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SWAP Japan


The world's most unique culture

Japanese culture has evolved greatly over hundreds of years. Its traditional style has been influenced by Asia, Europe and North America, resulting in one of the world's most fascinating places!

Where ultra modern and traditional meet

Pretty much the only place in the world where you can find a robot restaurant on the same block as a quiet temple, Japan's mix of traditional and modern cultures will (over)stimulate your senses!

NEW: Offices in Tokyo and Fukuoka

You can visit participating offices in both Tokyo and Fukuoka (on the island of Kyushu) with local bilingual support staff that can help you in Japan!

SWAP Japan since 1987

We started offering the SWAP Japan program since 1987! This was the same year as venerable Japanese video game franchises MEGA MAN and METAL GEAR began!

SWAP Japan

  • SWAP makes it easy to secure a bank account, phone, and provides assistance with accommodation and job searching during your entire stay. Your year-long work permit means you can fund your adventures, nature fun, and cheap travels to just about anywhere in Asia. You'll come home with international work experience, new friends, countless stories from the trip of a lifetime, and if you manage your funds efficiently, some change in your pockets, too.

  • Participant Gallery

    We're just updating this. Please check back soon!

  • Your Visa

    You will get a 6-month visa that allows for multiple entries into the country. You can extend it another 6 months once you are in Japan.

  • EXCLUSIVE SWAP Advantage: Making the Visa Application Process Easier, Cheaper

    Normally, the Embassy of Japan in Canada requires a mandatory in-person interview at one of its Embassies or Consulates. Seeing as there are only 5 locations across Canada (which has over 3,000 cities and towns), SWAP knew we had to make this visa more accessible to Canadians nationwide.

    We work directly with the Embassy of Japan to make the application process convenient - no matter where you are in the Great White North, no interview or travel is required. That's right, you can apply for a visa from the comfort of your home with no nerve wracking questions to answer or costly visits to faraway embassies. From coast to coast, it's never been simpler for Canadians to get out there and explore Japan. Just send in your application to SWAP and we'll take care of the rest, just as we have since 1987.

  • Local Support in Japan

    NEW: Get real support from local bilingual staff for your entire working holiday. We have partnered with resource centres in Tokyo and Fukuoka that have bilingual Japanese/English staff, who can help with giving an overview of what you need to know to live in Japan. The friendly staff there can help you translate job ads, menus and more, plus help you navigate and learn Tokyo's massive metro system and get you comfortable with living in Tokyo. The Japanese government now have specialized foreign worker assistance offices (we will provide all the information and contact details), so our resource centres are there as an additional personal source of support and guidance for you. You'll also get:

    • Our expert SWAP materials: Your GO SWAP Kit to assist with trip preparation, job and accommodation searches before you arrive
    • Access to computers, internet access, and free Wi-Fi at the English resource centre lounges in Tokyo and Fukuoka
    • A 24/7 Emergency support number
    • A city walking tour
    • Free access to social events like movie nights with other travellers living in Japan

  • Accommodation

    Upon arrival: Two nights in Tokyo.

  • Our SWAP Support and Resources

    We've been helping Canadians live and work in Japan since 1987, so we know what it takes to successfully apply for a Japanese visa. That's part of the reason why thousands of Canadians choose SWAP to help ensure their application's success. Our dedicated visa experts will go over your application in detail and make sure it is perfect. If we notice anything, we'll work with you to make sure it's flawless before your paperwork is submitted to the Japanese government.

    Twenty-nine years of Japanese visa expertise isn't the only thing you'll get on the SWAP Japan program.

    • We'll represent you in the visa application process and make sure your Japanese working holiday visa is approved
    • You'll get a GO SWAP Kit, which has valuable information on your visa, as well as pre-departure preparation
    • Extensive information on foreign office worker assistance through the Japanese government
    • Travel map and tourist materials
  • Booking SWAP Japan

    Working and living in Japan with SWAP is easy. You can register online here, or do it in-person by visiting any of these Merit Travel locations and talking to a friendly travel counsellor. The choice is yours and our staff will be there to help you either way! The program price includes all the support services offered in Japan (listed in the support section), plus all the support services offered in Canada by SWAP to make sure your application goes through without a hitch and your working holiday is a success.

Don't get lost in translation! Live and work in Japan in a very convenient way

Program Info

  • Eligibility

    Canadians ages 18-30

  • Registration Timelines

    Apply for SWAP Japan at least 5 weeks prior to your intended arrival

  • Length of Your Visa

    Any period up to 6 months (once in Japan, you will have the opportunity to extend your visa an additional 6 months)

  • Required Savings

    You must have the equivalent of $2500 USD saved in your account as of the day you submit your application. These are called support funds and are a requirement of the Japanese government

  • For Only

    SWAP Japan is only $400 CAD! That includes SWAP's full service visa application assistance, ongoing drop-in access to 2 bilingually staffed offices, SWAP's support and resources (listed above), and your first two nights of accommodation in Tokyo

    Take the 1st step ››

Program Reviews

  • "I have been in Japan now for 8 months and it has been nothing but an amazing oppurtunity! I have had the opportunity to not only experience the traditions and culture of Japan, but I have also met people from all over the world which has made it a very pleasurable experience because I now know people who are very similar to me, and it is always nice to have friends in different parts of the world for future exploring opportunities!

    Swap has been able to help me stay organized and feel confident about going across seas and finding work. I don't think I would have been able to organize something like this on my own. One of the things I enjoy most about swap is if I ever have a question or need answers to any concerns they are very good at getting in contact with me as soon as possible whether it be an email or a phone call. I have recommended swap to a lot of friends who are now on their own working holidays and I will always recommend this company in order to help aspiring travelers reach their goals and dreams in seeing other countries!

    Thank you for this opportunity. I am having the adventure of a lifetime in the land of the rising sun!"

    Kristen B. in Shirakawa, Japan, 2016


  • "During my time in Japan, I worked as an English instructor for children at an international school in Tokyo. The school was an English-immersion school for Japanese children, as well as children from foreign countries that resided in Japan. I was able to find and accept this position within two weeks after arriving in Tokyo. Working as an English teacher in Japan was the most gratifying and fulfilling role that I've had the pleasure of experiencing in my life. Through it, I saw myself grow in many ways. SWAP was incredibly helpful. During the working holiday, they were always there to answer any questions I had through their 24/7 support line. SWAP was able to assist me in finding a place to live, finding social events, getting set up with a Japanese bank account, as well as providing me with helpful resources. When I was confused, and had trouble with extending my visa after 6 months, SWAP was able to help me all the way through the process. Overall, I couldn't have asked any more of SWAP -- they were like a great friend from beginning to end."

    Brett S. in Tokyo, Japan, 2016


  • "Worked with a great company named Ski Japan, I was a part of Niseko Base Sports team and worked in rentals and retail. I got to meet people from all over the world who came to this one town for a winter vacation. Having a job helped me connect with people and also offered me an insight into the culture, we have many co-workers whom their home was Japan so we were able to exchange cultural differences, stories from home it was amazing!"

    Celine D. in Kutchan/Hirfau, Japan, 2016