Universal Studios Japan to Hire Hundreds of Foreigners Amid Tourist Boom – What This Means for Your Japan Trip

As Japan welcomes back record numbers of international visitors, one of its top attractions is making bold moves to cater to the diverse needs of guests. Universal Studios Japan (USJ) in Osaka has announced plans to more than double its foreign employee headcount by the end of 2024.

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USJ LLC, the park’s operator, aims to bring on 200 additional staff from countries like South Korea and Taiwan through one-year working holiday programs. This will grow their foreign talent pool to nearly 400, up from about 180 in January.

Rising Number of Foreign Visitors to Japan

  • USJ LLC, operator of Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, plans to more than double foreign employees by year-end
  • Foreign visitors jumped 6x to 25.07 million in 2023

The move comes as Japan has seen an astounding resurgence in inbound tourism, with visitor numbers jumping sixfold to over 25 million in 2023 alone. The perfect storm of relaxed COVID-19 border restrictions and a favorably weak yen have made Japan a top destination once again.

To meet the language needs of this influx of guests, USJ is partnering with temporary staffing agencies to find foreign nationals with strong Japanese skills. The park has already held recruiting events in Taiwan and South Korea to attract top talent.

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In March, a pilot group of 9 workers from Taiwan got a crash course in Japanese hospitality, with training on customer service and restaurant operations. They then put their skills to the test at Super Nintendo World, one of the park’s most popular attractions, especially among international guests.

“I would like to provide great services to park guests by making the most of my knowledge,” shared a 27-year-old Taiwanese employee fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese.

While Japanese staff are equipped with translation devices, USJ recognized the need for native speakers to truly elevate the guest experience. “We will push forward the hiring and nurturing (of foreign employees) by focusing on quality,” emphasized Takanobu Okawara from USJ’s human resources department.

For Americans dreaming of a Japanese adventure, this international approach by USJ is welcome news. Although known for their incredible service, language barriers can sometimes hamper the experience at Japanese attractions.

USJ’s commitment to multilingual support means visitors can spend less time fumbling with translation apps and more time immersed in the magic of the park. After all, nothing ruins the excitement of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter like struggling to order a butterbeer.

This move also opens up exciting opportunities for Americans looking to live and work abroad. The working holiday program allows young people to experience Japanese culture firsthand while gaining valuable job skills in a world-class tourist destination.

As Japan continues to open its doors to the world, Universal Studios Japan is setting a high bar for international hospitality. With a team of diverse talent dedicated to helping guests make lifelong memories, a visit to USJ should be top of the list for any American planning a Japan trip.

So whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a Nintendo fan, or a Minion devotee, get ready for an unforgettable adventure at USJ – now powered by a global workforce committed to making your experience truly magical.

User Comments

  1. “It’s great to see USJ adapting to the needs of international visitors. As someone planning a trip from the US, I appreciate their effort to provide multilingual services.”
  2. “I worked at USJ on a working holiday before and it was an amazing experience. The training was thorough and really prepared me to assist guests. Highly recommend it!”
  3. “While I understand the need for more foreign staff, I hope USJ still maintains the unique Japanese hospitality and atmosphere that makes it special.”
  4. “As an American who frequently visits Japan, I think this is a smart move by USJ. Communication is so important for a good guest experience at a major attraction like this.”
  5. “200 foreign employees sounds like a lot, but with millions of visitors, I wonder if it will be enough. Hopefully they continue to scale up as tourism grows further.”

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