Teach English in or near: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kaizo, Yokohama

Japan is a cultural standalone in many ways among its Asian counterparts – a unique experience for tourists, travellers and TEFL graduates. Consisting of a string of densely populated islands, most of the landmass is mountainous (including 200 volcanoes – Mount Fuji being the most famous), surrounded by a beautiful coastline and opportunities for outdoors activities abound. If skiing is your thing, then Japan in winter is hard to beat, with some excellent ski resorts making the most of thick powdery snows. There are also numerous hot springs in Japan thanks to the volcanic landscape.

Japan is a highly developed and sophisticated country, very clean and cultured, though the cost of living is higher than in Southeast Asia and Indochina.  Japan is also known for an almost 100% literacy rate, a proud but exceptionally hospitable populace, thousands of temples and shrines, cherry blossoms in the springtime and undeniably superb cuisine – including sushi of course!

Public Schools

Teaching as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) within the Japanese public school system allows teachers to experience Japan in a very unique way. ALTs work alongside a Japanese teacher in elementary or junior high schools. This job is especially good for those who wish to pursue teaching as a profession.

 Private Language Schools

Working for private language institutes in Japan is perfect for those who have a business mindset. Flexibility is key! Students range from kindergarten to adults and working shifts range from day to evening shifts. In-depth teacher training and support is offered before and during your contract. Performance incentives make teaching exciting, motivating, and fun. If you are hardworking and wish to stay in Japan, there is plenty of room for growth. Private school jobs are great for teachers who are flexible and eager to explore Japan. Jobs are available throughout the year, but the application process can be lengthy, so plan in advance.

 The JET Programme:

 The Japanese government has been running the JET programme since the late ’80s. (JET stands for Japan Exchange and Teaching.) Native English speakers are placed as Assistant Language Teachers in public schools across Japan.

 Private Lessons:

Many foreign nationals give private lessons, often teaching in cafes one-on-one with students. There are no qualifications required for this, though you will need to ensure any work you do is compatible with your immigration status. There is more potential business in the large cities, particularly for anyone looking to do this as a full-time job.

Monthly SalaryPublic and Private school 200,000 to 600,000 YEN.
Teaching Hours25 to 30 hours per week
Class sizePublic 25 – 30 students. Private 1 – 15 students.
AccommodationAssistance provided.
AirfareTeacher pays
Start datesPublic is Mar/Apr and Aug/Sep Private is every month
 Requirements Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certificate


Japan has more than 50,000 people who are over 100 years old

More than 70% of Japan consists of mountains, including more than 200 volcanoes

Japan consists of over 6,800 islands

The average delay time for trains is just 18 seconds

Japan’s birth rate is so low that adult diapers are sold more than baby diapers

Sleeping on the job is acceptable in Japan, as it’s viewed as exhaustion from working hard