Live Your Anime Dream – Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March
Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Remote Work from Tokyo's Trendy Cafes
Tokyo is known for its endless rows of vending machines, crowded trains, and flashing neon lights. But beyond the stereotypical imagery lies a vibrant cafe culture perfect for remote work. As a digital nomad in Tokyo, you'll have no shortage of trendy cafes to choose from.
Cafes like Omotesando Koffee offer a hipster vibe with exposed concrete walls and an industrial chic aesthetic. Grab a pour over and park yourself on a leather stool at the concrete bar. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide ample natural light for getting work done. Or head upstairs to the mezzanine level with cozy booths overlooking the bustling street below. The cafe's minimalist style and laidback soundtrack make it easy to focus.
For a more studious scene, Cafe de l'Ambre is a historic kissaten (traditional Japanese cafe) acclaimed for its premium coffee. Patrons quietly read books and newspapers amidst the warm glow of antique lamps and mahogany furnishings. Seek out a window seat to watch people stroll by outside. With complimentary wi-fi and power outlets, you can sip coffee for hours undisturbed.
Modern coffee shops like Fuglen Tokyo blend mid-century Scandinavian interior design with Japanese cafe culture. Sleek blond wood furniture and exotic houseplants provide a soothing backdrop for productivity. Try their famous coffee flight to sample espresso, cold brew, and pour over side-by-side as you work. The baristas are experts and will keep your cup filled with your choice brew.
No work session is complete without sweets. For pastries, head to Le Pain Quotidien. Their communal wooden tables, brick walls, and potted plants emit cozy bistro vibes. Sink into a leather armchair by the window with a croissant and cappuccino. The free wi-fi and numerous power outlets make it easy to set up shop. Watch locals pop in and out enjoying fresh baked goods and coffee with friends.
At night, Shibuya's Streamer Coffee Company transforms into a lively scene with DJs and dancing. During the day time, the industrial-chic coffee shop is an airy, plant-filled space perfect for cranking out work. The lengthy communal table offers ample elbow room and outlets so you can charge your devices. Their nitro cold brew with in-house roasted beans will fuel your productivity for hours.
What else is in this post?
- Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Remote Work from Tokyo's Trendy Cafes
- Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Experience Cherry Blossom Season as a Local
- Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Immerse Yourself in Japan's Unique Culture
- Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Eat Sushi for Every Meal If You Want
- Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - See the Latest Anime and Manga Releases
- Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Travel Around the Country on the Shinkansen
- Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Stay in Capsule Hotels and Experience Tiny Living
- Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Make Friends with Locals and Fellow Digital Nomads
Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Experience Cherry Blossom Season as a Local
Come springtime, there is no better place to be than Japan when the beloved sakura (cherry blossoms) burst into bloom. Avoid the crowded tourist traps and instead witness cherry blossom season like a local. Venture off the beaten path to lesser-known spots across the country and take part in beloved Japanese hanami traditions.
Make your way to local favorites such as Yoyogi Park, Inokashira Park, Shinjuku Gyoen, and Ueno Park in Tokyo. While famous, these parks offer a more authentic experience than heavily touristed locations. Stroll under canopies of cotton-candy pink blossoms and admire how locals celebrate the fleeting beauty of sakura. Snap selfies against the pink-hued backgrounds and have a picnic beneath the trees. Watch as Japanese friends and families break out tarps and mats and celebrate with food and drink while enjoying the seasonal splendor.
Meander along the Philosopher's Path in Kyoto, fringed with hundreds of cherry trees that arch delicately across the narrow canal. See locals taking contemplative strolls through tranquil temples, shrines, cafés, and boutiques. Or head to Osaka Castle Park to enjoy sakura along the moats and pathways surrounding this famous 16th century fortress.
Venture farther afield to lesser-visited spots like Takato Castle Ruins Park in Nagano prefecture. Its 900 cherry trees explode in varying shades of pink, white, and crimson. Or head to the historic canal town of Yanagawa in southern Japan. Take a leisurely boat ride beneath the town's weeping cherry trees. They cascade like pink waterfalls into the water as you glide by in a hand-piloted yakatabune boat.
Wherever you go, be sure to indulge in the picnic-centric hanami activities that locals adore. Stock up on food and beverages at one of Japan's ubiquitous convenience stores. Grab ready-to-eat bento boxes, sushi rolls, mochi ice cream and Japanese sandwiches. And don't forget refreshing beers, sake, and carbonated ramune soda to raise a "kampai" cheer underneath the blossoms.
Lay out a plastic tarp and relax for hours underneath the canopy of sakura as their delicate petals flutter down around you. Strike up a conversation with nearby revelers and make new friends. Before leaving, be sure to collect a pocketful of fallen blossoms to take home as an everlasting memento.
Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Immerse Yourself in Japan's Unique Culture
As a digital nomad in Japan, you'll have incredible opportunities to immerse yourself in the country's unique culture. With its fascinating blend of ultra-modernity and deep-rooted traditions, Japan offers an endlessly intriguing backdrop.
Start by people watching at bustling hubs like Shibuya Crossing or Shinjuku Station, where you can observe the orderly flow of crowds and glimpse snippets of everyday life. Ride commuter trains and hear polite "sumimasen" murmurs as passengers gently nudge to exit. Pop into convenience stores and witness the almost ceremonious customs of food shopping.
Witness centuries-old traditions at local temples and shrines. Feel the tranquility of rituals like Omikuji fortune telling, ringing bells, and lighting incense. Observe entranced locals receiving their fortunes before carefully tying papers to branches when finished. Or try your hand at etiquette like bowing respectfully and washing hands at temizuya before entering sacred grounds.
Nothing offers more cultural insight than experiencing Japanese festivals and celebrations. Countless matsuri occur year-round featuring colorful parades, traditional dances, lively music, and street food stalls. The Gion Matsuri in Kyoto offers elaborate street processions in traditional Heian-period outfits. Or head to Sapporo's famous Snow Festival and admire larger-than-life ice sculptures while sampling piping hot ramen.
Of course, no Japan experience is complete without visiting museums to dive deeper into history and arts. Contemplate thought-provoking works at contemporary art institutions like Tokyo's Mori Art Museum. Or explore ukiyo-e woodblock prints and Edo-period artifacts at the Ota Memorial Museum of Art.
Finally, pop culture fans can geek out at manga cafes, anime shops, and gaming arcades. Visit a maid cafe and enjoy cute served treats. Sing your heart out at buzzing karaoke boxes. Or explore massive pop culture palaces like the Ghibli Museum and the newly opened Super Nintendo World. The options for otaku are endless.
Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Eat Sushi for Every Meal If You Want
As a digital nomad in Japan, one of the best parts is getting to eat fresh sushi anytime you want. Sushi for breakfast? No problem! Sushi for lunch? Of course! Thanks to Japan's thriving fish markets and sushi culture, you can enjoy high-quality nigiri sushi, maki rolls, and temaki hand rolls morning, noon, and night.
Start your day by heading to the famous Toyosu Fish Market, where you can eat sushi for breakfast at restaurants like Sushi Zanmai. Try the thick-cut slices of melt-in-your-mouth chutoro (fatty tuna belly) or buttery salmon belly nigiri. Watch the fish auction happen in real time while you sip miso soup and green tea. Or grab takeout sushi from vendors to enjoy on the waterfront promenade.
For lunch, duck into tiny sushi-ya tucked into train stations, department stores, and office buildings. These kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi restaurants let you grab fresh plates as they circle past. Crusted salmon roe, octopus salad, and inari tofu pockets are just some standard kaiten offerings. Sit at the counter to watch sushi chefs preparing nigiri to order behind the scenes.
In the evenings, make reservations for high-end omakase multi-course meals, where the chef customizes each piece based on the day's catch. At Sukiyabashi Jiro in Ginza, experience world-famous nigiri crafted by master chefs. Or try edomae-style sushi at places like Sushi Ya, serving traditional techniques since the 1800s. Meanwhile, modern joints like Sushi Take offer contemporary fusion rolls alongside traditional nigiri.
Not in the mood for raw fish? Tuck into playful sushi burritos stuffed with tempura shrimp, fresh veggies, and julienned omelet. Or visit conveyor belt sushi chains like Kura Sushi for deep fried sushi croquettes and cheese-stuffed jalapeño maki. Quirky offerings like dessert sushi with chocolate or fruit also abound.
Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - See the Latest Anime and Manga Releases
As an anime and manga fan, one of the most exciting parts of living in Japan as a digital nomad is getting access to the latest releases right when they debut. While popular series do eventually make their way West, being on the ground in Japan gives you the chance to experience groundbreaking new series firsthand alongside locals.
Arrive in time for the spring or fall anime season to catch premiere episodes on TV. Anime is broadcast late at night, so join other fanatics in manga cafes for viewing parties where you can watch subtitled simulcasts surrounded by like-minded individuals. Chat about exciting new titles and your theories on how the story will unfold over the coming weeks. Many manga cafes also offer private cubbies where you can wirelessly stream shows onto a personal screen.
Attend Comic Market (Comiket) conventions held biannually in Tokyo to browse row after row of amateur self-published manga called doujinshi. Peruse thousands of unique indie creations and chat with artists at their booths in the massive convention center halls. You may even spot underground works featuring popular mainstream manga characters - part of the otaku subculture.
Pre-order tankobon collected manga volumes and have them delivered to your door as soon as they release. Or if you prefer digital, use apps like BookLive! to purchase and read new manga chapters right as they debut in Japan (before scans are available elsewhere). For massive manga megahits like Demon Slayer and Attack on Titan, queues form at bookstores as fans scoop up print issues at midnight.
Catch films based on popular manga and anime on opening weekend. Major series like Jujutsu Kaisen get domestic releases mere months after Japan. Take part in the excitement by grabbing limited-edition movie merchandise only available in Japan. Or sing along with the die-hards at late night fan screenings.
Keep an eye out for pop-up cafes or stores dedicated entirely to hyped new anime series. Themed desserts, drinks, and decor let you immerse yourself in the look and feel of new releases. It's not uncommon for superfans to wait hours in lines spanning multiple city blocks for a chance at limited-edition goods.
Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Travel Around the Country on the Shinkansen
One of the best parts of life as a digital nomad in Japan is taking advantage of the country’s famed high-speed bullet trains. With the extensive Japan Rail (JR) network, you can swiftly travel between cities and regions on the comfortable, punctual Shinkansen.
These sleek bullet trains make it simple to explore far-flung parts of Japan even if you’re based in say, Tokyo or Osaka. Trips that would take hours by car can be completed in a fraction of the time. For example, Tokyo to Osaka takes just two and a half hours by Shinkansen. You can enjoy an early breakfast in Tokyo then be in Osaka in time for lunch, with the train departing promptly at the exact scheduled minute.
For digital nomads who split time between cities, the Shinkansen is ideal for when you need to transport your luggage and gear. The spacious train cars have ample overhead storage space and wide seats with power outlets. Laptop-friendly tray tables make it possible to work onboard as you zip to your next destination.
You can purchase individual Shinkansen tickets for select trips online or at station kiosks. But most digital nomads opt for a Japan Rail Pass, which offers unlimited use of JR lines (including Shinkansen) for 1, 2 or 3 weeks. Just flash your pass and stroll on without needing to buy tickets.
While pricey upfront, rail passes offer outstanding value if you plan on moving around often. And they are exclusive to temporary visitors, not Japanese residents. For a seven day pass, you can take the Shinkansen roundtrip from Tokyo to Osaka twice and essentially travel for free.
Onboard, you can relax in spacious reclining seats and large windows for gazing at Japan’s hypnotic countryside and coastlines whooshing by. The spotless train cars and bathrooms make even the multi-hour rides a breeze.
Grab bento box meals and snacks from station shops to enjoy onboard. Stay connected with stable free wi-fi and power up your devices. If you spring for the Green Car, you’ll travel in luxury with roomy leather seats in a quieter cabin. Complimentary drinks like coffee, tea and soft drinks are offered at your seat.
Just be sure to reserve seats in advance when traveling during peak Japanese holiday periods. Line up early at the platform since departure punctuality is strictly observed – you don’t want to risk getting left behind! Properly stowing luggage to keep passageways clear is also important train etiquette.
Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Stay in Capsule Hotels and Experience Tiny Living
For digital nomads who want to immerse themselves in authentic modern Japanese culture, staying in the country’s famous capsule hotels is a must. These compact lodgings offer tiny private sleeping pods and shared amenities at affordable rates. It’s a cozy and social form of minimalist living.
Capsule hotels originated in Osaka in 1979 and were initially aimed at salarymen who missed the last train home after late nights of office socializing and drinking. Today, renovated contemporary capsule hotels welcome international visitors. They provide a comfortable and convenient sleep solution for digital nomads on the go.
The sleeping pods are about 7 x 4 feet and contain a thin mattress with bedding, a charging port, light, ventilation, and lockable door. Some newer pods may have a TV screen for entertainment too. They are stacked two high, keeping a sense of privacy and separation between occupants. The ceilings are low, so be prepared to crouch inside.
You stash luggage and valuables in lockers, change into sleep clothes in gender-segregated locker rooms, and pad around the hotel in slippers. Bathrooms have sinks, toilets and showers. There are common spaces like lounges, dining bars, and workstations for mingling with fellow guests. Some hotels may have spa tubs, saunas, and massage services as well.
The communal environment encourages socializing. Conversations flow easily between capsule neighbors over evening drinks in the lounge. Since digital nomads have flexible schedules, you’re likely to meet fellow remote workers from around the globe. Share travel tales and travel hacking tips to plan your next destination.
For digital minimalists who don’t mind sacrificing personal space, capsule living provides surprising comfort and amenities. The cozy pods block outside noise and light for undisturbed sleep. Shared spaces and facilities keep costs down compared to a traditional hotel room. Many hotels offer perks like free Wi-Fi, all-you-can-read manga libraries, gaming lounges, and morning yoga classes.
Live Your Anime Dream - Japan Rolls Out Digital Nomad Visa in March - Make Friends with Locals and Fellow Digital Nomads
One of the best parts of digital nomad life is connecting with locals and fellow travelers. And in Japan, the traditionally insular culture is rapidly opening up to foreign visitors. Pop culture exports like anime and food trends like sushi have sparked global intrigue. English learning is widespread in major cities, breaking down language barriers. All of this makes Japan more welcoming than ever for digital nomads eager to experience authentic cultural exchange.
Start by chatting with locals you encounter in daily life - your Airbnb host, the barista at your regular cafe, or clerks at food shops. Complimenting businesses on social media often gets friendly responses too. Locals appreciate your interest in their culture. Flashing a few handy Japanese phrases like “arigatou” (thank you) and “oishii” (delicious) when appropriate can help break the ice.
Coworking spaces are fantastic for making kiwi friends. Japan’s thriving startup scene means English-speaking locals frequent these creative hubs. Collaborating on projects or chatting over coffee in the lounge allows natural friendships to unfold. Many hosts organize weekly social events too. And don’t be shy about accepting invitations to post-work dinner and drinks. The overwork culture means Japanese professionals crave fun, foreign friends to unwind with.
Attend local Meetup groups focused on hobbies like hiking, cooking, or even cat cafes. Meeting people over shared interests (rather than just being foreign) creates more meaningful bonds. Sports teams and gyms are great options too - play basketball with local youngsters or join a martial arts club to forge new friendships.
Fellow digital nomads also make fast friends and fantastic travel buddies. Check NomadList and Facebook groups to find nearby nomads. Explore off-the-beaten-path places together, share costs on excursions, and swap tips on everything from SIM cards to budget sushi joints. More introverted nomads may simply enjoy coworking together in silence first before opening up.
Solo travelers staying in hostels and capsule hotels tend to be very open to new friendships. Chat in the communal lounge to find instant comrades. You may even gain a new travel partner to navigate the country with on overnight trips.