It can be a maze navigating a job search in one’s own home country, which can make the task even more intimidating when halfway across the world in a completely different one. Go! Go! Nihon helps students to get a student visa for Japan as well as match them with great schools. A student visa legally allows for part-time work, which not only helps the wallet, but also makes for a great opportunity to practice everything in those Japanese 101 textbooks. But how do you start looking for part-time jobs in Japan?

What’s the difference between all the visas

The standard tourist visa, or temporary visa, is probably pretty self-explanatory. Because it’s for tourism, temporary visitors are NOT allowed to engage in any activities where they receive pay. Coming into Japan on a tourist visa means no part-time work. Engaging in part-time work without the proper permission or visa may be subject to punishment, including deportation.

The most convenient way to come to Japan is through applying for a Japanese language school and consequently getting a student visa. A student visa will allow up to 28 hours of part-time work a week. This will open up a venue to practice Japanese, meet new people, and earn and save money. Keep in mind though, prohibited types of work and working more than the legally permitted hours can result in deportation.

Working visas cover full-time positions that require a high level of professional knowledge or skills. A university degree or considerable professional experience in the applicable field is required to qualify for most working visa types. Many also require a prospective employer as a sponsor.

Office girl at the phone

Part-time jobs in Japan

With a student visa, those 28 hours of part-time work can be used in any number of ways. As a plus, when school is not in session, visa holders can work up to 40 hours per week. Teaching English is the most common part-time job for an English native speaker. Besides, as a student of Japanese, what better way to give back than to teach your own native language? Of course if you are a Spanish, Italian, French, German, Swedish etc. native speaker, you can work as a teacher of your own language. On average, the pay is ¥2,000 to ¥5,000 per hour.

Waiting can be very good for a student’s class schedule. Students can study and go to class during the day, then work at their local restaurant (居酒屋, izakaya) in their free time. Average pay is ¥950 to ¥1,000 per hour, and in addition to practicing Japanese with customers and colleagues, students also have the chance to learn about Japanese working culture! This has been mentioned as being one of the best and most interesting experiences. Izakayas are a very unique and fun part of Japanese culture. After work ends, much of the Japanese workforce floods out into izakayas and the rowdiness begins. Being a waiter at an izakaya means catching a glimpse and being a part of the Japan that fires up at night.

Whatever their preference, be it food, fashion, or anything else, students get the chance to practice their Japanese every day as shop assistants. Some examples include: convenience stores, clothing companies, and grocery markets. On average the pay is ¥1,000 to ¥1,800 per hour, and with a wide variety of companies, students can pick the industry they wish to work. Remember though, there are prohibited types of work, such as the adult entertainment service sector (snack, hostess bar, cabaret, etc.) or gambling establishments; so if in doubt as to whether the job is okay, check with your school.

Hello Work Japan

How to apply for a part-time job in Japan

Once a job opening is found, submit the application. If the application asks you to visit the store, it is best to call ahead of time and arrange a meeting with the manager. You should also submit your resume in person if the shop has posted a Staff Wanted sign. Look for the Boshūchū (募集中) sign, which means the place is currently taking applications. Make sure to be dressed to impress, and brush up on your formal Japanese skills. Don’t forget that most Japanese language schools provide support in one way or other: oftentimes, they will be more than willing to help you write a Japanese resume, and even help you practice for the interview!

When searching online for a part time job, employers may ask you to contact them via e-mail. Write a neat and professional e-mail, making sure to attach your resume and cover letter along with any further information the company may request.

Don’t know where to start?

If you are looking for some extra help in finding part-time jobs you can do, or don’t know where to start, Go! Go! Nihon can definitely help you out. We have partnered with a recruiting company called Inbound Technology, and together with them, have created a Facebook page called “Jobs in Japan with Go Go Nihon”. There, you can see new job adverts for part-time and full-time jobs posted each and every day. Due to the ads being posted via a recruiting agency, oftentimes the information is kept short.

If you’re interested in any job posting, don’t be afraid to send a message to our Jobs in Japan page! Someone will usually get back to you within the day. You can do that even if you are not interested in any specific job: if you just want help finding part-time work, send them a line!

It takes a little effort to get a part-time job in Japan, but with a student visa and a little bit of elbow grease (and maybe some help from our friends at Inbound Technology), the experience pays off tenfold. It is one thing to learn in the classroom (and it’s still very important!), but it’s another to actually use those learned skills in the outside world. Making the connection between the two is what really solidifies those Japanese skills, all the while making life much more colorful.

For further information about living and studying in Japan, follow our Go! Go! Nihon blog or contact us through the website.