Keen to work in Japan? This page aims to be a comprehensive resource with everything you need to know.
This is a work in progress. Think we’re missing something? Please email us to let us know and we’ll include your information on our page!
Work in Japan: all you need to know
Japan work and travel visa
Interested in coming to Japan to work and travel? There are various visas you can get for your stay.
A student visa allows you to study full-time, but only work part-time up to 20hrs per week.
A tourist visa is valid up to 3 months, but only permits non-paid work/volunteer activities (check out Workaway for opportunities).
A sponsored work visa allows you to work full-time for periods of stay from 1-3 years (renewable).
The most flexible visa allowing you to work and travel Japan however, is the Working Holiday Visa.
The Japan Working Holiday Scheme makes it possible for citizens of one country to enter another country for an extended holiday while engaging in employment in order to supplement their travel funds. Working Holiday Visas are issued according to conditions agreed upon bilaterally by the governments involved, and visa conditions vary slightly because of this.
Japan initiated its first Working Holiday Scheme with Australia in December 1980, then with New Zealand in July 1985, Canada in March 1986, South Korea in April 1999, France in December 1999, Germany in December 2000, the U.K. in April 2001, Ireland in January 2007, Denmark in October 2007, Taiwan in June 2009, Hong Kong in January 2010, Norway in February 2013, Poland in February 2015, Portugal in March 2015, Slovakia in November 2015 and Austria in July 2016.
Work abroad in a Japan hotel
With a simple Google search you should be able to find some opportunities to work abroad in a Japan hotel, but keep in mind that most jobs won’t offer a great salary, or staff accommodation, so you may struggle to save any money, especially if you’re in a big city like Tokyo.
We can find you work in Japan hotels and resorts all around the country, which also have staff dormitories, cafeteria for meals, and if you work in a ski hotel, a season ski pass for your resort too! Visit our website to learn more.
Work in Japan for foreigners
By far the most common work in Japan for foreigners is english teaching. If you have a university degree, even without speaking any Japanese it should be easy for you to find teaching work. You can work in a private language center, private or public elementary, junior high, high school, or university.
If you don’t have a university degree however, you will be limited to unskilled work, such as working in a hotel or resort, factory, convenience store, or restaurant.
Each year, thousands of foreigners come to work in Japan in these jobs on Working Holiday Visas. For teaching and other various jobs, Gaijinpot has the most comprehensive listings. For resort work, we can help.
For professionals, other less common but available jobs in Japan for foreigners include legal, IT, and other skilled professions. Again, the best website to find these skilled jobs in Japan is Gaijinpot.
Japan has been welcoming foreign researchers and business people as highly skilled labor for a long time. But strict salary, academic qualifications and work experience requirements have kept many skilled foreigners from working in Japan.
Thanks to the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo, Japan is expected to open more service sector jobs (tourism and retail industries, among others) to foreigners in 2018 amid a surge in tourism. Foreign interpreters, cooks, sommeliers and clothing designers are expected to benefit.
How to work in Japan without speaking Japanese
If you want to work in Japan without speaking Japanese, your choices will probably be limited to a teaching or ski resort job. Most other types of job available will require you to speak Japanese in your role. You may be lucky to find work in Japan with a foreign company in Japan, but these are still relatively rare.
It’s possible to work in Japan resorts without speaking Japanese, but please be aware it will be difficult to communicate with your bosses and co-workers. Therefore, you should make an effort to learn Japanese as much as possible, and do your best to observe and follow the lead of your Japanese co-workers.
Live and work in Japan program
Our resort work programs allow you to live and work in Japan without the hassle and stress people usually go through when coming to Japan. We save you the trouble of having to look for a job, find an apartment, register at the city office… And we’re also here for you 24/7 throughout your entire time in Japan.