Osaka at a Glance
Working in Osaka
Osaka's economy is made up of commerce, services and manufacturing. Some large corporations still have their headquarters in Osaka but many have made the move to Tokyo.
Osaka is still home to a large proportion of Japan's small and medium sized companies though, many of which are industrial manufacturing companies that claim a significant share of the world's market.
Recent investment in an attempt to make Osaka more important to Asia's economy and more competitive with Tokyo has seen collaboration between local industries, academia and the government to promote the city as a destination for intellectuals and encourage economic growth.
Job Hunting in Osaka
Finding a job in Osaka, as with the rest of Japan, can be difficult for someone with very little knowledge of the Japanese language. Other than English teaching, positions in Japan, working in Osaka for a Japanese company will require a good level of Japanese proficiency, measured by the JLPT tests. These tests include numerous kanji, the Japanese form of writing.
If you do find a position then the company should be able to sponsor your first visa. Not all companies are willing to do this, though all are able to renew a visa you already have.
There isn't a big market for foreign workers that don't speak Japanese, which is why the majority of Osaka's English speaking workforce are English teachers. Popular websites for finding jobs online that cover both teaching and non-teaching positions are: GaijinPot and jobsinjapan.com. It's also worth picking up a copy of the area's magazine written for expatriates, Kansai Scene.
Moreover, there is help available for foreigners looking for jobs in Japan at the Osaka Employment Service Center for Foreigners.
It can also be difficult finding employment with a foreign company in Osaka. The majority of expats that work in foreign companies in Japan began their careers with that company in another country. If you want to work in Osaka you should start looking for work from abroad and try to be flexible with when you want to arrive in Japan.
Work Permits for Osaka
As an expat in Japan you'll need a work visa. There are a total of 27 different visas, five of them related to working in Osaka. If you're transferring abroad to work for your existing company then they should be able to sort everything out on your behalf.
If not then you'll need to check the Japanese immigration information for the type of visa you need and whether you qualify for it. Your visa can be valid for one, three or five years, with most people receiving a one year visa on their first application. For more information on visa requirements, please read our guide article on moving to Japan.