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Hokkaido is the second largest island of Japan and is located at the upmost North of the country. The island currently has a population of over 5 million, including some foreign nationals too. Compared to other areas of Japan, Hokkaido does not get as many tourists. In recent years, however, this has been changing, with many interested in the famous Snow festival and taking part in sports like skiing/snowboarding during the winter and cities like Sapporo and Otaru gaining popularity!

Due to this and the fact that Hokkaido’s main sectors of work are the service and agricultural industries, there are not many job opportunities for expatriates on this Island, and finding work in Hokkaido can prove much tougher than in other parts of Japan!

Hokkaido's economy

As previously stated the island’s main job sectors are service and agriculture, with the latter playing a key part in its economical growth. Rice cultivation and fish exportation are two very important things that Hokkaido provides to the whole country, as well as cultivation of root vegetables, wheat, soybeans and corn. Dairy production and livestock also strongly contribute to its economy.

Though it is not as popular a tourist spot as other areas in Japan, Hokkaido’s tourist industry still contributes a fair amount to its economy. The island is particularly popular in the winter, due to its large amounts of snow and its mountainous areas, which enable many to partake in winter sports. It is also popular in the summer when the climate is much cooler than most of Japan (which is hot and humid) and as a result visitors can escape the humidity for a much more pleasant atmosphere!

Japanese job market

For expatriates looking for work in Hokkaido there are few job markets with suitable vacancies. The main field of work for foreigners is Education, and particularly teaching English. Hokkaido has many educational institutions where work can be found, namely Universities, schools, Eikaiwas (English language schools), pre-schools and international kindergartens. University jobs are probably the hardest to obtain but pay well, whereas jobs in Eikaiwas are much easier to obtain.

If you are not interested in teaching English and have at least business level Japanese, plus other necessary skills then other jobs are available. These include working for a Japanese company and working in export/import. If you have skills in agriculture it may also be possible to be hired in this field of work too!

Job-hunting in Hokkaido

As there are less opportunities, it can be hard to find a job in Hokkaido but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible! Jobs are often listed on online job sites or classifieds, but it also a good idea to spontaneously apply to companies too since the job market is quite competitive. If you are struggling with your job search you can also register with a recruitment agency.

 Useful links:

Jobs Info
Gaijinpot job listings

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