News & Stories/2020

A TEFL Guide to Japan

Many people are drawn to teaching English in Japan due to the high salaries and the ability to travel easily throughout the rest of Asia. You’ll be in good company too as 70% of the country’s expats are English teachers.

Most TEFL teachers secure English teaching jobs in private language schools or ‘cram schools’ set up to help Japanese students pass their exams. It is also common for TEFL Teachers to offer private lessons in addition to their regular teaching job. It pays well too at around £30 per student per hour.

Quick Facts  Population: 126,659,683 Language: Japanese Capital City: Tokyo Government: Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy Religion: 84% – 96% Buddhist and Shinto Climate: Mild and Humid Summer Months. Rainy Season Jun-July EFL teachers salary (average): Up to £2000 per month. 

Things to see and do in Japan

Twenty Storey Karaoke Hotel 

 That’s right an entire hotel is dedicated to Karaoke! You just need to select your room, drinks and ridiculous costumes from a wardrobe full of outfits. You and your friends can turn into a gang of power rangers, panda bears, pink bunnies, the list goes on. Then sing your heart away until the early hours of the morning!

Shibuya Crossing 

Rumoured to be the busiest intersection in the world (and definitely in Japan), no area of Toyko is more recognisable than here and perhaps nowhere else says ‘Welcome to Tokyo’ better than this. Hundreds of people – and at peak times said to be over 1000 people – cross at a time. 

Mount Fuji 

 Mount Fuji is an active volcano, that stands on the border between Yamanashi and Shizuoka and can be seen from Tokyo and Yokohama on clear days. Mount Fuji is officially open for climbing during July and August via several routes. If you don’t fancy climbing it you can head to the Fuji Five Lake (Fujigoko) region at the northern foot of the mountain, or to Hakone, a nearby hot spring resort where you will get great views of the mountain.

Top Places to Go

The larger cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama have the best opportunities for TEFL teachers, as there are a larger number of schools, and a higher concentration of international businesses. Having said that, as the TEFL industry in Japan is so huge there are opportunities across much of the country.


If you are looking to live somewhere with a buzz 24/7 then Tokyo is the place for you. Party the night away until 5am or splash out on the best Sushi you’ll ever taste in one of Tokyo’s fabulous restaurants. Japanese cuisine has even been added to the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage list. 


If you take a more laid-back approach to life, then you should consider teaching English in the Musashi's province, perhaps in Yokohama. A seaside resort with a beautiful waterfront park (Yamashita) - it's less than an hour from Tokyo, so you can easily reach the capital.


Often overshadowed by Tokyo, Osaka is a massive city with plenty to offer. It has several historical and cultural must-see-spots and can match any modern city for facilities and recreation. Osaka is second only to Tokyo for entertainment, shopping, and transport so there will be plenty for you to do in your time off.

Does Japan sound like the perfect TEFL destination to you? If you're not yet TEFL qualified, book onto a course of your choice today. 2 days or 120 hours of Online Training is all it takes to become TEFL qualified, then you are free to jet off to start your new life and career in Japan!

Once you have passed your course with UK-TEFL, you will have access to our UK-TEFL Jobs Service, meaning you can apply for the jobs listed on our website (these are updated regularly). You will also be able to access a list of contacts for schools all around the world and will receive a FREE Finding Work Guide and CV MOT! Already passed your course with UK-TEFL and have been working in Japan? Feel free to take our quick survey - we'd love to hear from you!