How to Work in Japan

This country might not strike you as a destination to find seasonal work but hundreds of people apply every year to teach or work a winter ski season. You might be surprised to hear there is a working holiday visa in operation which is available to people aged 18-30, visas are issued in April and around 1,000 people can gain one on a first come served basis. View more information on our guide to working in Japan and apply for an amazing experience today.

Jobs can be found throughout the country especially in large cities like Tokyo and Osaka. The experience of working in Japan will appeal to anyone seeking a challenge in a culture which is unlike most countries in the world. This is a unique country which is one of the most advanced in the world, you will find friendly locals, high tech gadgets, lots of places to explore and also the chance to make new friends from all over the world - this country attracts international staff from all around the world. Wages are very competative. 

An alternative option you might want to consider is to volunteer in Japan which although is unpaid is a great way to experience the culture and help local people.


Popular Industries

There are foreign staff from all around the world

  • Automotive
  • Business
  • Education
  • Hotels, Hospitality
  • HR/Recruitment
  • IT
  • Language/Multilingual
  • Management
  • Marketing/PR
  • Sales
  • Software Development
  • Teaching
  • Translation


Jobs for Students & Graduates in Japan

If you are looking for a cultural adventure then Japan could be your destination. Hundreds of students and graduates from all around the world apply every year and this country is becoming more and more popular. Types of jobs popular with internationals include working at a ski resort or teaching English in Japan. If you are a bit worried about entering the Japanese workforce with little knowledge of the language or you think you could improve your skills you might want to intern in Japan. 


Winter Ski Jobs in Japan

Ski resort jobs are open to international staff in places like Niseko, Hirafu (Hokkaido). Positions available include working in hospitality, as a holiday/resort rep, general assistant / driver / maintenance, guest services e.g. working on the reception of a hotel or ski resort or working with children. If you would like to be on the slopes there are positions for ski instructors and people to work in rental shops.

With winter ski jobs you will be required to work from around November to April, full training and orientation will be provided. Some companies even sponsor your visa, help with visa and government papers, offer competative wage packages, provide free lift pases, discounts and also help you experience the best time possible.


Application Advice

When applying for jobs in Japan you will need to put together a stong application to support your hiring qualities. Like with most worldwide destinations, you will need a CV/resume which in Japan is called a rirekisho. You might need to get some help with a native speaker to get this produced.

You will need to include the usual CV aspects like name, contact information, age, sex, nationality, qualifications, academic background, work history, references and a also some recruiters like to see a passport picture. You will also need to write a cover letter to show why you are interested and right for the advertised position. Both the rirekisho and cover letter should be translated into Japanese.


Language Requirements

You will not need to know any of the Japanese language to apply but it is recommended to learn some basis phrases to make the experience easier. Having some knowledge of the local language will be a bonus but not a nesessity - you could buy a phrase book or learn online.

Please note most international recruiters in Japan speak English and you will be interviewed in English but when in country you might need to be able to understand the basics especially when working with people. If you have your dream set on working in Japan and would like to boost your chances of getting work view more information about studying Japanese.


Working Conditions

Japanese people are well known to work long hours, sometimes around 60 hours per week. This is despite there being a labor law and also a history of workers falling ill or dying from exhaustion/stress. As a foreign worker in Japan usually the work hours are a lot less than 60 hours and also the workload is also usually less especially if you are on a working holiday. How many hours you work and what the environment is like can differ from company to company.


Salary for Working in Japan

You can expect some of the highest wages in Asia by gaining employment in Japan although sometimes working hours can be long but this does depend on the position. The minimum wage is around 620 Japanese yen to 750 yen per hour which is around £5.