Quick facts about Japan
Japan is one of the most popular destinations in Asia. This beautiful country has countless attractions, with a wide variety of things to do and places to see. As a digital nomad, choosing Japan as your next destination will allow you to learn about its impressive history and stunning culture.
Living in Japan as a digital nomad
Japan has a lot to offer to digital nomads. You can explore its deep culture, sightsee the beautiful landscapes and cities, and visit multiple cute cafes and restaurants.
Surprisingly, Japan is affordable! Visiting Japan as a tourist may seem expensive, but staying for long periods means the country is cheap. Plus, the locals are very generous and polite. You’ll make friends easily and find lots of things to do.
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Attractions and best places to visit
Tokyo is the top destination in Japan, but Imperial Tokyo is the most famous destination in this city. Imperial Tokyo has many beautiful 17th-century parks surrounded by walls and moats. Even though the imperial palace is mostly closed off to visitors, there are still plenty of things to see.
Another popular destination in Japan is the lovely city of Kyoto. The streets and architecture of Kyoto are primarily unchanged since the Imperial family took up residence there more than 1,000 years ago. While in Kyoto, you’ll see Buddhist-influenced architecture and many well-preserved temples, most of which are still in use.
The island of Miyajima is a short ferry trip away from mainland Hiroshima. Miyajima is best known for being home to the famous Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto temple dedicated to the Princess daughters of the wind god Susanoo. You can walk through the walkways and bridges and enjoy the stunning view of the landscape.
The Osaka Castle was built in 1586 by famous Japanese warrior and politician Toyotomi Hideyoshi. At the time, it was the country’s largest and most important fortress. Even though it’s been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times, the present structure remains faithful to the original.
Digital Nomad Hotspots
Tokyo is one of the leading destinations for tourists and digital nomads alike. Many enjoy Tokyo’s city lifestyle, making it their first destination on their digital nomad journey through Japan. One of the reasons why many freelancers enjoy Tokyo so much is because it is a city that never sleeps. You’ll always find cafes, bars, and coworking spaces open at all times.
Osaka is Japan’s second-largest city. This city is entirely different from Tokyo. Even though it is also a big city, Osaka’s locals are more welcoming and friendly. You’ll also find many local restaurants and cafes perfect for remote workers. Locals are proud of their hometown, so you’ll find many people willing to talk about their favorite places and give you good recommendations.
Kyoto is one of Osaka’s quieter neighborhoods. The overall atmosphere is more peaceful, so if you’re looking for a quieter lifestyle, Kyoto is the place for you. Kyoto is the perfect place for you to explore authentic Japanese culture while still finding many cafes and coworking spaces.
Cost of Living
One-bedroom apartment in Tokyo for approx. ¥147,800 ($1,040)
Three-bedroom apartment in Tokyo for approx. ¥333,080 ($2,315)
One-bedroom apartment in the rest of Japan for approx. ¥95,700 ($665)
Three-bedroom apartment in the rest of Japan for approx. ¥188,795 ($1,310)
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant for approx. ¥900 ($6.25)
Combo meal at a fast food restaurant for approx. ¥700 ($4.86)
One-Ride ticket (local transport) for approx. ¥220 ($1.53)
A monthly pass for approx. ¥10,000 ($69.50)
7GB data for 30 days for ¥75,100 ($52)
Unlimited data for eight days for ¥4,045 ($28)
Unlimited data for 16 days for ¥6,065 ($42)
Digital Nomad Essentials
Japan is known for having some of the fastest internet in the world. In 2021, it broke the record for the fastest internet speed with 319 terabits per second (Tb/s).
Download speeds average at 31.23Mbps, and upload speeds at 44.60Mbps.
Japan has many service providers where you can purchase a SIM card. You’ll find multiple shops in the city, especially in Tokyo.
We recommend you purchase one from these service providers:
Sadly, Japan does not have a visa specifically for digital nomads or remote workers. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go to Japan and live there while working remotely. So there are some excellent options for you!
Here are some visa options you can use:
Most countries don’t need a visa to enter Japan for up to 90 days. Technically, you’re not supposed to work while visiting the country using this visa, but if you’re working for a company outside of Japan, you should be fine.
There are multiple work visas available, including one dedicated to start-ups. There’s also a humanities visa and a skilled labor visa. These visas will allow you to reside in Japan for a whole year. You must make between 200,000-250,000 yen monthly ($1,388-$1,735).
Current travel restrictions
At the moment, visits to Japan are very limited. The country is slowly opening up, but it will take a while before tourists may enter the country freely. At the moment, independent travel is still not permitted, but you can visit Japan on a package tour.
Keep in mind that you must be vaccinated and up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines to enter Japan.
Stay up to date with all travel updates with this website!
Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Japan
Citizens of most countries have to apply for a Japanese tourist visa. However, there are some countries that do not need a visa in order to enter Japan. For example, countries like Argentina, Canada, Mexico, and the UK don’t need a visa to stay in Japan for up to 90 days. You can check the complete list of countries on this website.
In order to apply for a work visa in Japan, you must work in a specific profession.
- Artists (photographers, composers, songwriters, sculptors, etc.)
- Business managers
- Engineers or specialists in humanities or international services (scientific or IT engineers, interpreters, copywriters, foreign language teachers, designers, etc.)
- Entertainers (actors, musicians, singers, dancers, etc.)
- Instructors or teachers at elementary, intermediate, or high schools.
- Intra-company transferee
- Legal or accounting workers
- Medical services (physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, etc.)
- Nursing care
- University professor or an assistant professor
- Religious leaders (monks, bishops, missionaries, etc.)
- Researchers at research institutes
- Skilled workers (foreign chefs, animal trainers, pilots, sports trainers, etc.)
- Technical interns
Qualified entrepreneurs working in the fields:
- Health, Medical, Welfare
- Food, Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries
- Information Technologies
- Environment, Energy
- Culture, Art
How to Apply for the Japan Digital Nomad Visa
Contact the Japanese embassy or consulate to make an appointment to submit your application.
Gather the required documents (listed below).
Submit the documents to the embassy or consulate
Wait for the visa to be processed.
Collect your passport at the Embassy or Consulate.
Get a Certificate of Eligibility. This must be submitted in Japan, which means you need a sponsor that’ll be in charge of handling the COE application on your behalf.
Receive the Certificate of Eligibility. This will be approved by the Japanese Immigration Services and shows you meet the entry requirements set by the Japanese government for foreign workers.
Apply for a work visa in Japan at a Japanese Consulate or Embassy. Contact the closest Consulate or Embassy and make an appointment.
Gather the required documents (listed below).
Submit the documents to the embassy or consulate.
Collect your visa at an embassy or consulate
Documents required to apply for the digital nomad visa in Japan
Japan Tourist Visa Application Form, completed and signed.
Your passport (must be valid for at least another six months).
Passport-size pictures of yourself.
Bank Statements from the last three months
Civil status documents (if requested)
Proof of accommodations
If you are visiting someone (friend or family), you must include proof of your relationship.
The Certificate of Eligibility
Japan Work Visa Application Form, completed and signed.
A valid passport with photocopies of it.
Documents detailing your position in the company/organization, the salary you will receive, and the duration of the work.
Documents attesting to your previous academic and professional history
Any additional documents that the Japanese Embassy or Consulate requests, depending on your profession
How much does it cost?
The tourist visa will cost you approximately ¥3,000 ($20.80).
The work visa will cost ¥3,000 ($20.80) for a single-entry visa and ¥6,000 ($41.50) for a multi-entry visa.
Timeline for Applying
The approval of your tourist visa should only take five working days.
The work visa will take 5 to 10 working days, but the Certificate of Eligibility for the work visa can take up to 3 months.
What is the length of the Japan digital nomad visa?
The tourist visa lasts up to 90 days, and the work visa is valid for up to one year.
Is it possible to extend the Japan digital nomad visa?
You can extend the work visa, but the tourist visa cannot be extended.
Who can apply for the Japan digital nomad visa?
Anyone who meets the requirements may apply for a visa in Japan.
What are the minimum income requirements for the Japan digital nomad visa?
You must make at least ¥200,000-¥250,000 ($1,388-$1,735) monthly for the work visa. The tourist visa does not have an income requirement.
How much does a Japan digital nomad visa cost?
The visa will cost ¥3,000 ($20.80).
How long does it take to get a Japan digital nomad visa?
Typical processing time is between five and ten working days.