Digital Designer wanting to move to Japan

Hi everyone! Not really a developer here but since I share the market with you and I spent the days with fellow developers, I’ll give it a shot. I am a digital designer from Europe who visited japan in December. I want to know what the state of the market is for westerner designers who want to work in Tokyo or Osaka. I am focused on app, web and product design. I also cover UX.

I am looking for either startups or studios / agencies who are willing to hire someone with my background. I don’t speak Japanese (for now).

Also, is there a digital design community where I can find job listings?



I am visiting Japan again this June so I will be able to go for Interviews and meet people personally.

Here is my portfolio

While my background is not a designer, I’ve met many international designers living here. Most international designers have found their own way to Japan, and found a job while living here. Getting something from overseas is probably pretty challenging.

Typically companies will only hire someone from abroad if it is a skill set which they can’t find locally and they think the person will live in Japan for a long time. Visiting many times over a long period of time is one way of doing this. Speaking Japanese is another.

If I were you, I’d focus on making connections to the local community. The best way of getting a job will be having a personal connection to someone who wants to hire you. One way would be to do a presentation at an event next time you’re here. These are the international design events I know:

You could also check out Canvas, which is building an online place for Tokyo-based creatives to connect.

Thank you! That is quite helpful!