Nihon Hustle

The Ultimate How to Start a Business in Japan Guide

(All 47 Prefectures… one every week in 2021!)

JETRO, Special Strategic Zones, Startup Networks, Venture Firms… the help is there for entrepreneurs.

(Here's where you'll find them.)


by Doc Kane
Updated: August 27, 2021

Have you dreamed of starting a business in Japan? Imagined yourself forging a new path for yourself beyond teaching, beyond recruiting, beyond software development? Or, perhaps you'd like to stick with your current profession, but change your title from employee to employer… killer. Let's do that together. Japan can feel intimidating when it comes to starting a business here as a non-Japanese resident. It doesn't have to be that way. You can and should hang out your shingle here in this beautiful country if that's what you want to do.

Do you want to help women get back to work after taking care of children (call me if that's you… I've got some ideas), want to bring a taste of your country to these gorgeous shores? Or, start a manufacturing or software business? How about a consulting firm? The opportunities are endless and there is no reason why you can't start this ball moving in 2021. This site is a work in progress, but it's here to help you realize your goals. Let's do that why don't we? Ready? Read on…

From Hokkaido to Okinawa, Japan has a wealth of resources designed to help you start a business in Japan. Here you'll find public and private offices all in support of SMEs and solopreneurs throughout Japan.

Get the Help You Need When Starting a Business in Japan

(All 47 prefectures. Continually growing, continually updated.)

One of the most difficult questions to answer for non-Japanese wanting to start a business in Japan is where do I go for help? This problem is compounded when proficiency in Japanese is lacking or non-existent. It doesn't have to be that way. There are resources. There are people and agencies that want to help you. I'm going to help you find them.

Hi, I'm Doc Kane

I live in Kobe with my wife and our giant adorable Huskie named Chiro.

Together we're co-founders of Maplopo, an indie publishing company with the aim of helping introduce Japanese literature to the wider English-speaking world. To date, we've published works by DAZAI Osamu, SAKAGUCHI Ango, and NAKAJIMA Atsushi. We've got a lot more on the way.

We're entrepreneurs, just like you. So let's put our heads together and help one another out.

Oh, one last thing for now. I'm a one man show for the moment, so the sort of research you'll find below takes time. That's cool with me, as long as it's cool with you. Because it'll take awhile. In between my writing, teaching and consulting work, I aim to add at least on prefectural resource page each week of the year in 2021 (beginning with April).