Hi, I’m Adam and this is my experience of dwelling and educating English in Tokyo.
I’ll cover finding a job, necessities for educating English in Japan, getting somewhere to stay, and the every day stuff that you need to cope with as a ‘gaijin’, foreigner.
All you will have to know in case you are fascinated with educating in Japan yourself. I assume doing this chronologically would make sense so I’ll begin at first.
Making use of to Be an English Teacher in Japan
I came to Japan in August 2015 to work as an English instructor. I found my job before I left the UK via tefl.com, an English educating job portal.
The job was with Shane English Faculty, one of many many eikiwas (English conversation faculty) in Japan.
Having a job to go to helped me lots with getting my visa, I have a 5 yr visa whereas lots of gaijin in Japan only appear to get given a yr.
The minimum requirements for getting a work visa in Japan are a bachelors degree in something.
To get my 5 yr Japan working visa I needed to ship my unique certificates to the company based mostly in Tokyo, which was a bit of worrying sending them to the other aspect of the world, in order that they might examine the documents after which sponsor my visa.
Getting the Japan working visa printed in my passport I had to go to the Japanese embassy in individual, as in typical Japanese fashion they don’t accept purposes by publish, and the 2 in the UK are in London and Edinburgh.
So, I drove to London from Manchester to get my visa.
Thankfully it was executed in a day so I didn’t should make the journey twice.
Finding an Condo in Tokyo
I booked my flight and then went about finding someplace to reside in Japan.
Properly, I used to be lazy and I received my accommodation executed via my new employer who set new staff up with their very own condominium, robust word for the kind of housing in Japan.
The condo was in Tokyo, although not central Tokyo, and not likely anyplace close to Tokyo… But I was to seek out all this out on my arrival.
So my departure day got here spherical and it was time for me to say goodbye to friends and family and board the flight east.
Once I acquired to Tokyo I met two of my new colleagues at Narita airport and we have been escorted to Tokyo by a member of Shane, the English faculty I was now going to be employed by, welcoming employees.
Narita is actually miles and miles away from Tokyo so the practice journey took about 40 minutes on the Narita categorical.
Once we lastly made it to Tokyo I had my first expertise of the Tokyo that I had seen in films and the one that I had imagined.
We acquired off the practice at Ikeburo station and we stepped out to, what seemed to my jet-lagged thoughts, insanity.
Shiny lights, individuals hurrying round, a number of handed out wage males and I assumed wow, I’ve truly made it.
It was an excellent feeling and one that sadly lasted only a few weeks till I felt somewhat crushed and irritated with every part, but I’ll speak about that later.
Ikeburo was only a transfer so after a fast take a look at the place close to the station it was time to board the subsequent practice to take us to our new houses. We boarded a practice in the direction of Hoya in Nishi-Tokyo (west Tokyo) which was nothing like the Tokyo I had seen in the films.
We have been proven our new places of residence, a compact house simply large enough for me, my backpack and a chair.
The mattress was on a shelf and the cooking area was stuffed into the small corridor between the front door and the place the room was, virtually as if it was put in as an after thought.
As I’ve talked about I used to be lazy and I acquired my lodging by means of my new employer, which was daft and expensive as the lease was 96,000 yen per 30 days (about $900) to stay in a place that was about 30 minutes away from actual Tokyo.
If I might do it over I might have found a place to remain alone.
Accommodation in Tokyo usually isn’t low cost but in case you are prepared to share with others you will get an honest place to stay for round 60,000 yen (about $560).
I stayed in the condo in Hoya for about 3 months and then I moved to precise Tokyo. I did virtually no research before my move nevertheless and in consequence I ended up taking a room in a big Japanese house which value me 55,000 per thirty days.
The place was in Setagaya-Ku and it was very easy to get to the large hubs of Tokyo, Shibuya and Shunjuku, from my local station.
My commute from Hoya had been 45 minutes to get to Tokyo, which was now a ten minute practice experience and I was in Shibuya.
I assumed I had arrived.
However he room I moved in to was terrible. There was no heating, the walls have been super thin, so thin in incontrovertible fact that I might hear the man in the subsequent room just respiration, and there was no communal area which made making pals inside the home virtually inconceivable.
I stayed in this cold home over the winter for 3 months after which I moved to a totally reverse shared home. Reverse in every method attainable.
My new shared house was in Nakano-Fujimicho, about eight minutes from Shinjuku on the Marunochi line, and had a pleasant mix of foreigners and Japanese.
The home was shared with 14 individuals with some in dorms but most in personal rooms. My room value 65,000 yen per thirty days, but this included all bills.
The widespread room was large, with cable TV and a Nintendo Wii. But the perfect thing about the home was the view of Shinjuku from the the roof.
The Shinjuku skyline is beautiful through the day and even better at night time. In this home I made a few of my greatest associates in Japan and even once I moved out we nonetheless met up for drinks regularly.
My shared home was owned by Wabisabi home, who’ve a lot of shared house properties in the central Tokyo area. You’ll find them by means of a Google search or as I did via Tokyo Share Home.
My last place in Tokyo was a personal home in Nakano. Now, there are many options for personal flats the preferred being Leo Place.
Leo Place present absolutely furnished flats which had a chair, table, fridge, washing machine, kettle, microwave and TV, for round 90,000 yen per 30 days, but it’s a must to pay cash upfront and the payments aren’t included in the worth.
I am far too poor to pay anything upfront and I don’t need to waste time interested by paying bills so I obtained my house by way of Residence Tokyo.
My house value 102,000 yen per thirty days but this included all payments together with web, and the condo had all of the gadgets that Leo Place had plus a bed with bedding!
This, plus the no upfront prices bought it to me because the upfront prices for cheaper, not furnished, flats might be as much as two months lease which isn’t superb in case you are on an English academics wage.
So, on to educating in Tokyo.
What it’s Like Teaching English in Tokyo
Nicely this will range massively relying on if the corporate you’re working for is Japanese or overseas run.
If its the former you’re more likely to be expected to work longer than your contract states, attend pointless meetings, and be treated as in case you are sub-human.
The primary company I worked for in Japan was Shane English Faculty, like I mentioned earlier than.
These are owned by a Japanese company, after beginning of as English owned, and in consequence the working hours and expectations are slightly loopy.
To start out the contract that I used to be on was a 29 and a half hour contract, anything beneath 30 hours is considered part-time in Japan and part-time staff do not get firm well being care or pension.
Though I used to be scheduled to be in the faculties from 12pm to 9pm I solely had upto six hours of educating a day.
So for instance I might have a lesson which started at 1pm which might mean I might start at 12pm, and only 30 minutes of this first hour I used to be paid for.
After my first lesson finished my next lesson could possibly be at 4pm, 5pm, or even 8pm.
This could depart you with a variety of spare time through the day.
One of the other negatives about working for Shane is the campaign days they need to try to appeal to extra clients.
Those days can fall in your time without work and in the event that they do you must work, for no additional pay, otherwise you danger dropping your job. On a lot of occasions I needed to work a six day week. This didn’t please me.
Additionally Shane didn’t supply any sick days and in the event you have been ailing you’d lose 12,000 yen of your wage.
Although you do get pretty long holidays with Shane most are already chosen for you as you solely have five days which you can choose your self. My wage with Shane started at 252,000 yen per thirty days and elevated by 5,000 yen the next yr.
The second job I had in Tokyo was with the British Council.
Those of you who know English educating must be aware that the BC are properly respected in the business as being a real company who supply their staff actual incentives for staying, and reward employees for truly doing an excellent job.
The starting wage for academics with a CELTA on the BC in Tokyo is 262,000 yen a month and the contract is 30 hours every week. A 30 hour contract signifies that you as a member of employees get personal healthcare with Bupa, and a pension.
Be warned nevertheless that your pension comes out of your month-to-month pay and at 25,000 yen a month it can be fairly successful for those who haven’t ready for it, something which I didn’t prepare for in any respect.
Additionally the tax can get you so be weary of that.
With my residence tax for the previous yr added to the deductions that have been already part of my pay verify, I was down 60,000 yen a month before I had even touched my salary.
This was only a problem a couple of months when there was no additional time on the BC. With extra time I used to be making round 85,000 yen a month.
Dwelling and Teaching in Japan
So to sum up.
Discovering work in Japan is pretty straight ahead but try to get one thing sorted out before you arrive.
In case you are an English Teacher, like myself, try to go for an English run company for educating English in Tokyo, or Japan in common, or work with an organization like Shane (there are various of these corporations in Japan), after which depart after the primary yr.
There are plenty of websites which have jobs listings for foreigners in Japan. One is tefl.com, which I mentioned earlier and is only for jobs in ESL.
The opposite website I know is gaijinpot jobs.
This website has jobs in many industries regardless of your degree of Japanese (mine has remained at survival Japanese ever since I acquired to Japan), and in addition has information about learn how to get jobs in industries that aren’t simply ESL.
Going again to the ESL business, if you wish to experience Japan only for a short while Westgate College supply three month contracts beginning on the begining of each educational semester.
General dwelling and educating English in Japan is great, although it’s something that had an expiry date for me. Mainly as a result of nevertheless much I really like Japan, its a rustic I might by no means actually feel at house in.
Perhaps this is due to my low degree of Japanese, or how troublesome it is to make and maintain Japanese associates, or perhaps the tradition is just a bit too impenetrable.
Perhaps it’s simply because the gaijin who do find yourself staying in Japan are just that little bit odd.
Though not one of the necessities for educating English in Japan (you solely need a university degree, doesn’t matter the topic) a TEFL certificates might help in discovering a job.
If you want to get a TEFL certificates for educating English as a overseas language you can do a TEFL course online here.
All of this is naturally simply what I take into consideration dwelling and working in Tokyo, Japan.
This can be a visitor submit from Adam Tonge (pictured in the article), a British citizen who was educating English in Tokyo for quite a few years.
I share a couple of opinions about Japan with the American lady who wrote this article about dwelling in Japan.
In case you are planning to be in Tokyo you will discover a lodge/hostel to stay at here:
FIND PLACES TO STAY IN TOKYO HERE
And when you plan on shifting around Japan lots to check out some places then take a Japan Rail Move (get one with that hyperlink) to economize on the trains.
Good luck if you’ll train English in Japan!
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