Finding a job in Nagoya 

Updated 2022-12-21 15:32

The Nagoya region is one of the three economic pillars of Japan. Home to Toyota, Nagoya is also the aviation sector and machine tool industry leader. The region has been looking beyond its borders for further expansion. The "Greater Nagoya Initiative" organization underscores its desire to accelerate exchanges with international companies and thus attract international talent. This is a major boon for foreigners who dream of working in Nagoya.

Mapping Nagoya


Nagoya is the capital of the Aichi Prefecture and is centrally located on Honshu, Japan's main island. A former stronghold of the powerful Tokugawa shogunate, Nagoya takes advantage of its unique geographical position at the center of Japan to connect and trade with the world. A former symbol of the Tokugawa domination, today, the Nagoya castle bears witness to a city that never stopped winning in popularity.


While other prefectures are experiencing population decline over the years, Aichi is experiencing population growth. The figure has been steadily increasing since the mid-1990s. The prefecture has grown from 6.8 million inhabitants in 1995 to 7.5 million in 2020. Located in northwestern Aichi, Nagoya accounts for most of the prefecture's population, with 2.3 million inhabitants. The second and third cities lie far behind. Toyota, in the center, is home to 422,330 inhabitants and Okazaki, a little further south of Toyota, is home to 384,654 souls. Other big cities, like Ichinomiya, Toyohashi, Kasugai, Anjo, and Toyokawa, have between 380,000 and 184,000 inhabitants. Seventy-three thousand seventy foreigners were living in Nagoya in 2020, 22,236 of whom were Chinese, 15,301 Koreans and 10,022 Vietnamese. (Source: Statistics Bureau of Japan)

Nagoya's economy

Nagoya's geographical position at the heart of the main island puts it at the crossroads of air traffic and allows it to be globally connected. The city has its own airport and is only 30 minutes away from Chubu International Airport. Nagoya is also renowned for its maritime and land traffic. In fact, Nagoya is a great place to develop one's business. Many companies have established themselves here. They include not only local businesses but also foreign ones from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and even France.

Nagoya's labor market 

Wholesale and retail account for almost a quarter of the economic market (24.3%). The restaurant and hotel industry is the second largest sector, with 11.9%. Healthcare completes the podium and occupies 8.5% of the economic activity. Next are real estate (8.2%), industry (7.9%), construction (7.6%) and entertainment (7.6%).

Employees by sector of activity in 2021

The wholesale and retail sectors are the largest employers, with 22.6% of all employees in Nagoya. They are followed by catering and hotels (11.1%), industry (9.1%), health care (8.3%), construction (6.6%), entertainment (3.9%) and real estate (3.4%).

What are the leading job sectors in Nagoya? 

People often think of moving to Tokyo, overlooking the fact that Nagoya is also an economic giant. This city attracts both local and foreign companies, which makes it an attractive stage for international talent.

Port activity

Thanks to the port of Nagoya, the region's foreign trade is doing well, with almost 150 billion yen in 2020. The port mainly exports machinery, transportation, and electrical equipment. It primarily imports natural gas, petroleum, and other derivatives as well as electrical equipment.


Nagoya's industrial zone is home to heavy industries: refineries, factories and manufacturers of aircraft parts, ceramic products, refrigeration and electrical controls, which are part of an innovative industry that invests in robotics and engineering.


To face new demographic, environmental and economic challenges, Nagoya brings together academics, local officials, and entrepreneurs to create the industry and technology of the future. Research and development center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Chubu Center, Advanced Technology Cooperative Research Center, Science Exchange Plaza, or Creation Core Nagoya are all research structures that cooperate to build the Nagoya of tomorrow.

Other sectors that are recruiting

Tourism and education are also among the sectors that are recruiting. Many foreigners still see teaching as an easy entry point to get a work visa in Japan. Actually, this is not true! It is, in fact, crucial to identify one's needs and objectives in order to avoid making mistakes. 


In many countries, teaching jobs, at home or in conversation cafés are often part-time jobs open to foreigners on a student visa or on a Working Holiday Visa (WHV). But this is not the case in Japan. Here, the employer seeks competent and motivated people. More and more local language companies require a degree from a university. 

These requirements go up a notch for foreigners who wish to teach in Japanese or foreign schools. Not surprisingly, you have to possess a diploma in your field of activity (like French as a foreign language, applied languages, or English). It is better to speak Japanese and have a proven professional experience in teaching.


The same requirements as for teaching apply to tourism jobs. It is essential to speak Japanese to work in this sector and to find offers that fit your profile. Otherwise, opportunities in tourism in Nagoya are varied, and the city has a lot to offer to experienced travel advisors, tourism project managers, data analysts, hotel receptionists, tour guides, local tourism development officers, cultural engineering consultants, etc. Of course, it is also necessary to speak English and even several other languages.

Nagoya's major companies

It is impossible to talk about Nagoya without mentioning Toyota. Near the big city of Aichi, Toyota is the other driving force of the prefecture. The name of the city is that of the car company. The giant Toyota has marked its territory with hospitals, schools, sports facilities, childcare organizations and even its own museum. The city has 7 Toyota factories and lives to the rhythm of the car company. A great success that draws local and foreign workers alike. 

Nagoya is also home to other major industrial, electronic, high-tech and service groups like Lexus, Mitsubishi, Magna, PPG, Bodycote, Pratt & Whitney and Boeing.

The Greater Nagoya Initiative (GNI)

Greater Nagoya is a hub that extends 100 km outside of Nagoya. Created to promote trade with foreign companies, it advocates the acceleration of exchanges between businesses and people. In this context, the France-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI France-Japan) opened an office in Nagoya in 2020. Major groups such as CemeCon (coating technologies), CMC materials (semiconductors and other advanced materials), UL Japan (security leader) or AutoTech Japan (automotive equipment production) support GNI.

How to look for a job in Nagoya


Check out websites of companies that specialize in your field of activity and general online job boards. If possible, do your research in Japanese. This will give you access to a more extensive job market. Also, take advantage of professional and informal social networks. Participate in webinars and videoconferences related to your field. Hosted by professionals, they will allow you to build and feed your network and even apply for jobs.

Forums, career events, etc.

Chambers of Commerce and Industry, job search organizations, and professional associations are also great places to discover job-related events. Sometimes you will have to join the organization before you can benefit from its support. The job market in Japan is tough to access, even for qualified foreigners, but the investment may be worth it.

Required diplomas and qualifications

Ideally, you should possess a high-level diploma when planning to go work and live in Japan - finding a job there is already very challenging with a degree. So without one, it becomes even more difficult. However, nothing is impossible. If your degree is recognized internationally, capitalize on it; if you have experience in a large international group, put it forward. In any case, make sure you have a good level of Japanese. If necessary, take language classes before you start your job. Many foreigners are as skilled as you are and speak the language perfectly. So put your strengths forward while working on your weaknesses.

Tips for working and living in Nagoya

Practice writing resumes and cover letters by hand. The best way to apply for a job is directly on the Internet. But in Japan, the traditional CV is still an institution, although this is changing, especially in foreign and foreign-focused companies. The Japanese CV is a form that includes a mandatory photo, academic background, diplomas, qualifications, and motivation. Each box has its own topic.

Ideally, it is recommended that you come to Japan a few weeks before starting your job. This advice is especially true if it is your first move abroad. Coming a little before you start work will allow you to settle in smoothly and complete your administrative procedures. You will also have time to discover Nagoya and the Aichi prefecture.

In case of culture shock, do not wait and seek help. Talk to your family and friends, and get in touch with acquaintances locally. Consult a professional if your condition does not improve. Embassies have lists of doctors who speak English and/or your language.

Useful links:

Official website of the city of Nagoya Greater Nagoya
Initiative (GNI) Nagoya
Chamber of Commerce and Industry

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.