If you want to visit Japan, you'll need to enter on a tourist visa. Japan has agreements with most countries that allow you to enter simply by going through customs. Certain countries, though, must apply for a tourist visa before coming to Japan. Most tourist visas allow you to stay in Japan up to three months. If you wish to stay longer than that, you may qualify for a working holiday visa. This will allow you to get an apartment and work a part time job to help support your visit.

Tourist Visa

A tourist visa allows you to enter Japan for tourism only. Typically, the visa lasts only 90 days, though this varies based on country. You are not allowed to work on a tourist visa.

  1. Check with the Japanese embassy in your region to see if you need to apply for a visa. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs regulates who can enter on a tourist visa. If your country is one of the ones that has a visa exemption policy, meaning you don't have to apply ahead of time, you can simply fly to Japan and enter through customs, showing your passport. Otherwise, you'll need to apply for a visa.
  2. Find a guarantor to help you obtain a visa. Japan requires you to have a guarantor if you do not come from a country with a visa exemption. This is a person that will vouch for you. Typically, you can find this through the travel agency that books your travel.
  3. Receive and fill out the necessary paperwork. Your guarantor will send you the necessary paperwork. This will be a visa application form and a schedule of stay, which lists your plans for visiting the country.
  4. Send the paperwork to the Japanese embassy in your country. The application review will take about one week.
  5. Submit your passport to receive the visa. Upon acceptance, you must bring your passport to the Japanese embassy. They will attach your visa within the passport.

Working Holiday Visa

A working holiday visa is not available to everyone. Only citizens of certain countries, such as Canada, can apply. U.S. citizens do not qualify. A working holiday visa allows you to enter Japan and work for up to one year.

  1. Verify that your country qualifies for a working holiday visa. Check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Japanese Embassy within your country to see if you can get a working holiday visa.
  2. Prepare the necessary documents. You'll need to provide an application, two photos (45mm by 45mm), a resume, a statement about what you want to stay in Japan, an outline of your planned activities, proof that you have travel funds, such as a return ticket, and proof that you have enough money to support yourself until you find a job in Japan.
  3. Apply for a working holiday visa in person. With the aforementioned documents, visit your country's Japanese embassy to apply for the working holiday visa. It will take about a week to review your application.
  4. Submit your passport to obtain your visa. The Japanese Embassy will place the visa in your passport.