Tips for getting a Japan Working Holiday Visa

Packing your life up and heading for ventures new can be a pretty daunting task. But fear not, consider us your cool, in-the-know older sib helping you make a smooth transition into Japanese working life.

From a week to a month’s arrival accommodation in Tokyo, help getting set up with the basics (health insurance and all that jazz) and being on hand for a whole year of support and advice; rest assured, we’ve got you with our Work Japan package!

So whether you want to get paid to sip coffee and chat in Tokyo or ride the slopes in Hokkaido, here are our top tips for getting visa ready and one step closer to working in Japan.

Starting your application for a Japan Working Holiday Visa

1. Make sure you fit the bill

Don’t get your hopes up as you dream of katsu curry and sashimi rolls. Before you even start the application process, make sure you’re eligible to apply. If you’re between 18 and 30, have never had a Japanese Working Holiday Visa before and you have a valid UK or Irish passport, get ready to pack your chopsticks!

2. Papers, papers, papers

Get ready to form fill like you’ve never filled forms before.

First up is the Working Holiday Visa application form. This has all the usual suspect questions; details about you, your work experience etc.

Top tip: Make sure you have some accommodation lined up at least for your arrival as you’ll need to state where you’re staying.

You’ll also be asked to outline your intended activities for first six months.

Top tip: Travel plans change so don’t worry too much if your plans aren’t set in stone. Be careful to mention you do not have organised work before entering, so suggest that you intend to look for work within a certain area.

Next is an A4 sheet on why you want to work and live in Japan. They basically want to see your passion for Japanese culture and way of life.

Top tip: Your answer could be that you’re snap happy and you’re itching to document your trip to Japan from geishas to epic landscapes atop Mount Fuji. Make it personal and relative to Japan.

3. Time to book, baby

Now it’s time to spend that dough. You’ll need to show your flight details and bank statements. If you have £2,500 cleared funds in your account from your last 3 bank statements, you WON’T need to purchase return flights. If you just have the minimum £1,500 in your account, you must have proof of an onward flight outta there.

4. Everybody wants to be a (Copy)cat

Make sure you keep a photocopy of every document you’ve sent over, so you know where you’re at. Once they’re all together, it’s time to hit the Embassy in London, Edinburgh or Dublin and get your documents sent off to be approved!

Feeling ready to start your application? Find out what else we can help you with for the first year of your Work Japan adventure and read our cheat sheet to Japan!


While you’re waiting for your visa to be approved, add these awesome places below onto your Japan bucket list or check out these 5 top spots outside of Tokyo!

Sing, baby, sing: Japan goes wild for karaoke, check out the twenty-storey karaoke hotel in Tokyo where you can sing you heart out dressed like a panda. Because, why not?

Give your Insta a boost: Japan is full of beautiful temples and epic scenery (especially in cherry blossom season!). One top pick is Fushimi Inari-taisha, the famous Shinto shrine gates – just be prepared for lots of other tourists!

A post shared by Laura Meats (@lem1990) on Mar 16, 2018 at 5:00pm PDT

Feline fun: Head to one of Japan’s many cat cafés where you can enjoy your matcha tea in the company of (lots of) cats. Sounds purr-fect to us!

A post shared by Becca Scott (@beccatron1) on Mar 23, 2018 at 6:58am PDT