How to Start a Business in Japan: Spotlight on Hyogo and Kobe
(Hyogo Prefecture business support services for solopreneurs and SMEs of all shapes and sizes)
Whether you're looking to start a business in Japan's Hyogo prefecture, or grow an SME already located in beautiful Kansai, this growing list of resources should help. Want me to feature you on this list? Please reach out. Looking to start a business in a slightly quieter area of Japan, but still near to Kobe and Osaka? Maybe consider Shiga. It's near Kyoto and beautiful Lake Biwa—and defnitely a bit more quiet.
Updated: April 5, 2021
Starting a Business in Hyogo?
Ask the Government
Get help from prefectural establishments geared interested in attracting and keeping SMEs in Hyogo.
Look to Private Industry
Work with those already in the trenches and develop the resources that will help you and Hyogo grow together.
If you need physical office or manufacturing space for your business in Japan, Hyogo has tech parks, and plenty of other commerical real estate to assist you in your venture.
Starting from Scratch?
Working on a Startup in Hyogo? Let's see who is here to help you pull that off.
Where should you start a business in Hyogo Prefecture?
(Hyogo's biggest cities are: Kōbe, Himeji, Nishinomiya, Amagasaki, Akashi, Kakogawa, Takarazuka, Itami, Kawanishi, and Sanda)
Howdy, all, I’m Doc. I live in the beautiful port city of Kobe, JAPAN. I launched this site to help others interested in working with, or starting, a business in Japan.
We all wear different hats, my job is to help you find the one that fits you best. Thanks for reading, and go get ’em!
Entrepreneurial Business Support, and Brainstorming Prompts to Help You Start a Business in Hyogo Prefecture
- Hyogo International Association
- Kobe live+work
- JETRO, Investing in Japan
- Osaka / Kyoto / Kobe Entrepreneur Guide from Tugi Guenes of Habitat (I love this!)
- Hyogo's appeal: tech, supercomputers, bio-med, SPring8, etc.
- Hyogo Business Portal: Startups, Facilities, Access
- Kyoto Institute of Economic Research
- Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade & Industry (METI)
- Hyogo Prefectural Government
- More from Jetro, Why Japan?, Setting up Business, JETRO's support
- Kobe Business Masterminding and Networking Group
- Toyo Keizai's AMAZING database and publications on Japanese companies
- Living in Hyogo
- Hyogo's “Only One” SMEs on fire.
- Kobe Global Startup Gateway (a bit old, but good contacts)
- Revitalizing Kobe
- Hyogo Business and Cultural Center
- Doing business in Kobe, Japan (from the SeattleKobe.com)
- Hyogo-Kobe Investment Support Center
- School of Economics and Management Faculty List (reach out to these scholars for advice on your sector of interest)
- TheBridge.jp—Infinity Venture Summit (This is from a few years ago, but a great starting point for learning about Japan's entrepreneurial and startup community)
- MIRAI Ventures startup incubation program
- Startup Friendly Kansai (from the Osaka Prefectural Government
- Need to book a business hotel in near Kobe, or elsewhere in Hyogo? Booking.com has some of the most useful search tools and access to a large inventory of properties. It's the only tool I use when traveling in and out of Japan.
Labor Force (2015)
Number of Establishments (2014)
More Hyogo Area Business Resources
Business Incentives in Hyogo
Real Estate and Finance in Hyogo
Travel to Hyogo | Life in Hyogo
Want to explore business opportunities in all eight regions of Japan? Visit our regional resource collections below. (Only Kansai is live at the moment, more coming as things develop throughout 2021!)
Start Your Business in the Kinki Region's, Hyogo, Today.
Let's Build Something Together
Hyogo is my home base in Japan, and I love it here. I think you will too. I've done my best to include a variety of resources here that might help you launch, or grow a business in our beautiful Kansai region, but if I've missed something, or if you're looking for something in particular, please reach out and I'll see what I can do to help.
Nihon Hustle Contact Form
I need help recruiting experienced and new staff...
Throughout 2021, I'll continue fleshing out these local prefecture pages. In this section I'll cover mid-career recruiting in Japan, as well as some of the work I'm doing with my Skilled Japan service.
If you're a recruiter, and would like to be interviewed for this page, or are interested in sponsoring this section, please reach out via the Nihon Hustle contact form on the left side of this page.
What industrial clusters are common in Hyogo?
There numerous industrial clusters throughout the Kansai / Hyogo / Kobe region. Below are a few of our more prominent sectors:
◇ Kansai Front Runner Project Neo Cluster Manufacturing and IT fields: About 1,200 companies and 60 universities
◇ Kansai Bio Cluster Project Bio Cluster Biotechnology field: About 340 companies and 52 universities
◇ Environmental Businesses KANSAI Project Green Cluster Environment field: About 140 companies and 20 universities
◇ “Kobe Medical Industry Development Project”, the development of an R&D hub for advanced medical technologies and the growth of a medical industry cluster on the “Port Island”
◇ Harima Science Garden City, located in the southwest part of Hyogo Prefecture, is the hub of hyperfine analysis research facilities which includes the world's largest synchrotron radiation facility, “SPring-8” and an X-ray free-electron laser, “SACRA.”
SOURCE: JETRO, Hyogo
What are some of the largest overseas firms in Hyogo?
While this list of overseas firms with operations in Hyogo by the Hyogo Best Portal is hardly exhaustive, it's a good starting point. Over time, I'll build this resource out.
Are there venture funds, or private investors for startups in the area?
Members of the Japan Venture Capital Association are understandably active throughout the Kansai region, including Hyogo. Below are a few VC firms that consistently pop up on the radar here in Hyogo and in nearby Osaka. If you would like to be listed here, or are interesting in our sponsorship package, just reach out using the Nihon Hustle contact form on the left of this page.
Do you have any prefecture-agnostic (but specific) resources available?
Yes! On our resources page you can find all sorts of research, case studies, guides, stories, and links that might help you further research your market here in Japan.
Do you recommend any tools for businesses?
I do, actually. All of the tools I use personally in my business, or that I have reviewed and tested, are on my Toolbox page.
If you want to kick off a website, and aren't sure of how to pull that off without wasting a lot of time researching, this resource will help, and when it comes time get things going with website hosting with 24/7 tech support, you might want to explore my Tackle Your Tech page.