Not sure how to start a business in Japan?

Don’t worry! It can be scary to open a physical store, but starting an online business has many benefits, such as a lower cost to entry.

Questions people often ask
How do I sell things online in Japan?
Should I set up my online business in Japan?
To sum up
Things to know about the market in Japan

Doing some Japanese market research and learning how Japanese people buy things will help you figure out what the Japanese online market is like and what Japanese people want.

Also, if you want to make your online business work with foreigners in Japan, learning about them and what they need will help you get off to a good start.

Each of these online small business ideas is in a different field and aims at a different group of people.

Japan’s Top 9 Online Company Concepts
1. A Japanese school for learning English
A lot of foreigners find it easy to live in other countries by teaching English. You could continue your JET contract on your own terms by teaching English in Japan if you signed up for it but your contracts are about to end.

Statistics show that about 40% of Japanese kids between the ages of 10 and 14 are learning English. This means that there is a business opportunity to help these kids with their English studies.

Providing English classes online gives students more freedom, lowers costs, and enables one-on-one instruction to better meet their needs.

Even more specialized classes, like business or academic English, can be offered to adults.

Additionally, you can help people who want to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Retailing online

When you shop online, you have a lot of different options.

What you can sell online in Japan is really up to you, but here are some ideas:

Make your own crafts

Adding on

Fashionable clothes

Packs for subscription

Free files to download

If you want to sell something online in Japan, you need to give your name, address, and phone number. You can protect your home address with a virtual address service like MailMate if you don’t want to use your home address as your business address.

Many virtual office address services, like MailMate, also let you rent a local phone number and forward your mail.


3. The translation works
Google Translate doesn’t always give the best translations, that much is clear. That means you can offer a translation service if you speak Japanese and another language.

Translation work can lead you in a lot of different directions. Sites, blogs, and apps for the Japanese market can use your help with translation and localization.

You can also do specialized translations, like legal translation, medical translation, or marketing translation, to meet the needs of certain industries.

4. Advice Given
In the consulting business, you would help companies reach their goals and improve how they do things by giving them your expert advice. This kind of business looks like a good way for freelancers in Japan to make money.

There are 4 parts to Japan’s consulting industry, and you can offer different advice on how to get foreign clients, how to localize your business, and how to improve business performance.

5. Designs for websites

If you are good at making websites, you could offer your services to Japanese and foreign companies in Japan.

A skill that is in high demand is the ability to make a website that is easy for people to use and draws in potential customers.


You’ll also have a big advantage if you know how to design a website that works well on mobile phones.

6. Making graphics
For Japanese clients, graphic design work can include making logos, brands, illustrations, and infographics.

The most important thing about design work is to put together a portfolio of your past work that people who want to hire you can look through to get an idea of your style.

7. Writing a blog
People who are interested can get a sense of what it’s like by reading your blog posts about Japanese food and travel or when you live there.

Some ways to make money on the Internet are affiliate partner programs, direct ads with partner brands, and showing ads. It’s hard to imagine that you could make money by posting on the Internet.

Help for your Japanese-language online business
There are a few steps you need to take after coming up with a good business idea in Japan.

Make sure you have everything you need to start a business in Japan by reading these:

How to Start a Business in Japan: The Essential Guide

How to Start a Business in Japan: The Complete Guide for 2024

How to Sign Up for Hanko in Japan [List of Words and Their Meanings]

How to Register a Trademark in Japan: A Condensed Guide

Questions people often ask
How do I sell things online in Japan?
You can sell things online in Japan on a number of sites, including Rakuten, Mericari, and even Amazon Japan. These sites will help you reach the large Japanese consumer market by letting you list your goods.

Should I set up my online business in Japan?
Japan’s Mail Order Specified Commercial Transaction Act says that you have to give your name, address, and phone number. These and other rules help keep consumers safe and protect their rights. It is also strongly suggested that you send in a business opening notification (開業躋).

These small business investment opportunities will all open up a world of business opportunities in Japan. Spend more time and money on your online business as it slowly grows and gets more customers. You can do this until you are ready to make it your main focus.

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