Japan - For DNs - For Digital Nomads

All you need to know about working remotely from Japan

The good

  • The food
  • The traditionnal and pop culture
  • The public transport

The bad

  • The cost of living
  • The lack of english speakers
  • The cultural gap

Connectivity

Japan is at the forefront of technology when it comes to connectivity. Many public places like train stations and airports offer free WiFi as well as some private spaces such as convenience store, cafés and fast food restaurant. Paid hotspots are still the most common way to stay connected.

The most popular mobile networks are NTT DoCoMo, Rakuten Mobile and Softbank.

Visas and documentation

There are a lot of specific cases when it comes to visa application procedures when visiting Japan. We recommend using the information on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan :

Where to work

Coworking spaces

Cafés & Internet Cafés

As said previously, cafés offer free wireless connection or paid WiFi, the last can be plan for daily to weekly usage. Japan is especially known for having an abundant amount of cyber cafés with fully equipped (PC or Mac, HD monitors…etc) personal booth. If you need a quieter environment than the typical cafés or coworking spaces, this is a good place to start.

Tech Stuff

Power plug types

Japenese electrical sockets are of type A (2 flat pins) and type B (2 flats pins and 1 round pin) which also works for power plug of type A.

Laptop & phone repair

Just like any technologically advanced countries, repairs shops for phones and computers are easy to come by in Japan. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases workers in repairs shop will not speak english at all. We recommend Loreatec in Tokyo as they are english friendly and popular amongst foreigners.

For Mac users, here is a list of all the Apple stores in Japan:

Language

The dominant language in Japan is, as you might have anticipated, Japanese known as Nihongo. There are also a lot more languages and dialects depending on the region, some of them are on the brink of extinction. Other than that, it can be rather hard, even in the metropolis that is Tokyo to have a conversation with a native using “basic” English.

When to visit

We recommend to read this article which shows the best periods to visit Japan depending on your activity there.

Generally, if you want to experience Japan with pleasant weather and less crowded spaces, the overall consensus is to go in early spring (March to early April) and/or in autumn (October to November).

Food

Now, the reason why you want to visit Japan is most likely due to the fact that you have tried Japanese food in your life and loved it ever since. It is known across the globe for its incredible variety and fresh ingredients. That same variety can be found in restaurants as well, some are specialized around a dish like ramen or omurice, while others offer a wide variety of traditional Japanese dishes.

Accommodation

Coliving, Airbnb & Hotels

More info on the main cities

Fukuoka

  • 13.1 Mbps average download speed
  • 14.2 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G partially covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,442 per month
  • Temperate humid climate
  • A little bit of English

Hamamatsu

  • 29 Mbps average download speed
  • 10.8 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,158 per month
  • Humid subtropical climate
  • A little bit of English

Hiroshima

  • 11.2 Mbps average download speed
  • 7.4 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,455 per month
  • Temperate humid climate
  • A little bit of English

Kagoshima

  • 9.8 Mbps average download speed
  • 9.9 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G partially covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,085 per month
  • Temperate humid climate
  • A little bit of English

Kamiyama

  • 27 Mbps average download speed
  • 8.1 Mbps average upload speed
  • No 4G coverage
  • Cost at living at ~$2,938 per month
  • Humid continental climate
  • A little bit of English

Kitakyushu

  • 23 Mbps average download speed
  • 14.7 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G partially covered
  • Cost of living at ~$483 per month
  • Temperate humid climate
  • A little bit of English

Kobe

  • 11.8 Mbps average download speed
  • 7.3 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G partially covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,667 per month
  • Temperate humid climate
  • A little bit of English

Kyoto

  • 42.4 Mbps average download speed
  • 34.9 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,574 per month
  • Temperate humid climate
  • A little bit of English

Naha, Okinawa

  • 37.9 Mbps average download speed
  • 19 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$620 per month
  • Sub-tropical climate
  • A little bit of English

Nago, Okinawa

  • 37.9 Mbps average download speed
  • 19 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G partially covered
  • Cost of living at ~$3,072 per month
  • Humid subtropical climate
  • A little bit of English

Nagoya

  • 14.08 Mbps average download speed
  • 11.73 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,562 per month
  • Temperate humid climate
  • A little bit of English

Okinawa

  • 36.9 Mbps average download speed
  • 18.9 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$2,992 per month
  • Humid subtropical climate
  • A little bit of English

Osaka

  • 17.96 Mbps average download speed
  • 15.30 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,481 per month
  • Temperate climate
  • A little bit of English

Okayama

  • 16.1 Mbps average download speed
  • 10.4 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,318 per month
  • Temperate climate
  • A little bit of English

Sapporo

  • 20.7 Mbps average download speed
  • 8.1 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,635 per month
  • Semi-continental climate
  • A little bit of English

Sendai

  • 35.52 Mbps average download speed
  • 43.31 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,437 per month
  • Temperate humid climate
  • A little bit of English

Tokyo

  • 19.01 Mbps average download speed
  • 16.37 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$2,265 per month
  • Temperate climate
  • A little bit of English

Tsushima Island

  • 26 Mbps average download speed
  • 12.3 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,890 per month
  • Marine subtropical climate
  • A little bit of English

Ube

  • 14.3 Mbps average download speed
  • 9.1 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$3,176 per month
  • Humid subtropical climate
  • A little bit of English

Yokohama

  • 14.99 Mbps average download speed
  • 5.44 Mbps average upload speed
  • 4G covered
  • Cost of living at ~$1,880 per month
  • Temperate climate
  • A little bit of English