Working in the Land of the Rising Sun: How is it Like Living in Japan?

Japan is one of the most distinct countries in the world. Not to mention its historical temples, castles and spectacular nature, the country’s capital alone has been enticing an increasing number of people who are searching for a job abroad.

If you are one of those people who dream of working in Japan and experience its stunning pop-culture, here is a perfect guide for you:

Basic Information

One of the most important things that you should know about the land of the rising sun is that it has comparatively homogenous people. In fact, 98.5 percent of its population is native Japanese. Therefore, this could only mean two things for the aspiring immigrants – you may expect a culture shock and it is also guaranteed that you would struggle finding someone from another foreign culture like you. So far, the country has approximately 127 million in population, so 1.5 percent of the foreign employees that live here sums up to a total of nearly 2 million, and most of them are based in the vibrant city of Tokyo, being the commercial capital of the country.

Largest Sectors

Fortunately for people living in Japan, working in the country can yield a very rewarding package since the country has the third largest economy in the world having a GDP of $38,412 per capita. The country’s economy is primarily based on the automobile and electronic goods industries. Moreover, the country is often ranked as the most innovative country across the globe as its manufacturing industry generally focuses on high-tech goods like robotics and hybrid vehicles. Therefore, if you have a remarkable skill for creativity and innovation, Japan could be the best place you could live well.

Despite the country’s decreasing population and lack of natural resources, it still managed to remain one of the largest contributors in the world’s economy in terms of trade. In fact, the country is now focusing on engineering-oriented export.

Also, the country is amongst the three top importers (along with the European Union and the United States) in terms of agricultural products as its mountainous and volcanic islands have woes producing sufficient agricultural products even for its own population.


That average annual compensation in Japan is £72,000. Professionals in financial services, executives and professionals in law earn more than that, while engineers are amongst the lowest paid professionals earning £36,000 a year.

Meanwhile, minimum wage still varies in the country depending on the region. Generally, the average minimum salary range between ¥714 (£4) per hour in regions such as Okinawa and ¥932 (£6.33) per hour in regions like Tokyo.

Cost of Living

Basically, Japan is a cheap country to live in. Consumer and grocery prices are actually higher in Japan than in the UK. However, other expenses like rent, buying a new car or interests charges on mortgages are way cheaper.

Finding a Job

Apparently, working in Japan is entirely a one of a kind experience to working anywhere in the West. The Japanese are very hard working. They usually exert 60 hours a week working, which only shows their dedication to their jobs and their being extremely business savvy.

If your goal is to find a job in Japan, you should start right from before moving in since getting first to the country before searching for a job can only complicate things. Most often, Japanese employers are cautious in hiring applicants who are not lawfully entitled to live in the country. They are also hesitant in sponsoring a work visa on such as short notice.

Job Portals

Searching for a good job in Japan can be quite hard as its labor force in indeed competitive. So, here are some of the best job portals where jobseekers can usually find vacancies in Japan:

Daijob – this online job portal is one of the major job search websites in the country. It is in Japanese but can be translated. It features different articles meant to help jobseekers in Japan.

GaijinPot – it is also one of the major job search websites in the country which posts vacancies and provides flat listings and useful articles to help you settle in as you move to the country.

JobsinJapan – it is likewise one of the biggest online job search portals in the country in English. It provides lots of lists of positions based industry and location.

Cultural Norms

The Japanese and the Western culture are way different from each other. To easily get a job in Japan or at least increase your chances of getting hired, you must be aware of the Japanese etiquette as well as their cultural norms. You need to maintain politeness and kindness when you were in Japan. Also, you have to be careful with your gestures and body language during interviews.

Working in Japan can be nerve-wracking experience, but in order to succeed in the definitely demanding workforce of the country you’ll need to be more than willing to work hard and dedicate a big chunk of your life to your career.

Aizelle Joe