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04-01-2009, 01:54 AM
Hi all,
Im going to Japan for 3 months and may want to spend a fair bit more time there. I was wondeirng about how easy or difficult it is to find a job in Japan or if Aikidoka are eligible for a sports visa from Japan. Any info would be great.


04-01-2009, 08:18 AM
From the MOFA site it seems that cultural is under the normal general visa.

This said it seems those and I think Aikido would fall under it would get you 6 months to 1 year there.


04-01-2009, 11:22 AM
It sounds like you are young and hopefully just out of college.

The reason I say this is that most folks would probably need to have a source of income lined up before relocating, particularly to another country. If you haven't completed your university years, then I recommend not trying to work in Japan as your job opportunities will be severely limited, in my experience.

A little more than a year ago, a huge English school, NOVA, went pretty much out of business, flooding the market with foreigners like yourself who want to live temporarily in Japan and make money to survive. I don't know if it has recovered yet or not, but I suspect that due to this and the terrible economy, English teaching jobs for the non-professional will be harder to find and the terms will be worse.

Perhaps you could get by with some private tutoring because you will need money--lots of it--if you plan to stay there long. Transportation costs will eat up quite a bit, as well as any sort of entertainment costs you might have.

It may be difficult, but if you can line up some work before you go, you will be in a far better position to enjoy your experience in Japan.

Hope it helps.


I was just going to suggest teaching English! I didn't know NOVA was in the situation it's in though. All the English teachers I met were pretty much either NOVA or JET.
Well, to the OP, if you find your way around Himeji or Tatsuno, I could recommend some points of interest. I doubt it would lead to much in the way of work though. There were lots of people wanting native English speakers for private lessons, but that was 3 years ago.
My favorite ramen shop is in Himeji...and I miss it often.

04-02-2009, 01:14 AM
Someone at Osaka honbu got a cultural visa a while back so it's definitely possible. I don't think you are allowed to work officially on it though, you should check. But, if you did private tutoring no one would ever find out. As anywhere the economy is bad now, so it may be difficult in general. either bring lots of money, or live very very simply.

Jesse Legon
04-02-2009, 03:18 AM
I have nothing especially new to add, other than to reiterate what others have said. If you're going for three months initially, you'd have to do your visa application immediately because it takes about three months to process. Indeed, people can survive on private classes alone, but it is very difficult to build up a schedule from nothing. in 1 year of solid student hunting you could maybe do it, but you'd certainly need regular, reliable work before then to tide you over. I also know someone who just got a one-year cultural visa for aikido, so it's not impossible.

I teach around 15 hours a week right now and barely make enough to get by. I'm on zero at the end of each week. I got hit hard at the dojo. I had to join the club (10,000 yen), get new insurance, buy a new belt (different belt system and I had to pay for it to be embroidered with my name as is standard at my dojo), buy a new gi, and pay dojo fees of course. Even the grading cost three times the amount it costs back home. 4,000 yen may not seem much, but when your daily food allowance is 1,000 yen it suddenly becomes a fortune. Everything is more expensive out here (gi at home - 30, proper honbu gi with the (non-optional) embroidery etc. 80)

Having said that, it's fantastic being able to train with Shihan and be a honbu member. I wouldn't trade it for the world!

oisin bourke
04-02-2009, 05:54 AM
I initially came here on a cultural visa five years ago. You are allowed to work up to twenty hours a week but you need to have enough money to survive on for a year in the bank. You also need quite a lot of paperwork from your dojo/organisation.

I would suggest bringing lots of money AND living very simply:)

If you can last a couple of years, you should begin to get established, and things will become smoother both inside and outside the Dojo.

All the best!

Charles Hill
04-02-2009, 04:10 PM
you need to have enough money to survive on for a year in the bank.

I got a friend to loan me the required amount of money. We went to the bank, deposited the money through the atm machine, I stuck my bank book in to get the transaction recorded, then withdrew the money and gave it back to the friend. I then took the bank book to immigration and got my cultural visa.