27 Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Japan To Start 2023

Last Updated on September 2, 2022

This list includes profitable businesses you can start or invest in as a small business in Japan. You can also read about small business ideas in USA, UK, Germany, Australia, and Canada.

Small Business Ideas in Japan

According to the World Bank, Japan ranks 29th out of 190 economies in terms of ease of doing business. Japan is the third largest economy in the world after the United States and China.

Japan’s GDP per capita (PPP) was $38,937 in 2016, according to data released by the International Monetary Fund.

The major industries in Japan are automotive, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel, nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, and processed foods.

Overall, Japan is the third-largest automobile manufacturer in the world.

The country has a highly developed integrated infrastructure of roadways, railways, airports, sea harbors, warehouses, and communication facilities. This helps companies in creating a robust distribution mechanism for the delivery of goods and services.

Doing business in Japan has strategic advantages and economic advantages. It is possible to establish a business entity in Japan in just 14 days, and a successful business in Japan can generate a significant portion of global profits in 3-5 years.

All these data and statistics are proof of the better business-friendly climate in Japan.

So if you live in Japan or you intend to relocate with the purpose of starting a business in Japan, then it might interest you to go through this article as you will learn about some of the most profitable small business ideas in Japan that you can start.

27 Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Japan

1. 3D Printing Company

Japan is one of the world’s technological hotspots, which means starting a 3D printing business is likely to be a success. If you have a 3D company, you will be involved in all aspects of 3D printing and rapid prototyping services such as 3D printing rapid prototyping, 3D printing support services, selective laser sintering (SLS), fused deposition modeling (FDM), stereo lithography (SLA) and other related 3D printing and rapid prototyping services. It is still a green and very profitable business.

2. Start an Animation Studio

An animation studio is a company that is involved in the production of animated media. Such companies conceive of products to produce, own the physical equipment for production, employ operators for that equipment, and hold a major stake in the sales or rental of their animation works.

This type of business is not capital intensive and you can start the business from your savings and from your home office. If you are hardworking and you have the right network in place, you can generate your start-up capital from one business deal. One good thing about this type of business is that you can combine it with other business without over working yourself.

3. Open an Ayurveda Clinic

There are massive business opportunities in the alternative medical practice industry and starting an Ayurveda clinic is one of them. This line of business is thriving and profitable in Japan. If you are interested in starting a business in the alternative medical practice, then you should consider opening your own Ayurveda clinic business. When it comes to starting an Ayurveda clinic, your mode of operation must be clear. So also, you should make use of herbs that are non – toxic and does not contain heavy metals.

4. Start a Biotech Company

A biotech company is one of the businesses that is bound to thrive in Japan. There are several fields that need the input of biotech companies. Fields like medicine and pharmacy, agriculture (hybrid food production, hybrid bird production, hybrid animal production et al.) and non-food industries (used in the production of biodegradable plastics and bio – fuels et al).

Although some people still have their reservation when it comes to the use biotechnology in agriculture, but the fact remains that it has contributed in no small measure in the increase and ease of cultivating crops and rearing of birds and animals.

5. Biodegradable Plastic Bag Manufacturing Company

The retailing industry has fully embraced the use of biodegradable plastic bags due to the fact that the world is going the way of climate change. This goes to show that there is indeed a very large market for biodegradable plastic bags in our world; hence loads of investors are pitching their tent in the biodegradable plastic bag manufacturing industry.

Biodegradable plastic bags manufacturers are part of the bioplastics manufacturing industry and players in this industry manufacture organic plastics derived from renewable biomass sources. Designed to biodegrade, bioplastics are made from sources such as vegetable oil, cornstarch, pea starch or microbiota.

6. Biodiesel Production Company

If you are looking for a green energy business to start in Japan, a business that can easily get support and even funding from the government, then one of your options is to start a biodiesel production company. Biodiesel which happens to be a good substitute for the conventional diesel is a renewable fuel that doesn’t pollute the environment and it can comfortably work on any diesel-powered machine. Biodiesel is produced from cooking / vegetable oil, animal fats, soybean oil and any other reliable source of fats and oil.

7. Open a Botox Clinic

A large percentage of people consider that their facial outlook is not what they want, and would love to have it modified, and this is done with the aid of Botox. This goes to show that Botox clinic business is a thriving and profitable business to venture into if you are considering starting a business in Japan.

Botox is a drug that is prepared from botulin, used medically to treat certain muscular conditions and cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing facial muscles. A Botox clinic provides non – medical services to clients and also assist clients with cosmetics related surgery or plastic surgery as it is known in some quarters.

8. Open a Car Assembling Plant

A car assembling plant is of course one of the many businesses that an accredited investor can start in Japan and the owner of the business can still penetrate the global market by simply exporting his or her cars to other countries of the world. Please note that starting a car assembling plant business also needs significant investment capital, solid planning, and concentration to detail in order to keep your business profitable.

9. Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulb Manufacturing Company

A compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb manufacturing company can come in handy if you have the business exposure and financial requirements and you are looking towards starting a business in Japan. If you choose to start this type of business, you will be involved in the manufacturing of a wide range of products, which includes electric light bulbs, tubes, parts and components amongst others.

10. Start Cloud Computing Company

Another thriving business that an entrepreneur can start in Japan is cloud computing business. Cloud computing is an emerging paradigm computing concept that enables both information technology infrastructure and software to be delivered directly over the Internet as a service.

This is an arrangement that enable companies to expand their network capacity, and run applications directly on a vendor’s network, offers a host of advantages with the most primary being radically lower IT costs. The lower budgetary requirements and commitments allow even smaller companies to piece together an IT project without spending on purchasing legacy server, and storage systems.

11. Commercial Drone Delivery Business

Commercial drone delivery business is one of the many businesses that emerge with the advent of new technology and can comfortably be started in Japan. A commercial drone delivery business involves helping your clients deliver their packages or goods via drones to any destination of their choice.

With this type of business, you can choose to own a store (online or offline) if you have the financial capacity to, or you can choose to operate without a store. The bottom line is that you should know how to get goods delivered to your customers via drones.

12. Start an ICT Consulting Business

Another business that can be started in Japan is an ICT consulting business. As an ICT consulting firm, your core responsibility is to improve your client’s business by effecting changes in response to your analysis; you should be able to change the fortune of the business within an agreed timeline.

Corporations are willing to pay expensive fees as long as they are going to get results. No business person will be willing to pay you for an IT consulting service if you don’t have a track record that shows that you know what you are doing.

13. Start a Courier Service

If you are looking for a business to start in Japan, one of your options is to start a courier service. As a courier service, you will provide air, land, see or combined express courier delivery services of parcels, documents and packages for individual and corporate clients. Courier and delivery companies generally provide services between metropolitan areas or urban centers and form a network that includes local, national and international pickup and delivery to serve customers’ needs.

14. Credit Card Processing Company

As an aspiring entrepreneur with vast experience in the financial industry, one of the business opportunities you can start in Japan is a credit card processing business. Although you need ample hands-on-experience with good track record to be able to attract well – paying clients, but that does not stop you from still making a headway in this line of business. As a credit card processing company, you are expected to offer financial transaction processing, reserve and liquidity services and check or other financial instrument clearinghouse services.

15. Data Mining and Analytic Company

If you are a data enthusiast and you are looking for a research-based consulting business to start in Japan, then one of your options is to start a data mining and analytics business. The fact that everyone in business has a product or service to sell makes this line of business a viable and profitable business venture.

As a data mining and analytics company, your job responsibility is to develop software for data mining. Data mining is the process of extracting patterns from large data sets. The truth is that this industry is highly profitable because every business would want to increase sales and make profits.

16. Dental Handpiece Repair Business

Starting a dental handpiece repair business is yet another business that can be started in Japan. Dental handpiece repair requires detailed technical skills. The fact that loads of people are not involved in this type of business does not mean that it is not a profitable business.

17. Start a Diamond Cutting and Polishing Company

If you have a penchant for diamond and jewelries, you can make good money if only you can be willing to start your own diamond cutting and polishing business in Japan. Diamond cutting and polishing business is not common in countries with rich deposit of diamonds, but it has a very high profit margin.

People that are involved in the cutting and polishing of diamond would admit that they are making huge returns on their investment. If you intend starting your own diamond cutting and polishing business in Japan, then you must take out time to learn the trade.

18. Open a Yoga Studio

A yoga studio is yet another thriving business that is highly suitable to start in Japan. Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline that focuses on breath control, flexibility and strength and it originated in india. The Yoga industry covers dance and exercise facilities that offer Yoga, Pilates and in some cases dance related instruction to individuals or groups.

19. eWaste Recycling Business

There are diverse areas of specializations in the recycling industry and one of them that you can specialize in is to go into e- Waste Recycling business. It is a business that is highly profitable especially as electronic – technology continues to advance.

All you need to launch an e – waste recycling business is the machines and equipment needed. You should also know how to operate them, have a good knowledge of where to collect e-wastes and where to sell them. Be also aware of the legislation guiding the industry as well as have strong entrepreneurial skills and perseverance.

20. Start Equipment Rental Business

An equipment rental business is yet another thriving business that can be started in Japan. There are loads of technicians, and artisans who don’t have the required capital to acquire the equipment needed to run their business but can afford to rent such equipment.

Much more than technicians and artisans, some organizations also rent equipment to carry out a project or job because it is cost effective for them to rent as against out – rightly purchasing such equipment. Ideally, people would prefer to rent equipment to do a one-off job.

21. Glasses & Contact Lens Manufacturing Company

Another ideal business that is bound to thrive in Japan is glasses & contact lens manufacturing business. Glasses & contact lens manufacturing business is involved in the manufacturing of ophthalmic goods, comprising of eyeglass frames and lenses and contact lenses.

Just ensure that you explore the international market because there is indeed a large market for eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses and protective eyewear. As a matter of fact, prescription lenses are essential to the visually impaired, insulating this product segment from economic downturns.

22. Start Fire safety equipment Manufacturing Company

One of the businesses that can be started in Japan is fire safety equipment manufacturing company. If you start a fire safety equipment manufacturing company, you will be involved in the manufacturing and installation of fire safety equipment or devices such as fire alarm, sprinklers, fire blanket, fire signage, fire hose reels, fire extinguishers and related equipment intended to limit the spread of fire, high temperatures, and smoke.

23. Start Fruit and Vegetable Retail Store

If you are considering starting a fruit and vegetable retail store business in Japan, good news is that you can’t get it wrong. This is because various types of vegetables and fruits are consumed by almost everybody and all over Japan.

It is important to state that starting a vegetable and fruits retail store business comes with its own fair share of challenges, but that does not rule out the fact that it is indeed a profitable business venture, especially if you locate the business in good location and you know how to source for fresh fruits and vegetables that are generally consumed in the location where you have you retail outlet.

24. Start an Internet Service Provider (ISP) Company

If you are ICT inclined, you have the startup capital and you are looking towards starting a business in Japan, one of your best bets is to start an Internet Service Provider (ISP) company. There is indeed a huge global market for the services rendered by Internet Service Provider (ISP) companies. All you need to do to attract clients and maximize profits as a newbie is to ensure that your business is well – publicized, you reduce downtime to the barest minimum and your fees are affordable.

25. Open a Laundromat

Another business that is bound to thrive in Japan is laundromat. As the name implies, a self-service laundry or coin wash or laundromat is a laundry facility where people come in to personally wash and dry their clothes. Technically, customers provide their own labor and still pay the for making use of the laundry equipment available.

Customers have the option of paying with coins which is the popular payment option, and they can also pay via swipe cards that subtract the cost of the wash or dry, or even via mobile money. Despite the fact that customers provide their own labor, some owners of laundromat still employ staff to man or provide assistance to customers.

26. Start Medical Device Development Business

Another thriving business that can be started in Japan is medical device development business. Medical device development businesses develop and manufacture various devices that are used in the healthcare industry. Just like most businesses, the medical device development business is open to as many people that are interested in the industry as long as they have the required experience and qualifications.

27. Open a Martial Arts School

If you are a professional and a warrior in martial arts, you can generate huge profits from your passion by simply establishing a martial arts school to teach people on martial arts. In recent time, it has become necessary for children and young adults to learn martial arts not just for the fun of it, but for self – defense. With the growing rate of crimes like kidnapping, rape, and so on in our society, it has become needful for the skill of martial arts to be learnt from an early age. It is important to state at this juncture that starting a martial art school requires someone who has practiced the art for at least 10 years, someone who understands the industry and someone who has enough money saved up.


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