This topic is something I was personally curious about before I actually looked into it for the latest Lifelines column. And though it seems like a bit of work, especially if you don't have contracts of some kind with some steady part-time employers, it's not impossible. In fact it might be a better option for quite a few folks, depending on what type of work you do.
So, how do you go about it? What kind of paperwork do you need? Check the link below for what you need to know:
Self-sponsored visas: a passport to freedom or a world of pain? | The Japan Times
Do any of you (who haven't already told me) have a self-sponsored visa? How easy or difficult was it to get?