How to Teach English in Japan: Important Things to Know!

Are you looking to teach English in Japan? If so, you’re in for a big challenge. The Japanese language is complex, and the average Japanese person is fluent in multiple languages. Furthermore, Japanese culture is unique, and the teaching environment is often challenging. In this article, we’ll provide everything you need to know about how to teach English in Japan successfully in Japan.

How to teach English in Japan

This image talks about how to teach English in Japan
A teacher teaching English to Japanese students.

Teaching English in Japan can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning and preparation. Firstly, it is important to have a bachelor’s degree in any field, as this is a requirement for obtaining a work visa.

Additionally, obtaining a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification can greatly enhance your chances of finding a teaching job in Japan. Once you have the necessary qualifications, the next step is to research and apply to language schools or English conversation schools (known as eikaiwas) in Japan.

Networking and making connections with other English teachers or expats already living in Japan can also be beneficial in finding teaching opportunities.

Finally, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with Japanese culture and customs, as this will help you navigate the teaching environment more effectively and build rapport with your students.

Almost 83% of businesses chose English as the most important skill. At the same time, English was also felt to be the skill most lacking in Japanese employees, according to 67.0% of companies. Businesses in Japan consider English to be a vital skill – an important reason why Japanese people should learn English.

The requirements to teach English in Japan:

To start your teaching experience in Japan you need to think about these points:

1. TEFL certification:

A TEFL certificate can show employers that you have the knowledge and skills needed how to teach English in Japan effectively. And if you already have experience teaching in another language, a TEFL certification may also enhance your chances of getting a job as an English teacher in Japan.

There are many benefits to obtaining a TEFL certification:

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2. Salary of an English teacher in Japan:

In Japan, the average salary for an English teacher is 3 million yen per month. With this in mind, one of the key factors that determine your income as an EFL instructor is how much you choose to charge for lesson plans or extra services (such as preparation time on weekends). You must also take into account any additional expenses such as travel fees and accommodations.

3. How to teach English in Japan at a Public School:

This image talks about how to teach English in Japan
A Japanese student who is learning English.

Typically, public schools pay instructors more generously than private institutions. If you teach at a Japanese public school (or government-operated language institute), your earnings should be capable of covering the cost of living in Tokyo and even the outlying areas.

The possibilities and costs are endless. One factor to consider when comparing different teaching jobs is that each company has its system for securing visas by teachers: some use their private immigration gates while others use their immigration office.

Another thing to take into account is the need for a teaching license: each prefecture has its regulations, and it may be necessary to apply separately with your company depending on the area where you intend to work for an additional fee.

In short, when you want to know how to teach English in Japan, you will likely need:

  • A TEFL/TESOL certification.
  • Some schools may require you to have a Japanese visa or residency card.
  • Others may require that you have an excellent academic record and fluency in Japanese.

You should always research each school thoroughly before applying so that you know exactly what is required of you.

English became a tool of the Japanese elite throughout Meiji era Japan’s relentless race to catch up technologically with the West.


The benefits of life in Japan as an ESL teacher:

There are numerous benefits as following:

  • The Japanese education system is highly respected worldwide, and many foreign teachers find that their work here is highly appreciated.
  • Japan has one of the world’s most competitive job markets, so finding a position that meets your needs and matches your skillset is easy.
  • Being part of the Japanese culture can be extremely rewarding.
  • Salary expectations for teachers are high in Japan.
  • Since Japanese schoolchildren start early morning classes at 7 am, many ESL teachers can enjoy long days while still having time for other hobbies or interests outside work hours.
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On top of your TEFL salary, benefits for teaching English in Japan may also include housing reimbursement, visa assistance, and more. Keep in mind that if you choose to teach English online in Japan, your salary could look quite different, depending on whether you run your own business or work with a company.


How to teach English in Japan at an Eikaiw:

An Eikaiw school is a Japanese educational institution that offers English language tuition. They offer classes in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya and Sapporo.

Eikaiw schools are popular for a number of reasons:

  1. Their locations are excellent all five campuses are within easy reach of central Tokyo.
  2. The quality of the teaching is high students consistently rate the schools as among the best in Japan when it comes to English instruction.
  3. There is a focus on practical learning many Eikaiw schools offer opportunities to take real-world jobs after completing their courses.
  4. The price tag isn’t too bad most courses cost around 10 million yen (around $9000).

Eikaiwa English Teacher:

Eikaiwa kyōshitsu (英会話教室) translates as language conversation schools. They teach English lessons in a private class setting to any age. Many Eikaiwa instructors are native language speakers from many “Western” countries. These include the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Some FAQs:

1. What do I need to know before teaching in Japan?

Before you know how to teach English in Japan, it is important to have a clear understanding of the Japanese educational system and what is expected of a foreign teacher.

In Japan, the education system is centralized and geared towards preparing students for the competitive job market. Teachers in Japan are typically required to have a university degree in teaching, although there are some exceptions.

2. What is the best way to teach English in Japan?

There are a lot of ways to improve your knowledge about how to teach English in Japan, and the best way for you to decide depends on your qualifications, interests, and goals. You can find English teaching jobs in Japan on websites like Monster Japan or J-List.

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You can also teach private English lessons through specialist agencies like E-Lesson Japan, or you can start your English school by contacting them by email.

3. Is teaching English in Japan worth it?

You will experience new cultures and learn about the Japanese way of life firsthand. Additionally, Teaching English in Japan has become quite popular among foreigners living and working in Japan over the past few years due to the growing job market for international professionals as well as rising living costs in many countries around the world.

4. Is it hard to teach English in Japan?

The teaching process in Japan will vary depending on your qualifications, interests, and teaching style. However, some tips to help you become a successful English teacher and know creative ways how to teach English in Japan include being patient and flexible with students, using visual aids and creative teaching techniques to engage students in the class material, maintaining good communication skills with parents or guardians of children attending your school/lesson etc., as well as taking regular breaks to rejuvenate yourself.

In brief, teaching English in Japan can be a rewarding experience, as you will learn about how to teach English in Japan and the Japanese way of life and gain insight into Japanese culture. However, making the switch to teaching can be difficult if you do not have teaching experience or qualifications. If this is the case for you, it is best to seek guidance from specialist agencies or online resources before starting your teaching career in Japan.


  1. Denwa Sensei. (2023). 11 Reasons Japanese people need to learn English. Denwa Sensei.,Japanese%20people%20should%20learn%20English.
  2. Margolis, E. (2020, May 26). Why Japan doesn’t learn English. Foreign Policy.
  3. Bridge. (2023, June 10). Teach English in Japan: A Guide to Requirements, Programs, and More. BridgeUniverse – TEFL Blog, News, Tips & Resources.,or%20work%20with%20a%20company.