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How to Find the Best Part-Time Jobs in Japan

Part-time work in Japan is easier to find than you think—even when it comes to part-time jobs for foreigners.

By 3 min read

Got a little extra time on your hands? Need a little more money to supplement that income from your full-time job? Looking for a way to push past a plateau in learning the Japanese language and want to do so outside the classroom?

For the adventurous, Japan’s part-time jobs market offers abundant opportunities. Using GaijinPot Job’s part-time jobs search button is the best way to find part-time jobs in Japan.

First, though, you may be wondering…

What Kind of Part-Time Jobs Are Available in Japan?

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English teaching is the easiest part-time work to find.

As one might expect, part-time work in Japan varies. Restaurants, resorts, hotels and eikaiwa (English conversation schools) are always hiring. Part-time jobs at universities can often be found in the lead-up to the big hiring season in April, while localization and game testing jobs are also quite plentiful season-round (especially for English-language speakers and speakers of other languages).

Gyms and fitness centers often need help at the front desk, and if your Japanese is pretty good, working as a trainer is also something you might see from time to time.

Security firms are frequently hired to patrol new building construction to keep apartment buildings safe and for big events in and around Japan.

Specialty jobs pop up in Japan year-round:

  • Jobs as part-time art instructors
  • Summer camp teachers
  • Computer coding mentors
  • Tour operators
  • Art exhibit educators
  • Go-kart drivers

And every once and a while, you may run into super unique part-time work:

  • Marriage officiant
  • Film extra
  • Remote data analyst or data rater
  • Foreign model
  • Photographer
  • Writer

There really are lots of opportunities available. Keep us bookmarked to ensure you don’t miss that perfect job for you.

How Much Can You Earn Working Part-Time in Japan?

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Make more than “coffee money.”

The most common wage range for part-time work is between ¥1,200–¥1,500 per hour. However, if you’re looking for work teaching English, you can find positions that pay upwards of ¥50,000 (typically with larger firms and in larger cities).

Occasionally, you may find part-time jobs that pay as high as ¥8,000 an hour, but such rates tend to be reserved for experienced teachers in high-end academic environments, which is a great reason to get a less requirement-heavy part-time job first. Some specialty occupations centered on science and math also pay much higher than the average, as to jobs you probably shouldn’t be applying for in the first place (see the below “dos and don’ts” for more on this).

Lastly, outside the classroom—and great for bilingual retirees calling Tokyo home—there are amazing part-time positions for taxi drivers that will surprise you with all their benefits.

A few asides:

  • For ESL instruction: the younger the “student” or the more experienced the learner—the higher the pay (read: preschoolers and execs, respectively…).
  • The more fun the work is, the smaller the paycheck will be (often very small).
  • Weekends pay better, as do evening shifts.
  • Jobs outside Tokyo can pay more than you think because of talent scarcity.
  • “On-call” teaching jobs can pay quite well, but be aware of the time you’ll need to set aside to be available.
  • As you might expect, kitchen work (particularly in good restaurants) means you also get fed.
  • Manufacturing jobs can pay very well and expose you to a wide range of foreign talent and business styles.

Where are the Best Part-Time Jobs in Japan?

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A part-time remote gig will be even better.

The best part-time work is, of course, wherever you hang your hat.

GaijinPot Jobs lists everything from the biggest cities in the land to the tiniest little spots: Nagoya, Okinawa, Osaka, Ehime—it’s all here.

Finding work close to you is also dead simple with advanced search. Simply narrow your search by region or prefecture, and you’re good to go.

Requirements for Part-Time Work in Japan

Your ability to work as a part-timer in Japan might be limited if you’re a student or military spouse. And, there are many other things you need to be aware of, even if you’re fairly free of restrictions—there are definitely do’s and don’ts.

So there you have it. Part-time work in Japan can be fun, great for language learning and a wonderful way to pad your wallet for fun and necessary purchases. Good luck, job hunters!

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