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Working at RIKEN

The pages below offer basic information on working in RIKEN: positions, salaries, benefits, staff facilities and support systems.


RIKEN offers competitive salaries and benefits that are commensurate with experience and skills. Researchers will find that they are able to live comfortably in Japan.

Employment can be full-time or part-time and either on a discretionary or non-discretionary work system.

Discretionary work system

Most researchers and some technical staff are on the discretionary work system. Under this system employees are free to set their own work hours and are paid a base salary plus a discretionary work allowance in lieu of any further payment for overtime work.

Non-discretionary work system

Some technical staff and administrative employees are on the non-discretionary work system. Under this system, employees are required to work regular business hours and are paid extra hourly rates for overtime work.

Salaries for full-time positions are calculated as an annual remuneration paid on a monthly basis. There are as well a variety of allowances for those who are eligible. Mandatory taxes and social insurance premium payments, generally amounting to roughly 20% of gross salary, and mandatory membership dues for the RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (Kyosaikai) are automatically deducted from gross salary.

Major allowances and other payments made in addition to base salary

  • Discretionary work allowance (discretionary work system only)
  • Overtime pay (non-discretionary work system only)
  • Commuting allowance
  • Housing allowance


  • Health insurance premium
  • National pension premium
  • Science and Technology Pension Fund premium
  • Science and Technology Pension Fund supplementary pension premium
  • Long-term care insurance premium (only deducted for those age 40 and older)
  • Unemployment insurance premium
  • National income tax
  • Local residence tax
  • RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (Kyosaikai) dues

Welfare and Benefits

RIKEN employees enjoy the benefit of a generous vacation and leave package. Employees are encouraged to use their full quota of leave every year, and to make every effort to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Programs for work-life balance

RIKEN offers numerous programs to help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance, including generous provisions for maternity leave for women, childcare and family nursing care for both mothers and fathers, working-from-home opportunities, reinstatement programs after extended leave, special provisions for starting work late or leaving early, and much more.

Gender Equality Program

RIKEN aims to create a workplace where both men and women can give full rein to their talents and abilities. There are many support programs offered to make this possible. Women have a diverse choice of working styles compared to other places in Japan. Furthermore, RIKEN actively supports male employees who choose to take time off for childcare.

In case of any difficulties arising at work, personal support coordinators are available to meet with employees and offer support. Finding ways to change the overall work environment so that people can maintain a better work-life balance, in particular during their childcare years, is an important goal for RIKEN.

Paid leave

For full-time employees, annual paid leave is 20 days per fiscal year (from April to March of the following year), prorated according to the date of hire. In addition, RIKEN grants 7 days of summer vacation leave and various kinds of special paid leave for significant life events such as births, weddings, and deaths.

RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society (Kyosaikai)

Upon hire by RIKEN full-time employees are automatically enrolled in the RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society, better known by its Japanese name, the Kyosaikai, and a small membership is deducted from your salary every month. The RIKEN Mutual Benefit Society is an employee mutual aid society with around 3,500 members and provides a wide range of benefits, services, and events to promote interaction and exchange among all RIKEN employees and to otherwise help to create a pleasant and comfortable working environment for everyone.

Staff Facilities


Libraries are located at all of the major campuses and the RIKEN Library also provides access to online journals and other publications.

Campus cafeterias and shops Image of Main Cafeteria Main Cafeteria at Wako Campus

Several of the RIKEN campuses have their own cafeterias and coffee shops. At the Wako campus there is also a bookstore, two convenience stores, and even a barbershop. At other RIKEN locations, lunches can be bought from vendors and at nearby shops and restaurants.

Recreation facilities

Tennis courts, athletic fields and swimming pools can be found either on campus or near several RIKEN campuses. There are also local public gyms with excellent facilities that can be used for a minimal fee.

Childcare facilities

On-campus daycare facilities are located at the Wako, Yokohama and Kobe campuses. See the section on Children section for details.


The Wako, Yokohama, and Kobe campuses have help desks where foreign employees can find language assistance and other forms of support to help them adapt to life in Japan.

There are also health centers staffed by occupational nurses and doctors on each campus, counseling services, lawyers available to give legal advice, and an auditing and compliance office which oversees compliance issues.

Some information can be found on the website of the Wako support desk, and there are contact people at other campuses who can provide more information. If you have questions please send an email to pr (at) riken.jp, and we will forward it to the appropriate person.