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Teaching English in JapanNow Hiring


Map of Japan

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How Much Can I Earn?
Monthly Salary:
200,000 - 300,000 JPY
1,850 - 2,780 USD
Private Tutoring per Hour:
1,500 - 3,000 JPY
14 - 28 USD
Income Tax Rate:
5 - 10%
Ability to Save per year:
500 - 12,000 USD

What Are My Benefits?
Sometimes included or allowance may be given
Rarely included
Health Care:
Usually included

What Will Teaching Be Like?
Teaching Hours:
25 - 40
Typical Contract Length:
One year
Typical Start Date:
March/April, August/September, or year round
Application Timeline:
3 - 6 months

What Do I Need?
Work Visa:
Employer sponsors
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's Degree
Oxford Seminars TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certificate
Additional Notes:
Contract completion bonus typically included
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Financial Snapshot for Japan
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Japan: A Financial Snapshot

Salaries in Japan remain some of the highest in the ESL market, but the cost of living in Japan is also generally above average. With salaries typically starting at 200,000 - 300,000 JPY     per month, and with a population of 127 million citizens, Japan will continue to be a top pick for TESOL/TESL/TEFL graduates.

Living and Teaching in Japan

Expected Apartment Costs

As with anywhere in the world, various factors influence the cost of housing in Japan, including city, neighborhood, and size. Tokyo and Osaka have more expensive rental costs when compared to other Japanese cities. Employers may provide partially subsidized or fully paid apartments; however, English teachers should be prepared to pay part or all of the rent. The cost of rent in Tokyo and Osaka can range from 70,000 - 130,000 JPY per month for a 1LDK, while the rent in smaller cities can be substantially cheaper. LDK is used to identify whether the house has a living room (L), dining area (D), or kitchen (K). Additional costs may include key money, security/damage deposit, real estate fee, and utilities. There is a possibility of getting a percentage of the security/damage deposit back once the tenant moves out. This depends on how much the building manager or property owner must replace and upgrade the unit. Key money is approximately two to five times the monthly rent and is a gratuity paid to the building manager or property owner, which is not returned upon vacating the apartment. Note that employers who provide English teachers with accommodations will most likely pay the key money.

Banking in Japan

ESL teachers should know banks are only open from Monday to Friday, 9:00am - 3:00pm. Cash is still the preferred form of currency exchange in Japan, so checking accounts are rarely used. However, credit cards are becoming more accepted in major cities. Teachers wanting to exchange money can do so at most local post offices or Authorized Foreign Exchange Banks. Unlike most Western countries, ATMs are not open 24 hours and the operating hours can vary from one institution to the next. That said, convenience store ATMs are usually open 24/7, but may have higher banking fees. Also, banks and ATMs are rarely open on holidays which can be inconvenient for foreigners.

Food Costs

The following table provides ESL teachers with the approximate costs of food in Japan. As a whole, it is cheaper to eat Japanese food rather than to purchase American-style food or to eat at American-style restaurants.

Average restaurant meal: (/person)

Cheap - 800 JPY
Medium - 1,000 - 4,000 JPY
Expensive - 4,000+ JPY

- 10 eggs - 25.68 JPY
- Liter of milk - 103.87 JPY
- Bowl of noodles - 400 JPY
- Loaf of bread - 170.55 JPY
- Bottle of beer: 390 JPY