The Hong Kong/Japan Working Holiday Scheme was established on 1 January 2010 with both sides providing an annual quota of 1,500. The Consulate-General of Japan requires applicants to provide financial proof of 200,000 Yen for maintenance during their initial stay in Japan.
Successful applicants may be issued a Working Holiday Visa by the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong, allowing them to stay in Japan for up to 12 months. They can take up work incidental to their holiday and/or enrol in short-term study courses during the authorized period of stay. Details and application forms can be obtained from the following websites:
Participants are required to take out medical (including repatriation), hospitalisation and/or liability insurance before departure to cover the possible related costs incurred abroad.
The official tourism website of Japan presents comprehensive travel information, counting highlighted attractions, recommended routes, local culture as well as trip-planning assistance.
Scenic HighlightsJapan, the mastermind behind the world's leading technology and electronics, is a highly rated vacation destination. Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Sapporo in Hokkaido are some of the popular cities among the tourists, and with a distinctive climate the country offers unique travel experience in different seasons.
Natural wonders, especially the volcanic landscapes, offer stunning views and boast world-class resort areas. Mount Fuji, challenging climbers with a height of 3,776 metres, is essentially one of the country's most iconic landmarks. Chūbu-Sangaku National Park locating in Honshu, together with the Japanese Alps, features some of the highest peaks in the country.
Abundant in Japan, Shinto shrines and temples illustrate the long-rooted religious traditions of the country. Miyajima at the Hiroshima Bay houses the Itsukushima Shrine, which major structures rise out of the water at high tide. The historic city of , on the other hand, houses the Seven Great Temples.
Japanese cuisine, which is also called Washoku, represents the traditional dietary wisdom of the locals and is named an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2013. Freshness is highly emphasized in Washoku, and dishes are usually satisfying both in terms of taste and appearance. A haute version of Washoku would be the Kaiseki Ryōri, an elaborated meal with bite-size gourmet in small plates.
Sushi, sashimi, tempura, miso soup and ramen are staples in local diet, while regional variations present due to different recipes. After a long day of travel, you can consider visiting the Izakaya, or Japanese-style bars, to relax and unwind just like the locals.
MapCheck out an interactive map of Japan at https://www.japan.travel/en/destinations/.
According to the bilateral working holiday scheme established between HKSAR Government and the Japanese Government, working holidaymakers can take work incidental to their holiday during their stay in Japan.
The scheme is based on the principle that any employment that working holidaymakers take up is intended to supplement their travel funds while they are on holiday. There is no particular restriction on how long they may work in any employment they find. Working holidaymakers can learn more about the types of jobs they may take up at http://www.hk.emb-japan.go.jp/eng/working_holiday.html and http://www.hk.emb-japan.go.jp/eng/working_holiday_Q&A.html.
Know your work rightsWorking holidaymakers are protected by the law of Japan. They should be aware of the relevant labour legislation in Japan and be cautious in dealing with the terms and conditions laid down in the employment contracts.
The minimum wage in Japan is determined according to region and industry. Where an employee is subject to two different minimum wage rates, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage. The minimum wage in Tokyo is 1,013 yen per hour in 2019. Working hours in Japan must, in principle, not exceed 40 hours per week or eight hours per day excluding breaks.
Additional information about the working holiday programmes in Japan can also be found at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan's website at http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/w_holiday/index.html.
Working holidaymakers in Japan may seek assistance at the Employment Service Center for Foreigners (in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya) as well as at some of the regional national public employment security offices ("Hello Work"). Please visit the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's website at http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/policy/employ-labour/employment-security/foreignworkers.html for details.
Working Holidaymakers are reminded that information about work conditions and labour laws of the respective host economies provided in this webpage are for reference only and subject to change. For comprehensive and updated information, please refer to the relevant government websites of the respective economies.
According to the bilateral working holiday scheme established between HKSAR Government and the Japanese government, working holidaymakers can enrol in short-term study courses during their stay in Japan.
Learn more about studying in Japan at
Japan offers a range of accommodation to suit your needs and budgets, including youth hostels, home stay and rental apartments.
Explore the accommodation options in Japan at
Japan has a comprehensive transportation network and you may choose to travel around by underground, railway or buses to different scenic spots and destinations. The railway systems in Japan are well-known for its safety and punctuality. In addition, some transportation companies provide "Rail Pass" for tourists.
Learn more about travelling in Japan at
Japan has distinctive differences among four seasons, each having its special characteristics. The climate in the southern areas is relatively moderate, while the middle and northern Japan will snow in winter and are famous for winter sports.
Here we have gathered a number of hands-on tips to facilitate your trip planning and settling in Japan. If you have done a working holiday in Japan and have a tip or two to share, please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Be aware of the etiquettes and rules in Japanese cultures
- Japan has some of the best ski resorts in the world – do not miss the beauty of winter and make sure you go skiing in Japan!
Mich Wong (2012-2013)
Surname stamps are required when opening a bank account in Japan. To make things easier, make sure you get at least two stamps with you from Hong Kong or online – one with surname only and one with your full name
Tra Yeung (2012-2014)
- Japanese stay rather quiet on public transportation. Talk softly in case you have to chat with others
- Japan has clear seasonal distinction but I recommend bringing 1 to 2 thick coat only – keep your luggage less bulky as you may have to move around a lot
- Settle in Tokyo or Osaka and you will find it easier to find groups of working holidaymaker online to ask for help with living utilities and job information
- Know some basic Japanese and things will be easier. Be aware that the Kansai dialect is spoken in Osaka
Garbage must be sorted and disposed in designated time. Individual district has different collection schedule for garbage and recyclable items, so make sure you check with the local municipal office. A fee is charged for all oversized garbage and prior reservation is required for collection – don't just dump it!
- Open a saving account at post offices upon arrival– it is a lot easier than opening an account with banks
- Make use of WWOOF to volunteer in exchange for free accommodation and food. Jobs can be found online or via magazines – do seek help from Hello Work if you can't speak Japanese well
To integrate into the Japanese community, we should always ask ourselves "Will this cause trouble to the others?" before acting
You may get to know some local Japanese friends who are interested in Chinese Culture from some language exchange websites. You can improve your Japanese by chatting with them.
Note: The useful tips provided in this webpage are the authors' own opinions and for reference only. Working holidaymakers are advised to research thoroughly and check up for updated and verified information before departure.