Studying Go in Japan


While many resources exist to explore the experiences of players who have studied in Japan as inseis, this page explores more accessible opportunities to study Go in Japan.

Table of contents


There are 3 different visa types that allow people to enter Japan for short periods:

  • Tourist visa - Up to 90 days, renewable once
  • Working holiday visa - Up to 1 year, some home countries require a renewal at 6 months
  • Cultural activities visa - Up to 3 years, though most are issued for 1 year, renewable (possibly indefinitely)

After one visa ends, it may be possible to continue to stay in the country on a tourist visa (if the tourist visa time period has not already been used).

Tourist Visa

As of 2017, most travelers can enter Japan for 180 days, though this requires leaving the country to renew the standard 90-day tourist visa. Note: This 90-day visa is renewable only once and the traveler must show immigration authorities proof that they have enough money to support themselves during their intended stay (probably a recent bank statement is required).

After the tourist visa expires, the visitor will have to leave Japan for at least 6 months.

Working Holiday Visa

Japan is one of the countries that participates in the working holiday visa program, which allows the visa holder to live and work in Japan for a full year. The working holiday program is intended for younger travelers. Most European countries participate and have an age range of 18 - 30 years old. While Canada, Australia, and Korea participate, the age range is 18 - 25 years old. Note: America does not participate.

Cultural Activities Visa

Ultimately, the most important visa for long-term stay is the cultural activities visa. Go is an approved cultural activity by Japan's Immigration Bureau. Presumably, this is the visa that most inseis will use to stay in Japan for extended periods.

More information can be found in the "Cultural Activities" section:


HookAndLoop: Anyone have experience with this visa? I am in Japan trying to change to this visa type, but am unable to find any information on it.

See Also:

Amateur Tournaments


Famous Go Clubs

Studying Go in Japan last edited by Weiqi1515 on September 26, 2020 - 13:48
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