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Preparation for Working Holiday in Japan

by Acyl

Preparations before departure for working holiday in Japan

Going to Japan to participate in the working holiday program (or the Japanese working holiday program), there are a lot of facts to be prepared, which can be said to be completely different from the usual several-day Japan tour.
In addition to different preparations such as visas, accommodation, and luggage, there are also matters such as work and daily life that need to be resolved.
For example, buying daily necessities, how to take out garbage, registering the telephone network, registering the address at the ward office, etc.

In simple terms, preparations for Japanese working holidays/Japanese working holidays are divided into

  1. Preparations before departure
  2.  Preparation after arrival

Preparations before departure

Get a visa

Before departure to Japan, of course, you must prepare a issued and valid working holiday visa.
Working holiday visas need to be applied in person at the place of residence (such as Hong Kong, Taiwan), and will be issued according to local conditions and quotas. After obtaining the visa and going to Japan to go through the entry formalities and receive the residence card within the validity period, it is considered that the residence status for working holidays has been completed. (For example, take Hong Kong as an example. After the result of the working holiday application is announced, the visa must be obtained within two and a half months of the announcement date, and the entry permit (landing permit) must be applied for in Japan during the validity period of the visa, and you can stay in Japan on the day of entry. Year*).

*The actual visa collection time and stay arrangements are subject to the Japanese Consulate in Hong Kong.

Select a location

The Japanese authorities basically do not restrict the first place of arrival for working holiday applicants, no matter which airport or port they enter, they will issue a residence card (护立カード).

It is only at certain airports that the residence card can be issued immediately, while other airports will process it by mail.
Application for Working Holiday Visa and Residence Card Issuance Arrangement

Although the Japanese government says that there are no entry restrictions, it is recommended to choose some popular places, such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hokkaido and so on. You can also go to some remote places, such as Kyushu, Nagoya and so on.

The advantage of choosing a popular location is that the job opportunities are higher, because there are more tourists from foreign countries. If you know English and Chinese at the same time, you will have an advantage in job hunting.
However, it does not mean that there is no requirement for Japanese ability, because the advantage of knowing Chinese and English is entirely based on Japanese ability.
If you can't communicate in basic Japanese and only have Chinese and English language skills, you may only be able to work on the factory assembly line in Japan.

Should you choose to live in a big city or a rural area?

job opportunities in big cities

If you can speak, read, and write Chinese and English, and you can also understand Japanese work instructions, basically it is not difficult to find some shop jobs in big cities and tourist areas.
Because the Japanese are generally more willing to recruit a foreigner who understands multiple languages to entertain tourists from other countries in order to increase business volume/service level.

Finding an office position in a big city is a little more difficult, though.
First of all, office work requires long interviews, and then most companies hope that people who hire can work for a long time (calculated in years).
However, the working holiday visa is generally only one year. It is not impossible to find an office position, but it is not easy. It is more likely that there is no chance of an interview. (Of course, the company proposes to hire with a work visa is another topic)

Accommodation arrangements in big cities

In addition to work factors, choosing a big city will make it easier to find suitable accommodation.

Because in big cities, such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and other regions, the development of Share House / Guest House is relatively mature, and different companies are operating shared houses to receive people from different countries. Finding vacancies is not difficult for most of the year.

In addition, in terms of rent, because the kitchen and toilet are shared, the rent per night is generally cheaper than staying in a hotel. The shortest rental period can be more than one day (Guest House type) or more than one month (Share House type) .
The basic living facilities and furniture are all available, and you only need to pay the rent regularly every month, which is very convenient.

Of course, rural areas also have advantages, with beautiful scenery and pleasant scenery.
However, there will be fewer job and accommodation options. If you are looking for a job, it is recommended to find some hotels/resorts/farms, those jobs that include accommodation.
Rural places differ from big cities in that traveling to rural placesIt is best to obtain work and accommodation before arriving. Because the place is relatively large, it may take a long time to travel to each interview, and the transportation fee is not cheap.

In big cities, you can choose the place you want first, and then decide to rent that place when you arrive. Once you have the address, you can start job hunting and interviews.

Preparations required before entering Japan

Make a one-year plan

Working holidays are a one-year journey. In order to meet daily expenses within a year, I believe that work and sleep time will occupy most of the time.
If there is no To Do List, I am afraid that during the holidays, I will just aimlessly at home and live a life that can be lived without going to Japan.

Since my purpose of leaving Japan is to participate in the working holiday plan, to experience different places, scenery, and culture in Japan, that is, mainly as a tourist.

Therefore, during the year, the trips will mainly be switched to different regions according to the weather (such as working in the snow field in winter, and diving-related work in summer). During the holidays, I went sightseeing near the place where I lived at that time.
Of course, different people have different plans. For example, some people's goal is to experience Japanese workplace culture and then go to the office to work. Some travel from Hokkaido to Okinawa for cycling, and some travel to watch different festivals throughout the year.

Although their respective goals are different, they all have an overall plan and related implementation details. For example, I have written down about 100 goals to accomplish before I set off. 100 seems to be a lot, but in fact only need to complete 2 per week, it is not difficult.

Without a schedule, I’m afraid it will only be “Work => Tired from work => Rest, eat and sleep at home during the holidays => Work => Tired from work… I will doubt the meaning of living in Japan all day long => End the working holiday "In the cycle, this will lose the precious opportunity to broaden your knowledge in Japan within a year.

Pre-selected accommodation plan

When considering accommodation, the first thing to decide is the accommodation plan after arrival:

  • It's a part-time job
  • Stay in Share House
  • Rent an entire residential unit on your own.

If it is a part-time job exchange, there are basically not many choices in terms of accommodation environment. If the dormitory environment is not good, the only option is to switch to another job, because it is basically impossible to rent a house outside and return to the workplace during working hours, because the salary is not enough to pay, and commuting time is another problem. .

If you plan to arrange your own accommodation, you can consider renting a Share House or a whole house.

Things to pay attention to when renting a room

For foreigners, when renting a room, you need to pay attention to the following points before signing the contract

  • Find a Japanese guarantor or guarantor company to guarantee
  • Pay attention to the lease term, whether it is too long
  • Pay attention to initial expenses
    Deposit, security deposit, gift money, brokerage fee, insurance, lock replacement fee, etc.
  • house location
    On which subway line, how far is it from the railway station
    Is there a daily sweet shop near the house
    How far is it from the city center and work place?

If you transfer to other regions every once in a while, for example, you plan to work in northern Japan and Hokkaido ski resorts in winter, and in southern Japan and Okinawa diving in summer.
It will be more flexible to choose Share House, and it will be more convenient to consider jobs that include dormitories and part-time jobs, because the general contract of ordinary houses stipulates that they need to be rented for a long period of time (such as one or two years).

Book a hotel after arrival as a backup plan

It is recommended to arrange a site visit before signing the house lease contract with the intermediary company, and take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of the room, as well as the nearby living facilities.

Generally, after arriving in Japan, 1-2 days of temporary accommodation is required before official check-in. It is recommended to book temporary accommodation before departure to Japan for insurance arrangements.
Hotel accommodation reservation plan in each area of Japan

If you visit the room after you arrive, and then decide whether to sign the house lease contract, it is recommended to book 1-2 nights of hotel accommodation first, which will be safer.

Although, generally, the desired room has been selected before departure, and it is only necessary to simply check the actual environment, room facilities, cleanliness of the bathroom, etc. after arrival.
In addition, as long as the price and environment meet your own requirements, you can sign a contract and then move in officially.

However, many times it is not so smooth. For example, when the flight is delayed, the office hours of the intermediary company have already been missed when getting off the plane. Or the staff of the intermediary company temporarily missed the appointment and failed to arrange the signing procedures immediately. That's why it is necessary to book hotel accommodation as a temporary accommodation plan after arrival.

Always schedule a viewing before signing a lease

Try to avoid paying a deposit or rent in advance before arriving in Japan.

Because in many cases, the online agency will only provide you with the most beautiful side of the room, and then tell you that this is the last available room, which makes you have the urge to move in immediately.

But be careful that the photos and videos provided by the intermediary company may not reflect the actual environment, such as the smell, the real cleanliness of the toilet, etc., and you will not be informed before you arrive. If you have already paid the deposit, rent, or even signed the lease agreement before departure, and you find out that the living environment is not ideal after you arrive, it will be too late to regret it.

In addition, when arranging to visit the room, don't mind asking the intermediary company for trouble. It is recommended to make an appointment with the intermediary company to visit a few more accommodation options. Or make appointments with different intermediary companies to visit different accommodations. Before confirming your favorite accommodation option, don't sign any contract lightly, paying money is the most important thing.

Because of this accommodation option, dating is the place where you must return to after daily activities and work in your future Japanese life. Choosing a comfortable place is the most important thing, isn't it?

Things to prepare before leaving Japan

In order to save money, it is recommended to prepare before leaving Japan

  • enough clothes
  • Japanese seals, such as bank seals
  • Electronic products needed in Japan

enough clothes

Assuming you stay in Japan for a year, basically it is best to bring as much clothes as possible for the four seasons. Especially expensive winter thick coats, down clothes and other clothes, you can use vacuumed plastic bags to shrink the volume, which can be put into the suitcase.

Some clothes may be cheaper to buy locally in Japan, but if you can save money, you can take the clothes with you wherever you go, and it is better to keep the money for emergencies.
Even when the weather suddenly turns cold, you need to buy extra clothes, or you need to see a doctor when you are sick, you still have money to use.

In addition, you need to prepare a Japanese seal, which is the bank seal.

A bank seal is a seal used to confirm documents in Japanese life.
Because when signing any document in Japan, it is not confirmed with a handwritten signature, but with a seal for confirmation.

It is recommended to complete the seal before leaving Japan, because making a seal in Japan not only takes time, but also costs a lot.
There may also be a reason for getting a seal. Without a seal, you cannot apply for a bank account, find a house and sign a contract, and apply for a mobile phone Sim card and other important things immediately after arrival.

bank print

Important points for bank printing

There are no restrictions on the words engraved on the bank's printing plate.
Only the surname can be engraved, or the surname and first name can be engraved on the seal at the same time. The size of the seal is recommended to choose 13.5mm, because 13.5mm is a unisex size.

Customs of seals used in Japan

There are three kinds of seals used by the Japanese, real seal, bank seal and identification seal.

  • The real seal is a seal registered with the Japanese government agency, which has legal effect and is used when purchasing houses, vehicles, and bank loans.
  • The bank seal is to apply for general life services, such as signing a lease, handling bank accounts, bank cash withdrawals, applying for a mobile phone Sim card, gas, water, electricity and other services at home.
  • The seal is used when sending and receiving TA-Q-BIN and letters, and its legal effect is very low.

Features of bank printing

The size of the male seal is divided into 13.5mm and 15.0mm, and the size of the male seal is divided into 12.0mm, 13.5mm and 15.0mm.
Bank stamps are not like identification stamps, they come with their own ink. Bank stamps must be stamped with stamp pads, so when making bank stamps, you should choose the style of the stamp pad set that comes with it.
The bank seal is used when applying for a mobile phone SIM card, handling a bank account, signing a lease, and registering personal information before entering a job.

Therefore, before leaving for Japan, it is very important to be able to complete the bank seal, otherwise it will seriously delay the itinerary later.

Electronic products needed in Japan

It is recommended to bring mobile phones, laptops, chargers, etc. in advance. Although it is said that you can buy it after you arrive, in fact, the schedule is very busy after you arrive, and there may be no chance for you to buy it. And the time to use electronic products is the most when you arrive, so it is better to prepare these necessary tools early in the morning.

How to prepare for your life in Japan

Pre-apply for specific types of jobs

A special type of job is one that is related to a specific weather, season, or a specific festival.

For example, work in winter ski resorts, summer diving experience, etc., work related to seasonality.
Because the job is generally a few months before the start of the job, it starts to accept applications online, prepares for online interviews, and then goes to work on the appointed day.

The reason why pre-application is required is because these positions can provide free skiing experience, diving experience, and opportunities to help obtain licenses or qualifications.
Therefore, it is very popular. You have to apply 3-4 months in advance to have a chance to get relevant job opportunities. The recruitment is full 1-2 months before the official start of work.
If you are interested in these jobs, it is recommended to apply early.

Imagine a name used in Japan

Living in Japan, it is very important to have a name that Japanese people can read in pinyin.

Regardless of whether the original name is pronounced in Cantonese, English, Mandarin, or Mandarin, one should first think of a name that can be pronounced in Japanese kana before setting off for Japan.
Because in daily life, Japanese people do not know how to pronounce the Chinese characters of the name, and it is possible that their own name does not have this Chinese character in Japanese.

And more importantly, although Japanese names have Chinese characters, they will mark their names in pinyin so that the other party will not mispronounce the name.

Therefore, it is very important to have a name in Japanese pinyin, so that Japanese people will not feel "confuse" because they cannot pronounce your name when handling your application form.

Process preparation after arriving in Japan

The first step is to apply for a residence card

When you enter the country at major Japanese airports, you can apply for and issue a residence card at the same time as you enter the country.

For example, Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, Narita Airport, Nagoya’s Central Airport, Kansai Airport in Osaka, Kyoto, Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport, etc., can issue residence cards on the spot, and they will be sent by mail when entering other ports. hand over.

It is very important to understand this, especially if the lease agreement has not been completed when you enter the country, you should enter the airport at the above airports that can issue the residence card immediately, and get the residence card before entering the city.
The reason is because it takes a while to receive the residence card by mail. In addition, using the hotel address may not necessarily be registered as the address for receiving the residence card by mail.

In the absence of a residence card, it is basically impossible to apply for any mobile phone Sim card, accommodation and other services that are necessary for life. It is very inconvenient to wait until the residence card is received.

The second step is to complete the lease as soon as possible and register the residence card address at the district office

Since the Japanese authorities require you to register your address at the district office within a specified period after entering the country, otherwise your visa will become invalid.

Therefore, after entering the country, it is necessary to arrange an accommodation visit with the intermediary company as soon as possible, whether it is a visit to a Share House or an independent house. Or check with a friend who is living in Japan, whether it is possible to temporarily register the address of the residence, and then go to the ward office after finding accommodation to apply for an address change.

It is important to register the residence card address

The staff of the ward office will print or write the address of the registered resident on the back of the residence card.

A residence card with a resident address printed on it is considered a valid residence card. And this address will become the registration address for applying for bank accounts, mobile phone contracts, and work information registration. Especially when applying for a bank account, the bank staff will decide whether you should go to the nearest bank branch to open an account based on the address on the residence card.
That is, if the address is registered at 3-chome, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, it is of course impossible to open an account at the Ueno Postal Savings Bank branch. However, going to the Shinjuku 1-chome branch may not be successful, and you may be asked to return to the Shinjuku 3-chome branch of Postal Savings Bank for processing.

Applying for a resident certificate is also a designated action

When registering your address at the ward office, do not forget to apply for a resident card.

It is recommended to apply for 1-2 sheets, which may also be needed when applying for telephone Sim card services, applying for bank accounts, or registering personal data before entering a job.

The third step is to apply for a bank account

It is recommended to go to the Postal Savings Bank of China to apply for a bank account first.

Although there are many different banks in Japan, as a foreigner, not all banks in Japan accept applications for registration of new accounts from people who have just arrived in Japan and have no work for the time being. Especially for banks with relatively large scale and many branches.

In Japan, you can apply for a new registered bank account when you first arrive, and it is a bank with a lot of branches. I believe that only the Postal Savings Bank (ゆうちょ Bank / Japan Post Bank).
Postal Savings Bank has as many branches as there are post offices in Japan. Basically, if you find the post office, you can handle withdrawals, deposits, etc.

It is recommended to apply for a Postal Savings Bank account

Applying for a Postal Savings Bank account is very simple, and basically anyone can apply.

Preparations required for applying for a Postal Savings Bank account

  1. Go to the Postal Savings Bank branch nearest to your residence
  2. Residence card with registered address
  3. bank print
  4. 1 hour account opening processing time

There is no need to deposit immediately when applying, so there is no need to bring large amounts of cash to apply for a bank account.

After the application is successful, the staff will distribute a passbook, and the ATM card will be sent to the registered address within a week.
The bank passbook of PSBC can also be used at the ATM of PSBC, so there is no need to worry about not being able to withdraw money or deposit before getting the ATM card.

Don’t worry too much if you don’t have a mobile phone number, because after you successfully apply for a bank account, you can replenish and update your mobile phone number, address and other personal information.

The fourth step is to apply for a mobile phone Sim card contract

Prepare a credit card before registering a phone Sim card contract.

Applying for a phone SIM card service is not very difficult, as long as you go to a branch of a telecommunications service provider, you can apply.
There are many options for telecommunications services in Japan. We recommend applying for LINE MOBILE Japan, or BIC SIM by IIJMIO.
LINE MOBILE, BIC SIM by IIJMIO mobile phone SIM card plan service comparison

Step five, start looking for a job

After registering the residence card address, completing the mobile phone Sim card service and bank account, you can start looking for a job.

A residence card is a document that proves "Employment Eligibility" and is able to work in Japan.
The mobile phone Sim card can make appointments for job interviews by phone.
The bank account is of course for receiving salary.

If the requirements for finding a job are not very high, it is basically not difficult to find a job.
There are many ways to find a job, you can look for it online, you can ask an intermediary company for help.
see alsoWhen looking for a job in Japan, various methods are always compared

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