So you are thinking about living and working in Japan!

By tokyobitcoiner | Cryptokyo | 9 Jul 2019

It's easier than you think! 
How about heading here for an adventure - and I assure you it will be an adventure!

But like the rest of us mere mortals of the class who have to work for a living (not Bitcoin OGs or ex-pats), you'll need some hard currency in your pocket to get by... and then, probably some more again... so the reality sets in...

...the reality of being in a foreign-land not speaking any/much of the local lingo beyond, konnichiwa, arigatou and sushi bento, and you almost certainly don't know the words, shigoto, hataraku or kyuryou, at least not yet...

but don't be dissuaded...

The good news is that whilst it is still an adventure on the senses and on the finances, there is a path (somewhat well-trod now), and phrases like "gaijin wa dame" ("no foreigners") uttered on a less frequent basis than in years past...

The most obvious and widely available way to get on the job-ladder in Japan and get coin into pocket is to teach ...

And you can apply for some jobs from outside Japan, get a working visa and then look for a different job. Like in the crypto field for example.

There are options for structured employment (in dedicated language schools, or, in the government's public school system), as well as and/or more freelance styled private lessons.

Look to companies such as; Gaba, Nova, Interac etc.

Whilst the requirement for "only an active pulse" has gone up in standard somewhat over the last several years, and some basic ability is requested, it is usually just that - basic.

Training is often provided (and paid for), as are texts and materials.
In some cases the more reputable employers may also pay your commute charges, and help finding you an apartment.

Teaching can be fun and a great way to to gain "initial immersion", and of course - get cash for rent and sustenance...

Do it too long and yeah, it potentially can become a brain zap - but it is a proven rung on the ladder, or a good gig for a short-term 1-2 year stay in Japan plan.

Find some relevant jobs at;
O-hayo Sensei

Or in paper-based resources such as TNB (Tokyo Notice Board) - (free and often found at bars and restaurants)
Metropolis Magazine is also a potentially useful resource - again free, and can be found at many bars and restaurants, as well as hotels and event spaces.

Some jobs will likely have visa requirements.
This means you will probably need to have a copy of your certified academic transcript or graduation certificate etc. available when you come.
There may also be a processing period (during which you may not be able to work). This article does not address this process.

Food for thought (and rent). Another option and area to look at. Hospitality.
There are also an increasing number of positions opening for cooks, bar & wait-staff and other hospitality industry related tasks.

Can you ski? Can you snowboard?
Seasonal (winter-mostly) positions are available in this area.
Head to Hakuba (Nagano), Naeba (Niigata), or Niseko (Hokkaido) as thriving hubs where foreign-staff on short-term gigs are in demand.
The pay not be high, but some accomodation and ski-lift pass are generally included in the arrangement.
That demand can also extend to bar staff, cooks, general lodge help etc

For those who are wanting to stay longer, and are aiming for a more office and consulting type assignment and environment, a position at a recruitment firm as a consultant can also be an effective strategy to getting into serious work, and serious money.
It can be hard going, but for those willing to undertake some training, put in the hours, and want to gain genuine skills in communication and negotiation, and potentially network with business leaders, this can be an interesting world-and culture-of-its-own.
Bonus - Often no Japanese language is required.
Try companies such as; Robert Walters, Hays, RGF to get a feel for how you may fit into that world.

Well, it may take a few mis-steps to find your way, but hey, isn't that part of the adventure (and memories for interesting stories to share with your mates when/if you return back home).

Increasingly Japan is opening up its doors to foreign-workers.
So come. Get your foot in the Japan job door. Get some cash in your pockets.
Have a plan, but you may however find that you never leave.

For those already well-qualified and with skills in high-demand areas; (of course Blockchain, but also IT Engineers, Digital Marketers, Project Managers, Chefs - to name a few hot areas at the moment), or perhaps speak Japanese well (N2 level), then see a forthcoming article on some other first-steps options, ideas and resources to accelerate your Japan-experience.


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tokyobitcoiner Survivor of numerous cycles, Tokyo resident


I’m just a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.

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