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Business & Media Internships in Tokyo

Business & Media Internships in Tokyo

Many startup companies in Japan have a global mindset, being oriented toward foreign markets and international sales. Business & Media interns in Tokyo contribute toward the cross-cultural exchange of ideas within these workplaces, while also engaging in reciprocal learning with their placements.

Internship Highlights:
  • Experience the renowned Japanese culture
  • Gain insight into what it's like to contribute to a Japanese company
  • Live in a sharehouse, getting to know other international interns or language students in Tokyo
  • Spend time in Tokyo, a fascinating city famous for its pop culture and traditional culture
Type of host organizations:
  • Tour companies and travel agents
  • Import-Export companies
  • Digital advertising firms
  • Language academies
  • Start up enterprises
  • E-Commerce providers
Fully hosted experience from $2459
Includes accommodation
Start dates every Monday
Minimum duration 5 weeks, up to 24 weeks maximum
Japanese language lessons available
Get job-ready with our Experiential Learning Curriculum
Internships align with UN Sustainable Development Goals
Eligibility requirements and Associated career paths
Eligibility requirement

At least one year of relevant college/university study in marketing, communications, business management, or a related field. Knowledge of social media marketing and digital communications is also required.

Language requirements

This internship is conducted in English. However, interns must come prepared to interact with others at times, who may speak limited English. All interns are encouraged to take advantage of in-country Japanese language lessons, which can be scheduled in conjunction with your internship.

Associated career paths

Copy Writer, Marketing & Content Manager, Digital Marketer, Sales Representative, Film & Video Editor, Graphic Designer, Product Development Manager, Brand Manager, Media Coordinator, Public Relations Consultant, Business Development Consultant, Entrepreneur

Internship details

Many startup companies in Japan have a global mindset, being oriented toward foreign markets and international sales. Business & Media interns in Tokyo contribute toward the cross-cultural exchange of ideas within these workplaces, while also engaging in reciprocal learning with their placements.

This is an in-country internship, with accommodation provided. Click here to view remote Business Administration & Start Ups internships that you can undertake from home.

Some startup companies in Japan have a global mindset, being oriented toward foreign markets and international sales. Business & Media interns in Tokyo contribute toward the cross-cultural exchange of ideas within these workplaces, while also engaging in reciprocal learning with their placements. Expected internship activities include assisting with social media marketing, blog writing, contributions to website text, search engine optimization, sales support, market research, and general business development activities.

Due to the broad scope of this internship field, a customized approach is taken toward matching each intern to their best placement opportunity. Interns are matched according to an analysis of their skills, experience, educational background, and duration of stay. The specific details of the assigned placement will be provided to interns who have confirmed their participation, prior to their chosen start date. We encourage applicants to submit a comprehensive application and state any placement/activity preferences when applying.

It is important to keep in mind that although interns are not required to speak Japanese, a language barrier may still be encountered to a certain extent. Interns should be prepared for the very natural and normal frustration of not always understanding what is being said around them. Most interns are able to have a successful internship experience and it is essential to come prepared and willing to surmount a language barrier, as opposed to being intimidated by it.

Interns should note that there is a strict professional dress code in Japan, which is very conservative. The culture and society is quite communal and it’s important to blend in. Clothing must be very tidy and quite formal. Dark, solid colors are best, worn with simple white shirts or blouses. Personal appearance must also conform to this conservative look, so interns should be aware that visible tattoos and piercings are traditionally not considered to be appropriate. Piercings are best removed for the internship and any visible tattoos would need to be covered in order to avoid causing offence. Hair should be naturally colored and kept very clean and tidy. Men should also be clean-shaven. Women are urged not to wear big earrings or other big jewellery. Makeup should only be worn lightly, in natural colors.

In all cases, interns should expect that the first week of your experience will focus on settling in and gaining some introductory knowledge, as you will not “hit the ground running”. Rather, you should start with learning about the placement to gain an understanding of what you can build upon, develop, learn, and contribute. Ensure that you ask questions and provide feedback during the introductory period, so that your supervisor understands how you’re progressing. This will help them to better understand important details, such as how quickly you learn, what you find challenging, what you find interesting, etc.

Understand and expect that individual internship experiences vary, as the specific placement that you’re assigned will depend on review of your resume and your current level of studies and experience. Therefore, if you’re at a more introductory level, you should reasonably expect a more introductory internship. Likewise, if you’re interning for a shorter duration, you will have a different experience from someone who is interning for a longer duration. Placement preferences are considered but always subject to availability.

Typical Schedule

  • The internship schedule runs Monday through Friday. Weekends are free time.

  • During the week, interns should expect to depart the accommodation between 7-8am, in order to commute to the placement, using the crowded Tokyo metro. (Just like millions of Japanese office workers do every morning!) Start time at your placement will be approx. 8-8:30am.

  • Lunch breaks are usually scheduled around 12:30 (where you would eat the “obento” that you bring or that you buy at a local “combini” or bento shop).

  • Between 6-8pm, professionals decide to finish for the day and head home from the office. In Japanese culture, often the whole workplace team will decide to dine together. While interns might wish to join their colleagues for an evening meal, it is not expected to do so every day. (Often, the team member who ranks highest in the company’s hierarchy pays for dinner for the whole group).

Career Benefits

Business & Media interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
  • Assisting the Japanese team members with addressing English-speaking international customers

  • Writing contents in English for the company’s website, social media and other communication channels

  • Making translations from Japanese to English (possibly with the help of Google translate), proof-reading and improving English texts

  • Researching, contacting and communicating with existing and new international business partners and clients

Professional development opportunities:
  • Get overseas experience in Japan, which is a country with a work culture totally different from yours, to set yourself apart from others on your resume

  • Learn how to master cultural differences and challenging situation with the help of our multinational team in Tokyo

  • Learn how to communicate in a work environment where you might encounter language barriers

  • Gain practical skills and boost your employability, with guidance from Intern Abroad HQ’s Experiential Learning Curriculum to support your learning and cultural intelligence.

Japan photo gallery

What recent interns said about their experience

LW
Lida Wen
July 2022

My internship experience allowed me to travel and meet new people with different cultural backgrounds, enhancing my job ready skills and cultural intelligence! The Business & Media internship in Japan enhanced my general professional abilities such as report writing, time management, teamwork and language abilities. I learned how to write competitor analysis reports and this helped me to have a better understanding of customers' needs. My roommates were from Germany and Austria and we talked about many interesting things such as food, traditions and festivals of one another's culture.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Our commitment to providing safe internship experiences

Academic credit available for all internships

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing an internship abroad or remote internship program with Intern Abroad HQ.

Learn about course credit

Program fees

It’s free to apply for this internship. Once we have reviewed your suitability and accepted you onto this program, you’ll need to pay a deposit of US$499 to confirm your place. The remaining balance of your Program Fee (less your initial US$499 deposit payment) will be due no less than 60 days before your internship start date.

Duration
Program Fee (USD)
5 weeks $2,459 Equivalent to $70 /day
6 weeks $2,569 Equivalent to $61 /day
8 weeks $2,774 Equivalent to $49 /day
10 weeks $3,254 Equivalent to $46 /day
12 weeks $3,464 Equivalent to $41 /day
16 weeks $4,154 Equivalent to $37 /day
20 weeks $4,844 Equivalent to $34 /day
24 weeks $5,534 Equivalent to $32 /day
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Program orientation
  • Dedicated support before, during, and after your internship
  • In-country guidance for social and tourist activities
  • Sourcing and securing your internship placement
  • Personalization of your internship plan
  • Coaching from your supervisor
  • Documented portfolio of your experiential learnings
  • Academic credit facilitation
  • International reference letter
  • Certificate of Internship Completion
  • All meals
  • All in-country transportation
  • Visa (if required), flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check
  • Transfer back to the airport at the end of your internship program
  • Personal spending money for snacks, drinks, public transport, laundry, and leisure activities during your free time.
  • A deposit of $499 (approximately 499) is required to secure your internship
  • Balance of your Program Fee is due 60 days before your internship start date.
  • All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.

Japanese language lessons

Japanese language ability is not a requirement for interns in Tokyo, however we encourage interns to take advantage of the opportunity to learn some basic skills, which can enhance enjoyment of being in Tokyo, while also increasing professional, social, and cultural competencies.

Japanese lessons are offered through our local team in Tokyo and can be arranged once internship participation has been confirmed. Interns who wish to study Japanese for the first time are recommended to take the Hiragana/Katakana or Conversation course. Interns with an existing foundation of Japanese understanding may wish to take a placement test and join a more intermediate class.

If you’re planning on taking beginner lessons prior to your internship, please note that there are set start dates for these classes, which typically begin at the beginning of each month. You should therefore consider your internship start date accordingly and ensure you have your schedule planned before you book flights.

Weekends and travel

Tokyo is renowned for providing visitors to Japan with a wonderful experience. The cleanliness and safety of the city, combined with entertaining culture and nightlife, world class cuisine, helpful locals, and incredible shopping, have put the city at the forefront of the world’s best cities. Due to the sheer size of Tokyo, which is made up of 23 municipalities/wards or “sub cities” there are seemingly endless places to explore. We won’t list them all here but some of the popular areas for visitors include Shinjuku, Taitō, Shibuya, and Chūō.

  • Chūō is historically the commercial center of Tokyo and it’s most famous district is Ginza. Ginza is Tokyo’s most iconic shopping area and has been the commercial center of Japan for centuries. If you want to shop till you drop, this is the place to start. Even if you just want to wander around to take in the sights, it’s still a stunning place to be. Within Ginza, you’ll also find the famous Kabuki-za Theatre (home to traditional Kabuki performances) and the Shimbashi Enbujo Theatre (where Azuma-odori dances and Bunraku performances are held). The drama and comedy of performances at these theatres are relatively easy to follow. Be aware, shows at the Kabuki-za Theatre can often last for hours. Spectators stay as long as they want and comings and goings throughout are not considered offensive.

  • Since the end of the second World War, Shinjuku has rivalled Ginza as a major commercial center. The Shinjuku Station is one of the busiest in the world. Within this sub-city, you can check out the lively entertainment districts of Kabukicho and Shinjuku Golden-Gai. If you want to shop for electronics, then the huge stores surrounding the Shinjuku Station are the place to go.

  • One of Tokyo’s most famous sites is in Shibuya - the Scramble Crossing and Center-Gai. Young people are attracted to the area for music and fashion. However, if you’re looking for some green space within the city, you’ll enjoy the Meiji Shrine complex, located in an evergreen forest and enjoyed by many as a popular recreation and relaxation area.

  • The city’s largest green area is Ueno Park, located within Taitō. Apart from the gardens, Ueno park also includes one of the largest aquariums in Asia, plus lots of other temples and museums to explore (such as the National Museum of Western Art, where you can check out canvases by Cézanne, Monet, Manet, and Degas). Although Taitō is the smallest of Tokyo’s wards, it’s also home to Sensō-ji (Tokyo’s oldest temple, originally founded in 645 AD), as well as Tokyo National Museum, which houses much of Japan’s art and national treasures, and the National Museum of Nature and Science (“Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan”). The latter is Japan’s oldest museum but also includes interesting modern displays on the latest scientific and technological advances.

Arrival and Orientation

Internships in Japan begin every Monday and interns may choose to spend a minimum of 5 weeks, up to a maximum of 12-24 weeks (depending on the temporary visitor visa conditions which are held by the intern). Exceptions to start date availability may occur when start dates are closed due to public holiday / festival disruptions or if the program has already reached capacity.

Airport pick up is included in the program fee. In order to receive this airport pick up, interns may fly into either the Tokyo International Airport (commonly known as Haneda International Airport - HND) or the Narita International Airport (also known as Tokyo Narita Airport - NRT). Interns are required to arrive on the Friday before their Monday start date, between 8am and 8pm. An extra charge applies to any airport pickups outside this timeframe. (If you arrive prior to 8am on the designated arrival date, then please wait until 8am for your pickup time). Upon arrival, interns will be met, greeted, and transferred by public transport (shuttle bus and/or train) to the accommodation.

Orientation typically takes place on the Monday and covers important details for your internship, including introductions, information about culture, customs, rules, expectations, safety, language lessons, cultural excursions, and more. Your specific internship placement orientation will follow the general orientation, as you’ll be shown how to travel to and from your internship and be introduced to the team you’ll be joining.

The last night of the accommodation is the Thursday night of the final week, leaving interns free to depart on Friday. You are responsible for organizing your own return transport to the airport, however our local team will be happy to assist with arrangements or provide guidance for taking the metro.

Please note that all participants are advised not to book flights until they have first registered to confirm their internship placement.

Check what’s required to visit Japan

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Accommodation and WiFi

All interns in Tokyo are accommodated in dormitory rooms, within a sharehouse. Bedding is provided and guests have access to their own lockers within the rooms, for safe-keeping personal items. Shared dormitory rooms typically accommodate between 4-8 guests at any given time. Bathrooms are shared and common areas such as lounge, kitchen and laundry facilities are available at the accommodation for interns to access (there is a small fee per use for laundry machines).

It is important to be aware that sometimes the dormitories may be mixed-gender but efforts are typically made to ensure that rooming arrangements are same-sex, whenever possible. For those who would prefer to stay in a twin-share room within the sharehouse (sharing with just one another guest, for more privacy) accommodation upgrades are available, at an additional cost. Please ask us about this in advance if you’re interested - accommodation upgrades are subject to availability.

All interns are required to pay a fully refundable deposit upon arrival to the accommodation, at orientation/check- in. This is refunded to you upon check- out, provided that you have left your room and the house’s installations in proper conditions, as approved by local managers.

Due to the expanse of Tokyo, it’s normal to commute between the accommodation and internship placements via the Tokyo Metro. The normal commute time can be at least one hour and may require changes of metro line and platform. However, the system is efficient, precise and user-friendly, making it easy to get around and discover Tokyo.

Meals

Internships in Tokyo do not include meals. Living at the shared house accommodation provides kitchen facilities where you are welcome to prepare your own meals and snacks. There are also dining options that work on a student budget, which are hearty and delicious. Smaller establishments (often counter-style) serve staples such as ramen noodles and yakitori (grilled chicken on skewers). A recommended budget of at least 2,000 Japanese yen per day (about US$20) is suggested for meals. Tap water in Japan is safe to drink.

Bear in mind that a recommended budget can vary significantly, as your personal spending habits and lifestyle choices are going to impact how much you spend. If you want to eat out all the time, this is going to cost you a lot more than accessing markets and being more conservative with your spending. In Tokyo, a typical fast food meal costs approx. US$5 and a coffee might set you back about US$3. A meal in a middle-class restaurant for two people costs on average US$40.

Essential country information

Capital Tokyo
Population 127 million
Languages Japanese
Currency Japanese Yen (JPY)
Time zone UTC+09:00
Weather and climate:

The climate of Japan varies from north to south, and west to east. Summers in Tokyo are short, warm, muggy and wet. This season typically lasts from late June through mid/late September. The warmest month of the summer season is usually in August, when the temperature averages 80°F (26°C).

The cooler months are from early December to late March. During the winter, the coldest month of the year is typically January, with an average temperature of 41°F (5°C).

Tokyo experiences rainfall year round but the summer months are typically wetter than the winter time. September is usually the wettest month, with December generally being the driest.

Cherry blossoms are the obvious draw to Tokyo in the springtime (early March through early June) - it’s also one of the most popular times to visit Japan, so it’s important to plan travel and book flights in advance. While the weather is mild in spring, there may still be the occasional hot or rainy day.