I got a cultural visa to live in Japan and practice Judo

…for a year!

Cool eh?

I am excited.

So I came over here to Fukuoka, Japan about 5.5 months ago. I started off training a lot of jiu-jitsu and tried to get a visa through that school, but it didn’t work out.

Probably cause it was “Brazilian” jiu-jitsu. There’s not much of a difference between judo newaza and BJJ as BJJ was derived from judo.

And…

I tried to explain to the immigration officer how there were only like 5 teachers between me and Jigoro Kano – founder of judo. Yet, it didn’t work.

But that’s o.k. because I was planning on training judo too.

Ironically there are more places here to train BJJ than there are judo. Judo is popular in the school system, but after school it’s not that popular. I only found like 2 places in all of Fukuoka where adults could train compared to like 5 or more places for BJJ.

Anyways…

It cost me $40 to get my residence card after I received my COE (certificate of elgibility). I had to do a second application that looked almost identical to the COE, but was for a a change in residence status.

It took about a month to process after my application was submitted. I didn’t have to leave the country to get a new visa like I had to in China, Korea and Taiwan when I taught English there. I heard you could get these for karate or aikido too. And maybe for stuff like: archery, tea ceremony or other Japanese cultural things.

Anyways, it doesn’t permit you to work. You need your own money and you need to show them your accounts.

Then you need to find a school that wants to help.

How did I do it?

  1. Come over on a tourist visa
  2. Find a school and a Japanese cultural activity
  3. Fill out the application and have your school enter their info
  4. Create additional documents including your experience that is related like for me that was practicing judo and BJJ in the USA (photos of me in competitions and getting promoted in both BJJ and judo)
  5. Bank balances and or proof of income outside of Japan
  6. Submit and wait

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