Any chefs in Japan? Foreigners working in japan?

Joined Jul 7, 2014
Im an american chef in vail,co. I am traveling to tokyo on november 18 and was hoping to get a cook/chef position somewhere in tokyo. I was wondering if you absolutly need a visa or if you can just get paid under the table? Also how hard is it for an american to get a job over there? Thanks!


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Have you looked into what it takes to get a visa?  I have never been to Japan so I can't answer how easy it is for an American to get a job over there or what their immigration laws are, but why would you want to risk any legal problems when you are there.  Having worked in jail food service, here in the US, I have met many undocumented workers whose only crime is working illegally in this country.  Many of them have sat in jail for months and months while they were awaiting a ruling on their case.  Personally, I wouldn't want to risk it.
Joined May 9, 2011
Unfortunately, it appears to be pretty difficult to get a work visa in Japan as a cook. You need 10 years documented experience in a non-Japanese cuisine, pictures of yourself in the kitchens on your resume and I believe signed letters from your former employers. That's just to apply, there is no telling if you will get approved, even with all that stuff.

I've got a Japanese pen pal and she was telling me they give out 1 year "work holiday" visas. I'm not sure what the process or requirements are, but I'm going to look into it.
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