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Traveling to Japan on a Budget & Making Money


Do you dream of a trip to the land of the rising sun? For tourists visiting Asia, Japan is one of the most popular destinations. What if you could fund your travels by working part-time or full-time as you experience the best the country has to offer?

There are thousands of English teaching jobs in Japan available for qualified individuals. Here’s a brief introduction to what you need to know about living and working in Japan.

The Benefits of Working as an English Teacher in Japan

Japan is a country with a rich cultural heritage. The architecture and city planning is a blend of traditional values and modern technology. Visit the outer-lying provinces, and you’ll find plenty of “Minka” – traditional houses, featuring tatami flooring, sliding screen doors, and wooden “engawa” verandas.

Just a few miles away from the calm, serene landscapes of the countryside, lies the urban sprawl of some of the world’s most populous cities. Tokyo is an urban sprawl like no other – with skyscrapers, high-fashion retail outlets, and gourmet restaurants. Enjoy an authentic sushi meal after browsing the luxury stores, and then head out to experience the nightlife.

There’s something for everyone’s activity tastes in Japan, from snowboarding on the powder-packed peaks of the mountain ranges of Hakuba, and Niseko – to lounging on the beaches of Miyakojima, or the island of Okinawa.

The Japanese are friendly people, with a structured society. English teachers will benefit from the values parents teach their children, including respect for elders and others. Instructing class is rarely disruptive, and you can expect to receive plenty of lesson plan ideas for your students.

The Japanese Working Culture

Japanese people work hard. They come from a society where people value the nature of productivity and results. If you travel through the business districts of Kyoto and Tokyo, you’ll see plenty of lights still burning in the tall office towers, well into the early hours of the morning, as employees meet deadlines.

As an English teacher, your obligation to your work requires top-priority status, and your employer will demand your best ability. However, employers realize you are foreign, and won’t hold you accountable to the extraordinarily high standards set for local employees.

That doesn’t mean you can’t work hard. Teaching public school during the day, and tutoring business people or students in the afternoons and evenings will earn you a good salary each month.

Choose to work in a public or private school, or teach English to businesspeople. Whatever model you choose to follow – you should expect to produce results for your students, or they will find someone else.

What You Need to Work as an English Teacher in Japan

Most Japanese schools and tutoring firms require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree. However, you may be able to circumvent this requirement I English is your first language. You’ll also need to complete an ESL or TEFL course to qualify you as an English teacher suitable to work in the country’s education system.

A Land of Opportunity

Japan has so much to offer traveling English teachers. The Japanese expression, “ganbatte,” translates to “you can do it.” or “do your best.” Take this to mind when you fill out your application, and, Ganbatte!