7 Part-time Jobs in Japan for Foreigners
Are you in Japan as a student or on a working holiday visa and need some extra money? A part-time job doesn’t only help you pay your bills, but also gives you valuable first work experience in a Japanese environment that you can refer to and draw upon during the hunt for your first “real” job.
In this article, we list some part-time jobs that are easily accessible to foreigners and don’t require you to be a master of Japanese! (※Information about pay and work times is based on job openings on Japanese- and English-language job portals like Yolo Japan and Baitoru.)
Part-time jobs in Japan
Convenience store clerk
As a convenience store clerk, you’ll mostly be interacting with customers at the register. In addition to products sold at the store, you’ll sometimes handle other payments that can be made at a convenience store, like those for delivery services or public utilities bills. Other tasks include simple food preparation, restocking shelves, and cleaning the store.
900 ~ 1,000 JPY / hour (daytime)
1,100 ~ 1,200 JPY / hour (nighttime)
Almost all convenience stores operate 24 hours around the clock. There’s the early morning (早朝, そうちょう) shift, the regular daytime (昼間, ひるま) shift, the evening (夜間, やかん) shift and the late-night (深夜, しんや) shift. Pay for the late-night shift (usually 22:00 ~ 05:00) is about 25% higher than for the other shifts, so if you want to make as much money as possible, this is what you should go for.
There are no special skills that are necessary for working at a convenience store. Most chains have detailed manuals for interaction with customers, so even if your Japanese is not quite there yet, you’ll be fine if you stick to the usual phrases. That being said, you should be at intermediate level to communicate with with your fellow Japanese staff members.
Check the order, next the map, and off you go. In most cases, you’ll be delivering food from pizza places or bento shops. If you’re not a 方向音痴 (ほうこうおんち – a person with a poor sense of direction) and like to cruise around town, this might be a job for you! Interaction with customers is pretty minimal, so as long as you keep to the manual you don’t have worry too much about keigo and the like.
For some jobs, you’ll need a motorbike license. However, there are also positions that allow you to do your work on a bicycle, so hold your eyes open for them!
1,100 ~ 1,400 JPY / hour
10:00 ~ 01:00
Motorbike license (depending on where you work)
Care work encompasses a wide variety of tasks – your everyday work schedule will vary depending which facility your work at. Common tasks that don’t require high Japanese skills include assisting with changing clothes, eating, washing etc, helping move people around, cleaning rooms and washing sheets and clothes.
In ever-aging Japan, caregivers are more needed than ever, so it’s really easy to find jobs. By applying for the new Specified Skills Visa, you can also do this job on a proper working visa for a maximum of 5 years. Find out more about this visa type here!
1,100 ~ 1,200 JPY / hour
Day service times ranges from around 08:00 to 20:00.
For most positions, basic-level Japanese is enough. Because work includes lifting people and similar tasks, being in good physical condition is also an important point.
As a teacher at an English conversation school, commonly known as Eikaiwa, your main task will be teaching classes. Each Eikaiwa chain offers different types of lessons, but the two main types are group lessons and individual lessons. The names say it all – in group lessons, you’ll be teaching classes. For individual lessons (sometimes called man-to-man lessons) it will only be you and the student.
Other tasks include preparing classes, writing reports, grading tests and planning for school events.
As a standard Eikaiwa teacher, you’ll be teaching middle-school students and up. Compared to a position where you’re teaching children, your students will be more likely to want to study for university entrance exams or other types of tests.
If you like this part-time job, you can get a full-time working visa for it. The visa categories you can apply to are Specialist in Humanities (as an Eikaiwa teacher) or Instructor (if you participate in the JET program).
1,500 ~ 2,000 JPY / hour
07:00 ~ 23:00
English requirements vary from school to school. Most schools request “native level” English. In some cases, this means that you really have to be a native speaker. In others, you just have to sound native enough for Japanese ears. A background in teaching or English language education is usually not required, although there are some schools that do request it.
Being able to speak Japanese is a plus, but not a requirement at most Eikaiwa.
Restaurant / Bar Staff
Probably the most classic of part-time jobs is also available in Japan. One of the main appeals of this job type is the sheer amount of options there are. Sushi restaurants, Japanese pubs (izakaya), international cuisine, family restaurants … the choice is yours!
Working at a place that serves traditional Japanese food is a good opportunity to get a closer look at some of Japan’s rich cuisine (which is a cultural heritage, by the way.) Personally, I’ve always wondered how it is to work like at a ramen shop and kind of regret not having tried it during my university days…
What exactly you’ll be doing depends on the individual job posting. Expect anything between serving food and drinks to customers on tables and at the counter, preparing food, washing dishes, and handling payments.
1,000 ~ 1,500 JPY / hour
10:00 ~ 24:00
Most places ask for conversational to intermediate Japanese. There are even some that don’t require any Japanese at all!
Most of the tasks that don’t require you to talk with customers involve making beds, cleaning rooms or helping in the kitchen. If you want to do customer-facing work – at the front desk, for example – look for places in areas that are heavily frequented by tourists (admittedly, with Covid still going on, this kind of work is pretty hard to come by at the moment).
Hotel work is another type of job where it’s possible to transition from part-time work to a full-time job on a full-fledged working visa. One option is the Specified Skilled Worker Visa, which allows you to do non-managerial tasks that it’s otherwise hard to get a visa for.
The other option is the visa category “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” , which you can get it if you switch to a position related to planning, public relations, or other types of office work.
1,000 ~ 1,500 JPY / hour
07:00 ~ 23:00
For “behind the scenes” tasks like bedmaking, conversational Japanese is usually enough. Front desk and other customer-facing positions require at least intermediate level (and in some cases advanced) Japanese, depending on your workplace’s customer base.
Freelance Web Writer
Whether it’s well-known sites like Gaijinpot or matcha, or Japanese companies that are looking for translations or English texts for their websites … While this type of work is very comfortable, it lacks stability – you run the risk of not getting any money at all in some months. Consider getting another part-time job and switching between the two, or simply contacting as many publications as possible.
Another option is registering on a platform for writers that provides you with a semi-stable stream of work. That way, you don’t have to look for new jobs on your own all the time. One such Japanese platform that’s also looking for English writers is Writer Station – check it out!
Depends on the kind of content you write. The average for people who aren’t complete newcomers is around 1 JPY per letter.
Flexible (up to you as long as you hand in the text in time)
Naturally, to write articles in English, you’ll need native or near-native language skills. Sometimes, you can also find openings for other target languages, like Spanish or Vietnamese.
When working for non-Japanese publications, Japanese is not a must. However, if you register on Japanese platforms, you’ll need at least intermediate Japanese to communicate with the staff.
Ready for work
Ready to start your part-time job? Then go ahead and look for open positions! In terms of English job sites, you can try Nihon Arubaito, Nihon de Baito and YOLO Japan. If you’re confident in your Japanese abilities, you can also go to Japanese sites like Baitoru or Townwork (don’t forget to check the requirement 留学生歓迎 to avoid frustrating application experiences).