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Teaching English in Japan
Positions may be offered before one enters the country and they are usually well paying as the cost of living in Japan is high. Credentials for the best positions must include university education. Contracts are signed usually for up to one year. Competition is high for these lucrative teaching jobs as increasing numbers of foreigners make the transition. Japanese people are high achievers and are very committed to learning English. The best time of year to come to work in Japan is in March which is the start of the school year.
Be aware that if you work outside of Tokyo you may need to obtain an international drivers’ license as schools can provide the teacher with a car. There exist such employment programs where the teacher works alongside a Japanese teacher to help one get oriented to methods used in the country. Some foreigners take up to six months to adjust to the culture. Full time salaries for qualified teachers are estimated at $2,100 US per month based upon an hourly wage, return airfare is usually provided, and a minimum number of hours can be arranged. Private lessons can be charged at $20 to $40 US per hour. Income tax rates are low. Some schools will provide accommodations free of charge.
Traveling to Japan
Affectionately known as the land of the rising sun, Japan has shown its strength in terms of being able to recover from sharp economic changes and isolationist rule. It has been a sovereign nation since 660 BC founded by Emperor Jimmu. In past times, the country has attacked both China and the US which today are both allies. The population is approximately 127 million people. Geographically it is a chain of islands which is in between the North Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan and East of Korea. The terrain is rugged, about 80% mountainous and contains volcanoes; the earth shifts at least 1,500 times per year quite unnoticeably. The islands are susceptible to tsunamis and typhoons. Climate is tropical in the south with temperatures ranging from 70 °F to 90 °F and cooler in the north with temperatures ranging from 50 F to 80 F. Currency is approximately $1 US dollar to 118 Japanese Yen. Both economically and technologically Japan is one of the top in the world in terms of prosperity.
Japanese people are known for their strong work ethic and expertise in the field of electronics. Loyalty for a life span is given to employers by their employees. Relationships between people are based upon the strong foundation of trust. Holiday celebrations honor people; some are for the aged and some for the young. Lifestyle is high as economically Japanese people can afford luxuries; they enjoy vacations especially in the US. Life expectancy is rated the highest in the world for females 85 and males 78 on average. Arranged marriages still exist today. Strong customs exist between people which have elaborate social rules. Social honor is of great importance.
Rice and seafood dominate the Japanese diet. March to May is the most popular time to visit as it is when many spring festivals occur and the country is spectacularly covered in cherry blossoms. Kyoto with a population of 2 million people is the creative center of the country with temples, shrines, gardens and officially recognized worldwide heritage structures. Japanese people are quite ahead of the times in terms of style and art so the visitor will be exposed to some sophisticated ultra modern works. Animation and computers carry much favor in the creative scene. This is a “switched on” lively culture.
Tokyo has a population of over 12 million people; it has two vibes one that is ultra calm and one that is ultra exciting. The city shows the most commercial side of the Japanese culture. It has the highest concentration of population thus buildings, traffic, and obviously people are in great abundance. The pulse on the streets can take one’s breath away. Shopping is a science and an art; choices especially in electronics are endless. The nightlife is a place to let down all barriers to language and culture as the spirit of the people shows that they are eager to share their enjoyment of life. The menus for cocktails, beer and food are quite out of the ordinary; in fact the visitor will have all of their senses stimulated by time spent in the big city. There are a number of spas available which are a great tradition of the Japanese culture. These “onsen” places are where the visitor will receive hot water spa therapy and share a bath with several others. The motto is to expect the unexpected in Tokyo.