How to Start a Business in Japan: Spotlight on Osaka
(Osaka Prefecture business support services for solopreneurs and SMEs of all shapes and sizes)
Whether you’re looking to start a business in Japan’s Osaka 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. You may also be interested in our profile on neighboring Hyogo Prefecture.
Updated: April 4, 2021
Starting a Business in Osaka?
Ask the Government
Get help from prefectural establishments geared interested in attracting and keeping SMEs in Osaka.
Look to Private Industry
Work with those already in the trenches and develop the resources that will help you and Osaka grow together.
If you need physical office or manufacturing space for your business in Japan, Osaka has tech parks, and plenty of other commerical real estate to assist you in your venture.
Starting from Scratch?
Working on a startup in Osaka? Let’s see who is here to help you pull that off.
Where should you start a business in Osaka Prefecture?
(Osaka Prefecture’s biggest cities are: Sakai, Higashiōsaka, Hirakata, Toyonaka, Suita, Takatsuki, Ibaraki, Yao, Neyagawa, and Kishiwada)
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 Osaka Prefecture
- Osaka Innovation Hub
- Osaka Prefecture’s Global “Venture Ecosystem”
- Osaka City Government Economic Strategy Bureau
- Osaka Business and Investment Center
- Guidebook for Business Investment in Sakai
- Invest Osaka
- “How Osaka is setting itself up as a hub of innovation” from JapanToday.com written by Alec Jordan for the Journal of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan
- Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Entrepreneur’s Organization Osaka (In Japanese)
- Lonley PLanet Japan’s, Chris Rowthorn’s Inside Osaka (Great for finding out about Osaka’s districts —particularly if you’re wanting to open a travel related business, or simply be where intersting things happen!)
- Osaka Food Lab (Got an idea for a food related product or restaurant? This is where you should start!)
Don't think you have enough time and experience to start a business in Japan? You do.
And, the only way I have been able to accomplish it is with the help of the good folks at WPMU. I am a one man show, so they host and support my website 24/7. It's crazy fast, their support team is friendly and they always go above and beyond. 113 support calls and counting, and not a single disappointment. They are simply, AMAZING. If you need to launch a website, speed up one you already have, or just get tech support when you're not a programmer, the men and women at WMPU are a great first call. Check them out below. Cheers, Doc
- G-Bridge (Helps companies develop a sales channel to sell their products within Japan)
- Startup Bootcamp Scale Osaka (Equity-free, business development Accelerator in Osaka, JAPAN)
- VIDEO: 5 Effective Ways to Market a Business Globally: International Sales (Great talk from Japan and China resident and sales pro, Paul Salo
- Osaka Prefectural Government Page (Loaded with all sorts of business sector information and advice for entry: finance, business matching, commercial entry)
- Osaka Industrial Design Center
- MOBIO, Osaka (Support base for SME manufacturers in Osaka—language support in Chinese, Korean and English!)
- “Excellent Company of Osaka” (searchable partner/manufacturing listing database )
- Why Osaka Is Becoming The Hottest Spot For Startups In Asia“Why Osaka Is Becoming The Hottest Spot For Startups In Asia,” from Forbes
- J-Startup (Startup resource for the whole of Japan: advisors, startup company list, startup visas, etc.)
- Need to book a hotel in Osaka? 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 Osaka Area Business Resources
Business Incentives in Osaka
Real Estate and Finance in Osaka
Travel to Osaka | Life in Osaka
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 Kansai Region’s Osaka Today.
Let’s Build Something Together
Osaka is my neighboring prefecture here in Japan (I’m in lovely Hyogo!). 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.
I need help recruiting experienced and new staff...
Throughout 2021, I’ll be fleshing out these individual sections on each prefectural page. In this section I’m going to cover mid-career recruiting here in Japan, as well as some of the work I’m doing with my SkilledJapan.com 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 Osaka?
There numerous industrial clusters throughout the Kansai / Osaka 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
◇ In the northern part of Osaka (Saito), research and education facilities are clustered and focus on biomedical research. Properties include: the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center and the Osaka Bioscience Institute.
◇ The Doshomachi District of Osaka City has many pharmaceutical manufacturers including Takeda, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan.
◇ Life science industry promotion occurs throughout Osaka in partnership with the “Osaka Bio Strategy.”
What are some of the largest overseas firms in Osaka?
Over time, I’ll build this resource out, but here are a few good jumping off points:
- AstraZeneca K.K.
- Bayer Yakuhin, Ltd.
- Gleason Corporation
- Illinois Tool Works
- Starwood Hotels
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 in Osaka and in nearby Hyogo. 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.