Working in Japan might be a dream for many, but have you ever wondered what usually non-Japanese people do there for a living? There are plenty of part-time jobs available in Japan, although some are more likely to be available for foreigners. If you are curious about the types of jobs you can get in Japan, this article is definitely for you!
Let’s see what types are usually the best for people from overseas:
Working in a restaurant, cafe, or bar in Japan can be really fun. It is relatively easy to get a job, you usually don’t need to speak Japanese fluently, and you can often get a free meal during your shift.
Restaurants are a good start as a part-time job, as you can usually choose if you want to talk to customers, or rather do the job alone, e.g. in the kitchen. There are so many offers that you can even try to find a restaurant serving your favourite type of food and apply there. For the restaurant, your enthusiasm is nothing but a good thing, considering marketing and customer impressions. For you – have fun and remember to do some sports unless you want to be surprised next time you stand on a scale!
Working in a cafe is a great option for coffee lovers and those who want to improve their Japanese skills, as there are usually more opportunities to talk to people. If you know basic coffee-making techniques, you can try to contact any cafe you would like to work in. If not, don’t worry – there are still plenty of opportunities for beginners. Bear in mind that in big chain coffee shops such as Starbucks or Dotour, English-speaking staff is highly valuable.
Bars (居酒屋; izakaya) in Japan are noisy places where people drink together and socialize. If you like this kind of atmosphere, this might be a great option for you. Requirements are not very high, you can meet interesting people and make lots of friends.
In each izakaya, there is also delicious food served – it might be a fun alternative to working in a restaurant. Be aware that it will be pretty loud all the time and you will work until late at night.
Do you want to know more about the job in a Japanese bar? Check out also this article: What it’s like to work at bar in Japan (Interview)
Working in a clothing store is a great job, especially for people who don’t like working in food-related places. Popular brands such as Uniqlo, GU, Adidas, or Nike constantly hire new foreign people to be considered as more global, as well as to be able to provide good service also to English-speaking customers.
The wage is usually a bit above the average. This job type is cushy and calm; some might find it boring, but it can also be a great way to improve one’s Japanese. If you’re a fashion lover – simply go for it!
If you are a native English speaker or if you’re quite confident about your skills, you can easily find a part-time job in a private English school. You usually don’t need to have much of a teaching background, especially when you’re asked to be a conversation tutor.
This might be a good shot for people worried about their Japanese skills. Also, the wage might be higher than the average. However, some people love teaching, whereas some find it boring or stressful – even if the salary is good, you need to think if it’s a suitable job for you.
As the guests are often foreigners themselves, hotel owners are constantly looking for English-speaking staff. There are many different positions, depending on which type of job you would like to do. You can rather sit at the front desk and talk directly to the customers, or you can do cleaning or some other independent jobs.
Sometimes hotels offer you a place to stay for a small fee or even for free, so it might be a great money saver! In hotels with their own hot springs or pools, you can often use them for free as well.
Do you have an international driving permit accepted in Japan? Then you might consider becoming a driver as your part-time job! There are plenty of offers, including food delivery, moving company drivers, and many more.
Roads in Japan are very smooth, and although there might be many hills on your way, almost all the cars are automatic. Just get used to the left-hand traffic and you are ready to go!
As foreign faces are still pretty rare in Japan, it can be easier to become a model in Japan, comparing to other countries. You don’t need to be a runway model with a perfect body and skills – especially in bigger cities, there are many photoshoot jobs even for amateurs. Many foreigners with zero modeling background have succeeded in Japan as new models. Remember to put a big smile on your face, and there’s a chance you might be in!
These are the most common jobs foreigners do in Japan for a living. The opportunities may vary depending on one’s skills, personal interests and Japanese language proficiency level, but this is what you will find mostly on the job offer postings around Japan. As a foreign person, you can also try to get a remote job in Japan (read more about online jobs in Japan here). Which position would you like to try? I wish you good luck with your job hunting!