Hi. I've been teaching English in Japan for three years (leaving this summer, sob!) on the JET Programme - probably the best way to do it in terms of salary, holidays and general cultural experience (you are actually a cultural ambassador for your country,bizarrely)I'm the only caucasian in my town of 4000 which is way out in the mountains. And I love it! Downside is you have to apply months in advance from your home country and go through interviews with the embassy etc. Other options are to turn up (providing you have a university degree and preferably - though not essentially - a TEFL) and seek work in a city.There are plenty of language schools who regularly take on new teachers - AEON, EOS, NOVA, BERLITZ to name a few. Most of these will give you a job in advance and sort out your visa. There's a high turnover in these jobs (longer hours, less pay and less 'community support' than JET, but it has advantages) so you shouldn't have a problem finding work. Alternatively there are private schools and state schools who employ ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers) though they look for more experience. Japanese school year starts in April so best time to seek these jobs is just after Christmas.
Japan's a wonderful, mad country. Enjoy!
Oh, I forgot - it's not necessary to speak any Japanese if you want to come work as an English teacher -my language abilty was zero when I arrived. I am consequently rather adept at charades. If you want to be an ordinary teacher (not an assistant) then they might ask for some Japanese abilty and probably teaching experience/qualifications.
Speaking Japanese helps but in some ways the experience is greater when you just launch yourself into it...
OK so I only just read the rest of the responses to this thread, sorry. Re being caucasian/native speakers of English - yes it's true many companies will just want to employ people who fit this bill. But not all, and some international schools like to employ a mix. Also the JET Programme in recent years has employed a number of people from a ranger of countries whose English is fluent though it isn't their native language. They also have positions for people who want to teach sport (providing they are a high level) using English. I don't know whether this is of any use to you, but you should check with your home country's Embassy to see if they have a Japan link, JET or otherwise. Gambatte! (good luck)
it may sound a little uncouth but if u can hold your alcohol and don't mind the occasional grope u can always work as a hostess. I'm not sure it's exactly legal but there are so many girls doing it in japan they don't have the resources to deport EVERYONE. it pays great, you'll have all the saki you can drink and u only need enough grasp of the language to come off as "cute but not too bright." japan's and expensive country and it's hard to make a buck. might be worth looking into.
actually,im not qualified to be a hostess, cause im a male.... maybe a host, i think its quite popular to be a some what pseudomale prostitute.... i am now working as a waiter in england. maybe i would work as a waiter too in japan... hows the chances of that?
actually, i have a degree in applied biology, my english is quite good and i do know a bit of japanese. i look like them too, since some of my acquantances in malaysia do ask whether i have japanese blood in me. i think it would be terribly exciting to actually live in a small town, with the beautiful scenery, mountains, hot springs and stuff. i think tokyo would be to bustling for me.....
i dont know whether i could teach english or not. i dont have teaching experience too...
anyway, thanks, will be going to japan in 5 years time one way or another..... sore jane
i already checked the website whether there is a JET progrrame from malaysia. there is none that i can see. so far, how can i get a job in japan while im still in malaysia? i tried jobsgaijin website but i think it is for foreign people who already are residing in japan and may have some form of visa or working permit. i dont wnat to work illegally there.