims to clarify the demand for CAM practice at hospitals in Japan. A questionnaire consisting of 41 questions was mailed to 10 000 adults randomly selected from the electoral roll of Mie prefecture, Japan in January 2007. The questionnaire asked the subjects about demand for CAM practice at hospitals, types of CAM therapy to be provided and associated reasons. Sociodemographic characteristics, perceived health status, experience and purpose of CAM use, and information resource for CAM were also surveyed. Completed answers were collected from 2824 (28.6%) respondents. Two thousand and nineteen (71.5%) of the respondents demanded CAM practice at hospitals with the most likely reason of "patients can receive treatment under the guidance of a physicians". The three most popular CAM therapies were Kampo, acupressure/massage/Shiatsu and acupuncture/moxibustion. The demand was positively associated with gender, ages of 40-59 years, annual household incomes of 5-7 million yen, occupation of specialist and technical workers and sales workers and poor health status. Higher demand was observed among those who used both CAM and conventional medical therapies for curative purposes. In conclusion, Japanese show a high demand for CAM practice, hoping to use CAM for curative purposes with monitoring by physicians at hospitals.