Just like we did for our previous post on TEFL in Taiwan, today we're going to focus on why you should TEFL in Japan.
There are so many pros to teaching English in Japan, and it's one of the most popular destinations among would-be teachers. While there are many countries around Asia that can offer a fantastic experience, Japan seems to have an alluring pull that means many people wouldn't consider anywhere else.
Perhaps because of how we perceive Japan in the west, with a kind of mystical, romantic image, or perhaps just because of experiences others have shared, many people become TEFL teachers purely so they can head there, which says a lot about the country itself.
Fortunately, the experiences most people have once they arrive are not far off from what they hoped; Japan definitely delivers on its promises.
Benefits Of TEFL In Japan
The following are the top reasons to consider Japan, aside from the fact you're probably already keen on going there!
Variety Of Jobs
Japan exploded onto the TEFL scene over a decade ago, and today there are still plenty of jobs available. For the higher paying positions, you'll likely need a CELTA, rather than just a TEFL, but there are still a lot of positions that only want a TEFL, and they pay well. On average (though this depends on experience and employer), you can earn over £2,000 a month in Japan with a basic TEFL position.
In the large cities, wages are higher, but the cost of living can be quite high too. If saving money is your main goal, you can consider teaching in a more rural area, where wages are lower, but cost of living is significantly lower as well. Even living in a big city you can save money though.
Standard Of Living
Japan has one of the best, if not the best, standards of living available in Asia. Again, this standard does come at a price, but compared with the west, it's cheap. The country is at the cutting edge of technology, and loves using it in unique ways. You've heard about their robot toilets I'm sure!
Funny gadgets and novelty items aside, Japanese apartments are built to a high standard, the cities are incredibly clean (immaculate even), and health and safety is a priority. You can feel safe and enjoy a decent lifestyle in Japan without breaking the bank.
A lot of TEFL teaching packages have some great benefits too, including subsidized (or even free) accommodation, paid airfare, or contract completion bonuses. These do not come as standard, but there are enough schools offering benefits to make them pretty common.
Unique, Yet Familiar
Some countries in Asia are considered very unique compared to the west, culture shock can be a problem for many people. For Japan though, there's enough uniqueness to make living there an adventure and once in a lifetime experience, yet it's western enough to keep things familiar. There are a lot of other foreigners living there, western companies operating, and western creature comforts to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
These might be harder to come by in other Asian countries.
Mix Of Nature And Concrete Jungles
Get yourself lost in the sprawling urban expanses of Tokyo and other major cities, or take the bullet-train out of the city and explore the natural beauty of the country. Whether you go to the "old school" city of Kyoto, head to Mt Fuji, or Hokkaido, there is something for everyone, and enough of it to keep you busy for many years.
Nightlife in Japan is a whole new adventure and one of the most popular attractions is a karaoke bar. If you think you've done karaoke before, you've seen nothing until you go to a Japanese karaoke bar. Rent a room with friends, choose all the songs you want to sing, order some alcohol (if it helps you loosen up!), and sing the night away.
If you get the chance, even if you go by yourself, try to experience a world-famous Japanese love hotel. These themed hotels are a wonder to behold and will certainly be an unforgettable experience. There are plenty to find in every city, so take your pick.
Japan Offers It All
It's easy to see why we say Japan lives up to its promises, because it really has everything. While it might not be the best bang for buck in terms of the salary/cost of living ratio, it's definitely got a lot to offer, and is well worth the trip. Many people who go to Japan for a year or two never leave, but those who do will usually carry their experiences with them forever.