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Balancing work and sightseeing: a guide to time management as a digital nomad in Japan

Japan is a beautiful and fascinating country that attracts many digital nomads. The country has a rich culture, delicious food, and stunning landscapes, making it a popular destination for remote workers. However, balancing work and sightseeing can be a challenge for digital nomads in Japan. In this guide, we will provide tips on time management to help you make the most of your trip to Japan while also staying productive.

1. Set Realistic Goals

Before you arrive in Japan, it’s essential to set realistic goals for your trip. What do you want to see and do? How much work do you need to accomplish? Be honest with yourself about how much time you can dedicate to sightseeing and work. This will help you plan your itinerary and schedule your workdays accordingly.

To set realistic goals, you can use a travel planner app or a simple spreadsheet to create a list of all the places you want to visit and the tasks you need to complete. Then, prioritize your list based on importance and your schedule. This will help you stay organized and avoid wasting time on activities that are not a priority.

2. Plan Your Work Schedule

Planning your work schedule in advance is crucial to balancing work and sightseeing. Make a list of tasks you need to complete and set deadlines for each one. This will help you stay on track and avoid procrastination.

It’s also important to set boundaries for your work schedule. Decide how many hours you will work each day and stick to it. This will help you avoid burnout and make time for sightseeing. For example, you can schedule your work in the morning and leave the afternoons free for exploring the city.

3. Use Your Commute Time Wisely

If you’re staying in a city, use your commute time wisely. Japan has an excellent public transportation system, so you can use this time to catch up on work. Bring your laptop or tablet and work on tasks that don’t require an internet connection. Alternatively, you can use this time to plan your sightseeing activities.

4. Take Advantage of Coworking Spaces

Japan has a growing coworking scene, so take advantage of these spaces. Coworking spaces provide a professional environment where you can work and network with other digital nomads. They also offer amenities like high-speed internet, meeting rooms, and coffee. This is a great way to stay productive while also meeting new people.

Some popular coworking spaces in Japan include:

  • Coworking Space NAGOYA
  • The Hive Jinnan
  • The Terminal Harajuku
  • Coconoma Season Dining & Coworking
  • Coworking Space Shibuya

5. Prioritize Your Sightseeing Activities

Japan has a lot to offer, so it’s important to prioritize your sightseeing activities based on your interests. Make a list of the places you want to visit and prioritize them based on your schedule. You can also use apps like TripAdvisor or Yelp to find popular attractions and restaurants.

Some popular sightseeing activities in Japan include:

  • Visiting temples and shrines
  • Exploring the cities and their unique neighborhoods
  • Trying local cuisine
  • Visiting museums and galleries
  • Hiking and exploring nature

6. Take Breaks

It’s important to take breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout. Take a walk, grab a coffee, or do some stretching exercises. This will help you stay focused and productive. It’s also important to take longer breaks to explore the city. Schedule time in your day to visit a museum, park, or temple.

7. Manage Your Time Effectively

Managing your time effectively is key to balancing work and sightseeing. Use a time-tracking app to monitor how much time you spend on work and sightseeing. This will help you stay on track and adjust your schedule if necessary. It’s also important to be flexible and adapt to unexpected changes in your schedule.

Some popular time-tracking apps for digital nomads include:

  • Toggl
  • RescueTime
  • Clockify
  • Harvest
  • Everhour


In conclusion, balancing work and sightseeing as a digital nomad in Japan requires time management skills and planning. Set realistic goals, plan your work schedule, use your commute time wisely, take advantage of coworking spaces, prioritize your sightseeing activities, take breaks, and manage your time effectively. With these tips, you can enjoy all that Japan has to offer while also staying productive as a digital nomad.

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