Japan Working Holiday Visa

Why choose Japan?

  • Travelers to Japan have always found themselves amazed by a culture that is beautiful, unfathomable and downright odd!! Many Travelers come to Japan as fans of Japanese culture wether it being in Anime, Martial Arts or anything else unique to this country. I myself came to Japan to experience the famous 'Powder snow' Japan has to offer. Japan is not a cheap country to travel and especially for backpackers, so what a better way to explore this country by participating in a Working Holiday Visa. This gives you the chance to travel whilst engaging in employment to fund your travels. 


What is the Working Holiday Visa?

  • The Working Holiday Visa makes it possible for citizens of one country to enter another country for an extended holiday while looking for employment in order to supplement their travel funds. Working Holiday Visas are issued according to conditions agreed upon bilaterally by the governments involved, and visa conditions vary slightly because of this.


What countries can apply?

  • Citizens from Norway, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong (SAR) and the United Kingdom who are between the ages of 18 and 30, and citizens from Ireland who are between the ages of 18 and 25 may apply for a Working Holiday Visa.


How to apply for a Working Holiday Visa?

**You have to apply for, and receive a Working Holiday Visa at an embassy or consulate in your home country before going to Japan. In the case you are overseas at the moment unfortunately you will more than likely have to return to your home country in order to apply for your Working Holiday Visa**


Documents required?

  • Valid Passport

  • One completed visa application form with a recent passport photo

  • A personal history, Resume or Curriculum Vitae typed on A4 paper (I just used my Resume)

  • A proposed itinerary for the whole stay in Japan

  • A written reason for applying for a Working holiday Visa to Japan typed on A4 paper

  • England: Either £2,500 in cleared funds (last 3 months bank statements must be shown) or £1,500 and a return or onward journey ticket or a receipt for such.
    Ireland: Either €3,200 in clear funds or a return or onward journey ticket and evidence that applicant possesses at least €1,600 in clear funds.
    France: Either €4,000 in clear funds or a return or onward journey ticket and evidence that applicant possesses at least €2,500 in clear funds.

  • Application fee (May vary depending on each country)



  • When writing your Proposed Itinerary, you just need to elaborate on the things you plan to see and do during your stay. This is just to show your interest as they wont expect that you will follow your itinerary exactly. *From personal experience the lady at the embassy asked me to put rough dates on my itinerary.*

Example of Proposed Itinerary

    Japan Working Holiday Itinerary

Upon my arrival in Japan I plan to stay in Tokyo for a few days and make the most out of exploring the country's capital. From there I will fly to Sapporo and make my way to Niseko in search of accommodation for the winter. I have not yet decided exactly where I would like to spend the winter but definitely somewhere In Hokkaido. I plan to explore this island during the winter season and try different places to ski.

For the first few weeks I intend to relax and enjoy my new surroundings, exploring the local sites and experiencing the the food and culture on offer. This time will also be used to figure out the cost of living and how much I may have to work during my stay, I will also look into what kind of work may be available to me later. I will be searching what courses are on offer at the local language schools or alternatively may seek some kind of part time employment to increase the amount of interaction I have and should assist in learning the language quicker.

After the winter I intend to travel around the main island of Japan in search of places I could train in Martial arts. From Ninjutsu in Koga to Karate in Osaka. Exploring the beautiful temples and National parks around the country and looking for part time/voluntary jobs along the way.

Depending on my funds and if I will need to search for some work I would like to make my way to Okinawa for part of the summer to enjoy the Japanese beach life and off course search for Okinawan goju ryu Karate.

I have a rough idea of the places I want to visit and the experiences to achieve but I am sure that once I arrive in Japan I will meet locals and gain great tips and advice on where to go and what to see.

At the end of my stay I will return to Tokyo before flying to my next destination.

  • When writing your Written reason for applying, you just need to explain your hobbies and interests and why Japan would be a great country to fulfill them. Keep it down to 1 sheet of A4 paper.

Example of Written reason for applying

     Written reason

It has always been a dream of mine to travel to Japan and engage in the Japanese culture. From a young age I have been interested in studying Martial arts and learning about eastern philosophy. I have been trying to learn the Japanese language over the last year and would love the opportunity to practice my language skills with native speakers and be able to explore the country and find different martial arts to learn. Being a keen skier and having made a living from working in this industry, Japan seems the ideal location for my next adventure.

Having already travelled extensively in the last few years, from volunteering in South East Asia to working around both Australia and New Zealand I wanted to challenge myself by visiting a country that had a unique culture completely different from places where I have been.

Throughout my travels I have met many Japanese people who spoke very fondly of their home, they were always extremely kind and welcoming with a great sense of humour. From the impression I got from these individuals alone I knew Japan would be a destination I would visit one day.

Being a keen photographer and Snow sports enthusiast, I can't wait to spend my time skiing the mountains of Hokkaido, taking photos of the unique Japanese landscape as the seasons change, visiting many of the temples spread throughout Japan and learning the Japanese martial arts . It seems like a photographers paradise having such a changing landscape from the cold north to the tropical south and I wish to capture my travels up and down the length of the country with my camera.

This is a once in a lifetime trip and one that I have been saving for and preparing for a long time. Thankfully having already done long periods of traveling before I'm aware of some of the difficulties that occur and know how to deal with these. Hopefully my basic Japanese will help get me to where I want to go and am really looking forward to taking it to the next level and immersing myself in the Japanese lifestyle.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

Many Thanks

Ryan Butterfield   

  • Applications are made in person and applicants may be interviewed (from personal experience I was asked just a few questions about my bank statement, why was my previous income on my bank statement but the job wasn't on my Resume?)


Best of luck!!


  • Do keep in mind that if you were to leave Japan for whatever reason during your stay, you would need a re-entry permit from the Immigration Authorities before leaving Japan in order to be able to come back again under the terms of your Working Holiday visa.

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