Home » TEFL Courses » Country Guide » Teaching English in Japan

Teaching English in Japan

English Teaching Jobs In Japan Feature
Japan is the most sought-after destination for English teachers. There is no other location more popular than teaching English in Japan.

Teaching English in Japan


Bachelor’s Degree: Required

Monthly Salary: $1,700 to 5,000 USD

Peak Hiring: All year round

Visa Information: Work visa before entry

Housing: Compensated or subsidized

Airfare: Reimbursed depending on the employer

Student Types: Business English and children


Japanese culture is an interesting mix of modern technology and traditional architecture. It’s well-organized, safe, and has a lot of opportunities to advance. Especially if you can speak the language, you have lots of space to grow and develop your career. Japan is the most sought-after destination for English teachers. There is no other location more popular than teaching English in Japan.

If you want to teach English in Japan, you need an undergraduate degree and a criminal record check. TEFL certification is recommended so you have basic teaching skills before your first class. You don’t need to be a native speaker of English. But there is a bit of an unspoken preference for native speakers. Comparatively, Japan offers the best balance between work and play. Teaching hours are generally less and vacation days are more generous.

No other country in the world is as well-organized as Japan. They say you can set your time on a train’s arrival time. The atmosphere is a bit formal in Japan and work is taken very seriously. Most likely, your employer will want you to wear a suit and tie on the job. But don’t wear a black tie or they’ll think you’re attending a funeral.

Pros of Teaching English in Japan

  • Cleanliness & Order: Japan is a very clean and orderly country. The streets are typically free of litter, and public transportation is punctual and efficient. Japanese people are generally polite, especially in the countryside (inaka).
  • Customer Service: Japanese businesses tend to place a strong emphasis on providing quality customer service. Japanese culture places a high value on politeness and respect, so you can expect to be treated well when doing business in Japan.
  • Food: Japanese cuisine is generally considered to be healthy, flavorful, and visually appealing. Think sushi! It is also said to be one of the most diverse and unique cuisines in the world, due to the wide range of ingredients and cooking methods used.
  • Travel: Japan is a relatively easy country to travel in. The public transportation system is efficient and reliable, and most signage (sometimes funny) is in English as well as Japanese.
  • Sightseeing: There are so many beautiful places (Kyoto, Nara, Tokyo, and Okinawa) to see, and the country has such a rich culture and history. You could easily spend weeks or even months exploring all that Japan has to offer.

Cons of Teaching English in Japan

  • Cost of Living: Rent, transportation, food, and other basic necessities can be quite costly. Tokyo is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in.
  • Bureaucracy in School Systems: The Japanese school system is quite bureaucratic, with a heavy emphasis on rules and regulations. This can often make the system seem inflexible and difficult to navigate, especially for foreigners.
  • Crowded: If you live in a large city like Tokyo, you’ll be in a lot of crowded situations. Whether you’re on a train or going to a baseball game, Japan is not for people who have claustrophobia.
  • Depression: There is a “Ganbare” spirit in Japan, which means to give it 100% for what you’re trained to do. But with such high expectations, the Japanese system of work and life balance leads to high depression and suicide.
  • Stereotyping: Japanese people do believe in some form of stereotyping, whether it be based on race, nationality, or even gender. This is likely due to the fact that Japan is a relatively homogeneous society, which can lead to more rigid thinking when it comes to those who are different.

English Language Schools in Japan

Japan is such a large country that people come in and out of schools all the time. Because of the massive amount of turnover in Japan, some recommend just traveling to Japan. Once you’re there, you can look for schools that are directly hiring to replace someone who is leaving.

An Eikaiwa is a specialized English Language school. For Japanese people who want to improve their English, they go to an Eikaiwa to interact with a native speaker. For example, Nova, Interac, and Berlitz are some of the largest Eikaiwa and recruit year-round.

JET Programme

JET Programme

JET Programme – The JET Programme has sent more than 70,000 participants from around the globe. JET hires foreign teachers to work in schools, boards of education, and government offices throughout Japan. The hiring process is rigorous to get accepted. But it’s worth the time and effort.

The JET Programme is not an easy program to get accepted into. It’s also known for placing foreign teachers in smaller cities and rural areas. First, you need the following requirements to be considered:

  • Have a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Be a fluent speaker of English
  • Be a citizen of the country you are applying from
TEFL Thumbnail TTA

Join the TEFL Academy today and get certified with the #1 ranked TEFL certificate program.

JET Programme

JET hires teachers to work in public schools, boards of education, and government offices throughout Japan.

AEON logo

A large Eikaiwa in Japan that employs foreign teachers in before and after school programs.


English teacher salaries are some of the most competitive in the world in Japan. Depending on your location, you can earn anywhere from 200,000 to 600,000 yen ($1,700 – 5,000 USD) per month teaching English in Japan.

But keep in mind that Japan has some of the highest costs of living in the world. The countryside is much cheaper for living costs. But larger cities like Tokyo and Osaka are the most expensive.

Another benefit of teaching English in Japan is that schools chip in for housing and flight costs.  Some of the common benefits are subsidized rent, airfare allowance, medical insurance, and earning a bonus on completion.

Monthly SalaryTotal
US Dollars (USD)1,700 to 5,000 USD
Japanese Yen (JPY)200,000 to 600,000 JPY


English is a global language, and it’s only natural that it’d be of interest to people all over the world. The Japanese are no exception to this rule, with many Japanese people being interested in learning English as a second language.

fuji pagoda japan

If you’re an English speaker looking for work teaching languages or if you just want to travel and immerse yourself in another culture, there are many opportunities for teaching English as a foreign language in Japan.

Although teaching English as a foreign language is an appealing career option for many people, you have to be prepared to be an effective teacher in the classroom.  This is why TEFL certification is a way to help you get prior teaching experience and to brush up on your grammar skills.  Here are our recommended TEFL certificate programs to get started teaching English in Japan.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much can you make teaching English in Japan?

You can make anywhere from 200,000 to 600,000 yen ($1,700 – 5,000 USD) per month teaching English in Japan.

Do you need a degree to teach English in Japan?

Yes, you need a Bachelor’s degree or better to teach English in Japan.

Is Japan safe?

According to the Global Peace Index, Japan is one of the top 10 safest countries in the world. You don’t have to worry about your wallet getting stolen as it has a very low crime rate. But don’t leave your bicycle unlocked because they tend to get borrowed by salarymen.

Do you have to speak Japanese to teach in Japan?

Although it’s helpful, you don’t have to speak Japanese to teach English in Japan. If you can learn the basic grammar structure, it’s useful for picking up on mistakes from your students.

What are the requirements to teach English in Japan?

You need a Bachelor’s degree and a police background check. Some schools also request teachers to obtain their TEFL certification.

What’s it like teaching English in Japan?

Although every situation is different, students are generally more respectful towards teachers. Japanese people tend to keep to themselves and are more introverted.


  • Japan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
  • Roughly 73 percent of Japan’s area is mountainous.
  • Japan is the oldest monarchy in the world and still has an emperor.
  • Life expectancy is the second highest in the world.
  • Japan is made up of four islands – Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, and Hokkaido.
  • There are more than 1,500 earthquakes in Japan every year.
  • Japanese cuisine is some of the finest with rice, fish, and vegetables as the staple foods.
  • Vending machines are everywhere (about 23 for every person)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *