By Jon Duckett
Experienced TEFL teacher and director at TEFL Jobs World
Working in Japan is an amazing experience. TEFL jobs in Japan are plentiful and schools are usually very helpful in assisting teachers to settle in to the way of life.
Japan is well known for it’s bustling and ultra-modern cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, but there is so much more to discover. There is still a wealth of historical buildings that remain in the country despite frequent earthquakes and the destruction that took place during World War 2. Kyoto and Nara in the Kansai region of central Japan are two of the best examples. Kyoto has numerous ancient temples and monasteries located in districts around the outskirts of the city. Nara is home to Nara Koen a huge parkland with historic shrines and the worlds largest wooden building which houses a 50 foot statue of Buddha. Additionally there is an abundance of natural beauty including Mount Fuji, the wilderness areas of Hokkaido and the subtropical islands of Okinawa.
Japan is very strong economically and wages are the highest in Asia. Teachers can earn well but its not necessarily a great place to save money as living expenses are also relatively high. At private language schools teachers earn around 250,000 Yen ($3,000) per month. Accommodation costs are around 60,000-80,000 yen a month to rent your own apartment, and some schools subsidize teacher’s rent. Buying food at the supermarket in Japan can be relatively expensive, but conversely eating out can be fairly cheap. It’s possible to buy noodle dishes from around $6 and set meals with around five small dishes start at about $10. A beer is $5-10 depending on the establishment.
Finding a job in Japan can be hard if you are looking from outside the country. The smaller schools usually required teachers to be already in Japan with a valid working visa. Most teachers initially get work in Japan with one of the large language school chains that recruit internationally and then after they have been in the country some time defer to a smaller school. Unlike Korea teachers in Japan are not tied to one school with their working visa, and can change jobs easily using the same visa. TEFL jobs in Japan don’t usually require a TEFL certificate, but a degree is needed to obtain the work visa.
Check out our job board for TEFL jobs in Japan.