The Working Holiday Visa
The “Working Holiday Visa“ is currently available if at the time of application you are 18-30 Years old and if you are a citizen of the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, France, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Slowakia, Argentina, Chile, Taiwan, or Hong Kong.
Citizens of Australia, Canada and South Korea can get the visa if they are 18-25 years old.
You will have to prove a certain amount of money on your bank account, which might be lower if you hold a round way ticket and higher if you only have a one-way flight ticket to Japan. The exact amount differs depending on your nationality. It is typically in the range of 1500-2500 Euros/USD.
Also, you can not be accompanied by dependents or children, you should be in good health and not have any criminal records.
Please check the exact visa requirements on the website of the Japanese embassy of your country.
With the Working Holiday Visa you can accept any remunerated job in Japan, except for jobs that “affect public morale in Japan”, which include jobs in the gambling industry, and in bars, nightclubs or any other establishments where services related to the sex industry are offered, even if you are doing some other type of work at such establishment (e.g. if there are sex workers present at a bar, you are not allowed to clean there or to sell drinks etc.).
With the Working Holiday Visa in your passport, you will get a Residence Card on arrival at the airport in Japan.
For nationalities and age groups that cannot get the Working Holiday Visa, an alternative solution to do something similar to a Working Holiday can be the use of a Student Visa. You can get a Student Visa if you enroll for at least 20 hours per week in Japanese language lessons at a Language School that is accredited to apply for Certificates of Elegibility for a Student Visa.
The language school can then also apply for a Work Permit for you, which is usually granted if you get a Student Visa. This Work Permit allows you to work for up to 28 hours per week.
These 28 hours are calculated as an average, so you can for instance, during your language lesson’s semester breaks work full time, and then work a lower amount of hours while you take the language lessons.