John Marcus touched on a very interesting topic. Frankly, I don’t know if Permanent Residents should be allowed to vote – it’s a right for the citizens but I guess he has his gripe about his rights when he has to pay the tax and stuff like a normal citizen.
Do you guys have any thoughts on this topic?
When I was a student in university, I was offered the opportunity to teach English in Japan or China for 6 months. It was definitely a great opportunity but I didn’t take it due to the fact that I wanted to graduated as soon as I can. The job posting was right smack in the middle of my semesters. I already had my TESL teaching certificate then. I have to say that till this very day, I still regret it.
Anyway, this post is about working in Japan. And it is to my knowledge that many people from English speaking countries are working in Japan as language instructors for English. And the demands are as high as it gets because not everyone in the world speaks Japanese, hence corporations are more than glad to hire an instructor to teach their personnels how to speak proper English. Of course, language instructors aren’t the only job offered. You can work in translation, IT, modeling, gastronomy and entertainment.
So what do you need to know about working in Japan?
1. Look out for the work visa and see which category you’re in – Types of Visas
2. Learn Japanese – whether you’re going to be an English teacher or an engineer, you need to learn the language. What good would it do if no one understand what you’re trying to say, much less teach?
3. Be in Japan – You need to be inside the country so that you can attend any interviews should you be shortlisted. No one in going to wait for you to fly over and i heard it can get quite competitive to find a job there.
That’s basically what you need to do to get yourself started on finding a job in Japan. Since the language teaching sector is pretty big for foreigners, I thought I’d show you what it’s like to be an english teacher to little kindergarteners in Japan.
Omg the kids are so cute. Now i really regret not taking the opportunity to work there for 6 months – would have learned some japanese too! :(
Picture taken off Focus Japan.
After you have gotten your visa and passport ready, this is where the fun begins. Planning for your trip. Many people overestimate their needs at times and pack unnecessarily. Japan isn’t a secluded jungle, I am sure they have toilet papers there. However, if you are visiting Japan during the cold seasons, it is wise to pack warm sweaters, scarves and gloves.
Before you go to Japan there are tips that you may find helpful especially when you’re from another culture, you may sometimes find certain things weird.
1. Learn a little bit about the culture in Japan
Bowing is the first thing you should know about Japan. It is a very important cultural practice. People bow at each other all the time. It’s a sign of respect. If you would like to show your respect to a Japanese, instead of shaking their hands or tap their back, just do a bow. There are many ways of bowing that shows different meanings. For example, if its someone who is older or have a higher status, you bow deeper than the usual. But for casual bow, just a nod-like (about 15 degrees) will do just fine. It may seem weird to bow all the time, but if you do it, you’ll just come across as a very polite person in Japan.
2. Staying at a traditional Japanese Inn
If you’re visiting Japan, it is highly recommended that you live in a traditional Japanese Inn to fully appreciate Japan’s culture. But a traditional Japanese Inn isn’t exactly the same as the westerner’s version. There are some guidelines to follow that is culture based and here’s a list of things that you should know so you know what to expect:-
3. No shoes in any residence area
There is one thing you need to know. Japan is divided into two areas; areas where shoes are suppose to be taken off and areas where shoes are suppose stay on. It is considered rude to wear shoes inside a Japanese household so always remember to take off your shoes before you enter unless you want to have some real nasty stares from your host!
I suppose this man had some first hand experience with wearing shoes into someone’s house in Japan.
4. Never stick your chopsticks into a bowl of rice or into any food.
It’s bad luck and only the dead eat like that. I had a friend in school who is half Japanese and half Malaysian smack the arm of another friend because he stuck a pair of chopsticks into his bowl of rice thinking it’d hold for him while he went to get some water. Well… that taught him a lesson.
5. Living cost in Japan
Living cost in Japan is higher than other places. That is because most of their food are imported from overseas. But it does make a lot of sense to keep a budget and have other financial means in case you finish up your Yen faster than you’d like – a credit or a traveler’s cheque would do you a lot of good to have around. Do a little research on the cost of food, accommodation and transportation as these are the ones that will burn most of your budget if you’re on a holiday. This website by About.com provides a very good place to start your holiday budget so you know what to expect when you get there.
Related articles: Japan Guide: Types of Visas
Picture of little girl taken from here
For those of you who are planning to visit Japan or are planning to migrate there would save a lot of time finding out relevent information on the type of visa required for your entry. Personally, as a person who has been to two different continents, I find that it is perhaps the number one priority instead of thinking about what to wear or what to pack to go. This is a simple guide for those who would like to travel to Japan. For more detailed information, you will need to contact your local Japanese embassy.
First off, you need know if your country needs a visa for entry. Different countries have different requirements. Here’s a link from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where you can find out if you need a visa to enter Japan based on your nationality.
Secondly, you need to check that your passport is valid and that it is not expiring soon. Without a valid passport, you’re just as good as duck without wings.
Thirdly, you will need to check out which visa applies to you. If you’re going there for a visit, work, as a diplomat or long term stay – there is a visa for each. But in all, there are 7 types of visas in Japan as shown below:-
|Visa category||Status of residence|
|Temporary Visitor’s Visa||
* Statuses of residence not permitting work.
+ Whether work is permitted or not depends on the content of individual permits.
Source (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Related articles: Japan Guide:Coming to Japan
Well, my kidlets, I’m back. I’ve been in Hong Kong for the last two weeks to celebrate Chinese/Lunar New Year (since my Japanese New Year celebrations didn’t go that well), so please forgive my absence and lack of posts.
The holiday was great but preparing for it was highly frustrating, especially the Japanese Immigration side of things. So, to make sure that none of you have to put up with the same crap that I did, here’s an outline of what you must do if you’re living and working in Japan but fancy going on an overseas trip.
Firstly, check your visa. Do you have a work visa or a working holiday visa? A studying visa? Then you’ll need a re-entry permit. If you do not get a re-entry permit, then your visa will be void when you arrive back in Japan. You’ll probably be able to enter the country again, but only under a tourist visa, which means you are not allowed to work or study anymore.
To get a re-entry permit, you’ll need to fill out a form and pay a fee at the prefecture’s immigration office. This is the immigration office for foreigner affairs, not the immigration office for Japanese citizens. Be careful, because this can be in different buildings and sometimes different cities.
(For directions in Kanagawa Prefecture: Take the Minato Mirai subway line from Yokohama station to Motomachi-Chukagai. Take Exit number 4, turn left outside and left again at the intersection. You should pass the building marked “Immigration Affairs”. There may be a few taxis outside it, so you can spot it easier. The offices you require are on the 5th floor. These directions may sound like petty information but it’s not really that easily available in English and would have saved me a lot of stress if I knew it beforehand. If you can write out directions to the office in other prefectures, please add them in the Comments to help make other people’s lives easier.)
There will be a desk marked “Re-Entry Permits”. They will give you a form to fill out or you can pick it up before approaching the desk. To fill out the form and submit it, you will need: your passport with your visa in it, your Alien Registration card (also known as the gaijin card) and the fee for the permit.
There are two types of re-entry permit. The Single (which you can use only once) and the Multiple re-entry (which you can use as often as necessary until your visa expires). Keep in mind that even though your visa may be extendable, the re-entry permit is not. You will need a new permit each time you have a new (extended) visa. My visa expires in March and although I plan to extend it, it was suggested that I only take the Single re-entry permit to save some money.
The cost for a single re-entry permit is ¥3000 and ¥6000 for a multiple re-entry permit. There is a system in Japan where official payments (such as those made to the government) require postage-stamp type proofs of payment. Basically, you pay the cash to a person or a machine, you receive a postage stamp with the amount paid printed on it. This gets attached to the form as proof of payment and then submitted for processing.
Thankfully, the processing time for re-entry permits is small. Depending on how busy the office is, it can take between 10 minutes or an hour.
When you leave Japan, you will have to fill out a special form for those with re-entry permits. It may have been given to you when you paid for your permit or you can pick it up at Immigration. You will be in a special queue for visa-holders with re-entry permits, not the Visitors queue. Make sure you have filled it out before being processed at Immigration, especially if you’re at Narita Airport. When you leave, they will take half of that form. The other half is for your arrival back in Japan.
When you arrive back, there will again be a special queue for re-entry permit holders, perhaps under the Japanese Passport Holders queue. Make sure the second half of your form is filled out. You might wish to have your Alien Registration card handy in case there are any questions.
And hopefully, you’ll be processed quickly, with another stamp in your passport to show off.
The good thing about this entire process is that there are many people that can speak English to help you out. Japan has strict Immigration rules, so make sure you have completed everything that’s required. Or else you might end up in trouble, like being unable to work or study in the country.