Tokyo Dev

Developer jobs in Japan Developer Life in Japan

Am I too old for Japan?


Hi everyone.

So, I’m a software developer, currently living in Belgium. I have a master degree and have worked
in several domains, mostly in C, C++, C# and JavaScript for around 12 years.

The thing is, I just turned 33. I never thought of working in Japan until a few months ago, because
I never imagined it could be possible. I started learning Japanese and after meeting a few people,
I thought I’d like to give it a try, and maybe work there for at least one year, and see if I like it.

But I feel that I’m a little late to the party, as I read everywhere about how you can have a work
visa for a year if you’re under 30. So, I’m over 30 now, and I feel that it’s considered old in the field
in Japan.

I’m motivated to learn any language or technology that I may not master yet,
to fit the Japanese market, but at the same time, the fear that it might not be possible slows me down.

My current state of mind is that I could keep my comfortable life here, but live the rest of my life
with regrets and wondering if it could have worked. So the idea to spend at least one year working
in Tokyo and see how it goes is very attractive to me. If I don’t like it, I can come home and I would
have at least tried. If I like it, maybe I can start a new life over there…

I know a few people in Japan, which I have met through language exchange websites.
They can’t help with the IT jobs side, but it gives me confidence they could help me integrate the culture more easily.

So I’m reaching out to you, what do you guys think?


I have been recently helping mate find a job in Japan and he’s 33 years old like you, with less experience and almost no Japanese. Had a few higher ups from Japan on a conversation on Facebook and no-one mentioned anything about his age. He didn’t try in the end, but that’s not because he couldn’t.

Other friend who is also your age, just recently got to the last stage of an interview at a big Japanese company without ever leaving his country. Same as the above, less experience than you and a basic Japanese.

Working holiday visa is for people under 31 years old. Work visa has absolutely nothing to do with it. Actually, work visa can be granted for 1 - 5 years as far as I know. Even if you would have working holiday visa, you still would need to change to a work visa in order to do a full-time job.

Working holiday visa has a few benefits over a tourist visa: longer stay, possibility to legally search for a full-time job while in Japan.

I would say: go for it. With your experience, I think you can easily find a company there to hire you.


Thanks Tom, I think I have my answer now.
I’ll be looking into it seriously then :slight_smile:

I’ll see what languages/technologies are more interesting in Japan and give it a try.


40 is the new 30 :slight_smile: I’ve seen much elder people come and do it in Japan. Go for it !



I’m 34 and I’m in an interview process with a Japanese company right now.
I think that foreigners are generally hired for their qualifications rather than their age or university.
When you have the right skill set, it should be no problem for you to find a job in JP.