“Great to visit, but difficult to live in”

“Great to visit, but difficult to live in”

Japan welcomes guests, Kobe City welcomes communities.


Great to Visit

Japan is known internationally for its technological innovation, youth culture, friendly people, efficient public transportation, cuisine, and clean safe cities. And with so many interesting things to do and see, Japan is also a rapidly growing tourist destination. An entire generation of young people from across the globe consider it a “must visit” destination during their lifetime.

Japan rush hour

Difficult to Live In

Japan is also internationally known for having a restrictive and rigid business culture with complex bureaucracy and regulations, and for accepting different cultures as no more than guests or experiences. It can take a considerable amount of time and energy to learn the Japanese language and both social and business customs. In most places in Japan, as hard as you try to assimilate, you're always reminded you're a guest rather than a resident. For non-Japanese ventures who are considering starting a business in Japan, these kinds of restrictions can seem daunting and insurmountable.

While Japan has seen growth in foreign operated businesses since the 90s, those are predominantly businesses where the product or service is tied in to their “foreignness”. While also welcome, we’re trying to grow even bigger things by creating an environment that values foreign operated businesses regardless of their industry.

KOBE Breaks the Mold

Kobe City isn’t trying to find non-Japanese startups to fill some kind of quota, nor are we simply making it easier for international entrepreneurs to work temporarily in Japan. We’re undertaking an active search for the best and brightest innovators from around the globe to bring them into our startup ecosystem. Because together we can work together to shape the world of tomorrow. Local, global, we’re all part of the same ecosystem.


Bring your business & culture and let us learn from you; our ecosystem wants you just as you are.