How to get a Developer Job in Japan?

Japan hires most of its Developers from foreign nations like USA, Germany, China and India. Getting a job at a good company in Japan is easy and the pay is high as well. If you are not applying for Japan, you are missing out opportunities.

Follow the following steps to get a Developer Job in Japan:

Step 1: Learn Japanese and get certified
Step 2: Start your Interview preparation
Step 3: Identify potential companies in Japan
Step 4: Our list of potential companies in Japan
Step 5: Apply, Interview and get the job
Step 6: Get Work Visa

Step 1: Learn Japanese and get certified

The most common requirement of getting any job in Japan is that you should be fluent in Japanese. It is also, important to know Japanese in Japan because people rarely talk in English or any other language and you may have a difficult time doing basic routine tasks like shopping. Even at Offices, employees hardly know English.

Once you are comfortable speaking and writing in Japanese, you may take the certification test:

  • Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

Learning Japanese is easy and one is able to master it in 6 months but it takes some time from your daily routine which you could have utilized somewhere.

What if you do not know Japanese?

Even if you do not know Japanese, you can get a job at a specific company though the number of potential companies get reduced significantly. If you are hired and you do not know Japanese, the ideal situation is:

  • You will be accompanied by a translator at Office all time.
  • You will not have direct conversations and this takes some extra time which may irritate some senior members.
  • You may need to attend Japanese classes at Office regularly.
  • You may be asked by your Office to get certified in Japanese within 6 months.

Step 2: Start your Interview preparation

You should be well prepared for your Developer Interview.

The exact domains from which questions are asked depends on the Company or the job you are applying to. In general, you should follow one of the following paths:

  • Master Algorithm and Data Structure + Your University Project (for Major Companies)
  • Master the technology you will use and stay prepared to walk through sample applications (for Startups)

You can follow resources at OpenGenus to kickstart and complete your preparation. Some of the major entry points:

Stay prepared.

Step 3: Identify potential companies in Japan (culture)

Almost all companies follow 9-5 work cycle that is you shall go to work at 9:00AM and leave at 5:00PM officially.

You can go through our list of companies in the next step.

Step 4: Our list of potential companies in Japan

Some of the key companies in Japan that you must try are:

  • LINE: Everyone in Japan knows LINE. It is their own version of Whatsapp and PayPal and is one the the leading Technology companies in Japan.
  • NAVER: NAVER is the Internet Gaint in Japan and owns several different Internet Companies. You can think this as Japan's Alphabet.
  • Rakuten: It is a e-commerce company and has a strong user base in Japan.
  • Recruit: It is one of the largest employement companies in the World and has several sites under it like Glassdoor.
  • Barclays: This is a financial service company and requires strong developers in trade.
  • Indeed: Indeed, similar to Recruit, is one of the largest recruitment platforms in the World.
  • Mercari: It is an e-commerce company founded in 2013 and has build a strong user base in Japan and USA.
  • VoyageGroup: VoyageGroup is a technology media company based in Japan.
  • Kakaku: Kakaku is shopping comparison technology company based in Japan.

Large companies that have strong branch in Japan and in which you should try are:

  • Google, Japan: Google has a significant presence in Japan. Though it hires exclusively from Japan, it occassionally conducts Interview for candidates worldwide and hires if you know Japanese and clears their Interview.
  • Microsoft, Japan
  • Amazon, Japan
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Goldman Sachs
  • IBM

Step 5: Apply, Interview and get the job

Go to the website of each company and check if there is no form to apply for opening.

If there is no public opening, you can send an email to the recuiter or a senior employee. The emails are available on the site of each company.

If you are comfortable in Japanese, you shall use both English and Japanese in your email.You shall write the title in English and follow the same thing in Japanese separated by a slash /.

For the content, you shall write in English first and then, follow the entire content with Japanese version. This will allow the recruiters to go through the language of their choice and demonstrate that you know Japanese.

The email content will be as follows:

Subject: Email title/ ใ€ใƒกใƒผใƒซใ‚ฟใ‚คใƒˆใƒซใ€‘
[Japanese version down] ใ€ๆ—ฅๆœฌ่ชž็‰ˆใƒ€ใ‚ฆใƒณใ€‘

This is the content.

Thank you.
Your name.



Step 6: Get Work Visa

There are mainly 3 ways to get Work Visa for Japan:

  • Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) route
  • No CoE Route
  • Highly Skilled Professional Visa

Two types that are most relevant to Developers are:

  • "Engineer" work visa
  • "Humanities" work visa type

In practice, the type of work visa you have will confine you to particular jobs and sectors. Receiving these visas can be quite difficult as well and is often outside the scope of any HR, especially a startup's HR. So companies will often employ Visa lawyers which are well versed in how the immigration-visa decision system works.

  • Engineer Work Visa

The Engineer work visa grants work in highly specilized fields. Software Engineer, Systems Engineer are the common types. This work visa type generally requires a 4-year degree in the relevant field to qualify for the visa or 10 years of professional experience.

  • Humanities Work Visa

This visa type is kind of a catch-all wild card. This is the type of work visa you would likely receive; for instance, if you were working at an English conversation school. The requirements for this require a 4-year degree or 10 years of professional work experience. The type of degree can vary.

Your Company should help you in arranging a Visa so it will not be a problem. All major companies that we mentioned will do so.

If you are going for a startup, they may help you get paired with a lawyer who will help you get your Visa.

Best of luck.