Interested to find out about fruit picking jobs in Japan? You’ve come to the right place!
Japan, land of the Rising Sun.
Through drama series, anime and manga from Japan, we know that Japan produces a lot of fresh produce, especially fruits.
Did you know that Japan exported over $29 million worth of fresh fruits in 2020? Japan’s fruits are in demand all over the world for their freshness and quality.
However, Japan is also facing a worker shortage. As Japan’s population ages, there is more demand for fruit pickers in their agriculture sector.
Since there is demand for workers in the farming sector, especially for fruit picking, you must be excited to pack up your bags and go!
This article will help you learn about what to do to get a fruit picking job in Japan. Let’s get started!
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List Of All The Best Fruit Picking Jobs In Japan
Japan’s fruits are known for their freshness and the Japanese take pride in ensuring that only the best is produced from their lands.
Being a fruit picker in Japan, you will be part of helping farmers ensure that only the best are selected for the world to enjoy.
In the meantime, you will also have the experience of working in the Japanese countryside and have the opportunity to travel in Japan without having to worry much about expenses.
Fruit picking in Japan is not an easy job as it requires stamina and discipline, but you will definitely learn a lot and enjoy yourself in the meantime!
Here is a summary of the best fruit picking jobs in Japan and where to find them:
Where To Find Vacancies?
First and foremost, your adventure will start with securing a job offer in Japan.
If you are looking for short term work and you can go to Japan on a Working Holiday visa, work exchange platforms are a good place to look for vacancies.
Work exchange programs are suitable for those who plan to have their time divided equally between work and travelling.
Here are some work exchange platforms listed below:
However, if you are planning to come to Japan on a Specified Skilled Workers visa, below are some sites that you can use to look for jobs:
- Hello Work
- WORK Japan
- Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (site in Japanese)
- Job Board (site in Japanese)
Be mindful that work that is under the Specified Skilled Workers visa is considered as a full-time role, which means that your working time will be fully dedicated according to the work agreement.
Where Can I Work In Japan?
Japan enjoys four seasons, there are many areas famous for different types of fruits. Here are major areas in Japan famous for different types of fruits:
- Okayama. A wide variety of high-quality fruits, such as peaches and grapes, are grown in Okayama. Okayama is especially known for its white peaches, which is also part of the folk tale Momotarou (Peach Boy).
- Fukuoka. Fukuoka is one of the leading fruit-producing prefectures in all of Japan, where various types of fruits are grown all year round. There are blueberries, strawberries, peaches, Japanese persimmons, grapes, pears, and more that are grown in Fukuoka.
- Nagano. Nagano is famous for producing grapes, such as the Shine Muscat and Nagano Purple which are highly sought after. Nagano also produces apples and peaches, its apples being a delicacy not only enjoyed by people but also by snow monkeys!
- Tochigi. Tochigi is the leading producer of strawberries in Japan, particularly famous for a variety called Tochigi Otome (Tochigi Maiden).
- Hokkaido. Hokkaido is famous for its melons, especially premium ones. One of them is the Yubari melons, which can be sold for up to 2.7 million Yen (24,582.78 USD)! Hokkaido is also known for its Densuke watermelons that are known for their black rind and distinctly sweet taste. The Densuke watermelons can fetch up to 600,000 Yen (5,469.69 USD) per fruit.
Do I Need A Working Visa?
Yes, Japan has a strict immigration policy regarding work and all foreign workers need to have a valid working visa, even fruit pickers!
There are two types of Visas available for you to enjoy your fruit picking Japan experience.
This program is open for people from 18 to 30 years old. This is a great option for young adults looking to travel while still earning money during their gap year or taking a career break.
However, only 26 countries/regions are eligible for the Working Holiday program, as listed below:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
- Czech Republic
This visa is open to those who are 18 years old and above that are interested to work in 14 specific sectors in Japan. You must pass N4 or higher in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) and the Skills Evaluation test to get this visa.
The Specified Skilled Worker Visa is equal to a normal working visa, which means that you will be working a full-time job if you are going to Japan under this visa.
How Much Is The Salary Of A Fruit Picker In Japan?
Japan’s minimum wage is at an average of 930 Yen (8.47 USD) per hour. Different prefectures (states) in Japan have different minimum wage rates.
But, a fruit picker in Japan should expect to get paid around an average of 148,880 Yen (1,355.63 USD) per month.
Is Fruit Picking A Hard Job?
Fruit picking is after all a physical task, so it is vastly different from an office job. Your days will be spent using your strength to pick fruits, baskets and all sorts of things during working hours.
You would also be required to start your day early as farm work begins before the sun rises.
There will also be a lot of repetitive movements in doing the work.
You will definitely need comfortable and sturdy clothes to work in, so here are some recommendations on the best budget hiking pants for you to check out.
However, if you are an active and fit person, fruit picking is not such a hard task!
Consider it as a bonus, you’re getting a full-body workout in a new country to explore while getting paid for it. Woohoo!
What Are The Tasks I Have To Do As A Fruit Picker?
Being an employee of the fruit farm means that your task isn’t just limited to fruit picking.
General farm upkeep is also under the job responsibility, which means that you might have to cut grass and do some cleaning in addition to picking fruits.
You also might be expected to prune the fruit trees, pack the harvested fruits and other odds and ends.
Some small farms might also have livestock that you might have to handle as part of farm work.
When in doubt, it is best to clarify with the prospective employee first before signing on the job.
What Qualifications Do I Need?
You have to at least be a high school graduate as the job requires you to be able to do basic math and comprehension skills.
If you have prior experience regarding fruit picking or any agriculture work, that will be a bonus.
However, the main requirements for the job are your passion to learn, your discipline to perform at the job, and your willingness to do the tasks that you are required to do.
Do I Have To Be Fluent In Japanese?
Japan is a country that takes pride in its national language and many Japanese people have difficulty speaking English, especially in rural areas.
To work as a fruit picker in Japan, you don’t have to be fluent in Japanese.
You have to at least have a basic understanding of Japanese, which is Level N4 of the Japanese Proficiency Language Test (JPLT).
It is a working visa requirement to have a basic understanding of Japanese and it will also help you in doing your job smoother and reduce any misunderstandings.
Where Would I Stay During Fruit Picking Season?
Some employers provide accommodation as a package with the job. However, it depends on the employer to offer that.
If there aren’t any accommodations provided, an option for you is that you can rent an apartment.
There are several options in renting an apartment, the most affordable option being a studio apartment.
However, arranging where to stay and sorting out the renting process in a foreign country can be quite confusing.
The Japanese Ministry of Immigration has a good guide on finding housing for foreigners.
Alternatively, you can also stay at a ‘share house’.
A share house is a co-living space, where multiple tenants rent out rooms in the same building and tenants will share the common living spaces such as the kitchen and the bathroom.
Here is a list of websites where you can find share houses in locations that you will be working in:
- Sakura House. Sakura House has accommodations in Tokyo and Kyoto.
- Oakhouse. Oakhouse is well-established, covering 7 prefectures in Japan.
- Borderless House. Borderless House covers 4 prefectures in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe)
Living in a shared house means that you won’t feel too lonely as you will have people around you, and you might even make new friends!
For a more in-depth guide on affordable housing for foreigners in Japan, check out this epic guide to co-living in Japan.
Tips For Succeeding At Fruit Picking Jobs In Japan
Are There Fruit Pickers Groups In Japan?
It can be lonely when you start out at a new place, therefore it is important to have a support system so you don’t feel alone.
There is an increase of workers coming from the Philippines and Indonesia to work farming jobs in Japan.
Here are some groups that you can join on Facebook in order to get first-hand experiences and to even build a community before you get to Japan!
How To Make Sure The Employer Is Legitimate?
The employer will go through the proper procedures by registering you as their employee under the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Before hiring you as an employee, you would have to go through an employment interview and sign a contract with your employer.
Make sure to check details regarding the job such as:
- Contract period
- Job location and responsibilities
- What are the working hours? Will there be any overtime work?
- Break, holidays
- Wages, social insurance, other expenditures
The contract might be written in Japanese, so if you have any concerns regarding your employment, you can contact the Foreign Workers Consultation Service office.
Also please remember to register yourself at your country’s embassy or consulate in Japan once you are there so that you can get help in case anything happens.
What Is The Easiest Job To Get In Japan?
Under the Specified Skilled Workers Visa, 14 industries are specified for foreigners to be able to get jobs easily.
The 14 industries are:
- Care Worker
- Building Cleaning Management
- Machine Parts & Tooling
- Industrial machinery
- Electric, electronics and information
- Shipbuilding and Ship Machinery
- Automobile repair and maintenance
- Fishery & Aquaculture
- Manufacture of food and beverages
- Food service
Under agriculture industry, it is further divided into general crop and livestock farming.
Out of the 14 industries, farming jobs in Japan are one of the easiest jobs to get as the industry operates all year and does not require you to have experience in farming to join.
I hope that this article has given you some idea on fruit picking jobs in Japan, from looking for jobs to what you are required to do.
An important thing to remember is that you must get a valid visa before you go, as Japan is very strict on immigration and it’s better to be safe than sorry!
If you have any information regarding fruit picking jobs in Japan, feel free to comment below! Please share this article if you found it helpful.
A Brief Guide To Fruit Picking Jobs In Japan