Why should you work in Japan? Here are 7 great reasons.

Why should you work in Japan? Here are 7 great reasons.

Working in Japan sounds like a dream come true for some of us. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. And I can tell you that it’s definitely an experience to remember! Japan has such a rich culture that affects every aspect of life here, which includes the work environment. There are just some things about the Japanese working culture that you can’t experience anywhere else in the world!

While there’s always pros and cons to everything, we’re going to focus on the pros here. In this article, there’s a list of 7 things why you should work in Japan! 

We actually have a whole season dedicated to the theme of “Working in Japan” in our podcast series, Season 6, so if you’re interested to know more about working life in Japan, check that out!

1. Job Security

The first reason you should work in Japan is job security. For full-time workers, once you get offered the job, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a long-term contract. It’s quite difficult for companies to fire employees without a clear reason. 

Plus, Japanese companies look to hire employees who will be able to work for them long-term. In fact, they will go to extreme lengths to not let go of their employees. Instead of cutting people off, companies here are known to shift employees around into different positions, implement hiring freezes or other similar ways to cut costs.

So don’t worry about getting sacked a few weeks into the job. You’re pretty much good for a few years.

2. Health Insurance

Depending on the country you come from, you might not have healthcare covered. That doesn’t happen in Japan, which is another plus point when you work in Japan. 

A lot of Japanese companies provide health insurance with your working contract. However, the amount covered by your insurance plan can vary. It depends on the type of policy your company provides. Some companies offer an insurance plan where you basically get check ups for free! The most common type of plan involves you paying your consultation for a very low price. You don’t have to worry about paying $300 on just a five minute consultation.

On top of that, Japanese companies often provide annual health checks for free. While you might have to endure being poked and prodded for a few hours, these regular checkups are pretty essential at catching diseases at early stages.

3. Allowance

One of the best things about working in Japan is that you don’t have to pay a single penny commuting to work. The company covers that as well! In Japan, it’s normal to commute almost an hour or more to work. Sometimes, that can rack up quite a bit of cost, especially if you’re taking a few different lines on the train.

An average commuting expense costs about ¥20,000 a month, but sometimes even more. You don’t have to worry about setting aside the sum of money from your paycheck, because your Japanese company will add that into your payslip, on top of your monthly salary!The best part is that this applies to both part-time and full-time positions.

You have the option to get a teikiken (定期券), which is a commuter pass. It’s a set price for a route from point A to point B for a month, but even if you alight anywhere in between, you still won’t get charged. Oftentimes you save between ¥5,000 to ¥9,000 a month!

4. Taxes

Oh boy, don’t we all hate taxes and doin them. Unless your job is an accountant, this can be quite a chore. In Japan, there are various types of taxes as well. It can all get quite confusing, too. But when you’re working in Japan, your company takes care of your taxes for you! Isn’t that a good enough reason to work in Japan?

Companies would spread the tax payments over the course of the year. This not only saves you time by not doing the paperwork yourself, but you’re also budgeting your finances better. You won’t have to pay a lump sum in April to cover tax charges. 

5. Customer Service Skill

Japan’s level of customer service is top notch. That’s all thank to the “omotenashi” (おもてなし) culture, which translates to the Japanese hospitality. When you work in Japan, you’ll be put through a ton of training and practice of the traditional style of service. And that’s not a bad thing. There’s a thing about Japanese hospitality that we can all learn from.

You’ll be able to notice what’s wrong without having to ask, not disagreeing directly while still standing your ground, and make your clients feel comfortable. I believe those things are the positive things you can take away from the omoteshi culture while working in Japan!

6. Clean and safe environment

As we briefly mentioned before, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. You wouldn’t have to worry about going home alone after dark or being followed. While these are situations that could happen in the country, Japan is one of the countries with the very low crime rates!

On top of that, it’s also extremely clean! You wouldn’t know how much an unclean environment affects your day-to-day mood until you’re in one that’s sparkling. Even though it’s hard to find a bin on the streets, you’ll be surprised how little litter you see on the floor!

7. Opportunity

Last but not least, another reason why you should work in Japan is the opportunity the country has to offer to foreign workers. Most positions are well-paid with perks and benefits. You have your visa settled for a few years. Sometimes, your accommodation is provided by the company you work for as well. 

Not to mention that when you commit to a Japanese company for a long time, it really bumps up your resume. You’re going to acquire so many various skills that will be able to make you stand out from the crowd of people in your industry.

Let’s work in Japan!

Are those reasons not good enough for you to job hunt for a position in Japan? Well, check out Season 6 of our podcast series! We discuss various aspects of working in Japan – the good, the bad and the in between. Head over there for more exclusive content! And happy job hunting! 

8 Japanese Culture Facts You Have to Know!

8 Japanese Culture Facts You Have to Know!

Japan is a country rich in culture and history. There’s no denying that. The Japanese people pride themselves in their cultural heritage. Everything from food and clothing to customs and manners, there’s a seamless blend of old and new in Japan’s culture.

 A lot of Japanese cultural aspects are worlds apart for most of us. Whether you’re planning to just travel to Japan or settling down here, you might be curious about some Japanese culture facts before your trip. Here are 8 Japanese culture facts you have to know! 

1. Bowing is the Japanese way of handshake

Senior Caucasian Businessman and Young Japanese Entrepreneur Bowing, Kyoto, Japan

For most Western countries, the handshake is the most common way to greet someone. Regardless of whether or not you are close to the person, a handshake is the most ideal. In Japan, however, the handshake is replaced with a bow. Bowing is basically the Japanese way of greeting.

There are various types of bow and with various customs attached to them. It can range from a slight nod to a full 90º bow. It depends on the situation what kind of bow to use. Arms are usually at the side of the body, but sometimes you can bow with your hands behind your back or on your chest. 

When in doubt, a standard 45º bow with hands by your side is a safe bet.

2. Baseball is very popular 

Just like how football is extremely popular in America and soccer is popular in the UK, Japan has baseball. Baseball is the most popular sport in Japan, even though sumo is the country’s national sport. While sumo is the sport people often associate the country with, baseball is the sport most locals watch and play. 

Introduced during the Meiji Period and became popular after World War II, Japan has two professional baseball leagues. Because it’s popular among school students, there are dozens of high school and university teams, too. Just like how American fans are with football matches and British fans at soccer matches, Japanese fans go crazy with chants and singing during baseball games. 

3. Drinking and eating while walking is rude

This next one is something I’m guilty of doing all the time. It’s pretty common to see someone munching on a bag of chips or sipping coffee on the way to work in a lot of country’s. In Japan, drinking and eating while walking around is rude. When buying food or beverage at a convenience store, you’ll see people standing outside the store and finishing their purchase before walking away.

Nowadays, it’s becoming less rude as compared to the olden days, but it’s still considered low-class behaviour and looked down upon. Some also think that it’s because eating and drinking while walking can make the streets dirty. Whatever the reason is, let’s avoid doing this as much as we can when in Japan.

4. Omiyage aren’t just souvenirs 

When we start learning Japanese, we learn the word “omigaye” (お土産). It usually translates to “souvenir”. The word actually has more meaning to it. It’s not like what we would refer to as souvenirs, like magnets and keychains. Omiyage refers to gifts you bring back for family, friends and co-workers after a trip, usually specialty food from various regions. 

Omiyage is often expected in Japanese culture. It’s not like Western countries where it’s more of a special gesture. It’s best to get ones in boxes with each item individually wrapped. This makes it easier to share with a big group of people. 

5. No tipping culture

Some countries require tipping in restaurants and cafes. It can be hard to adjust when in another country. In Japan, you don’t have to adjust too much, because tipping is not part of the culture here. If you were to leave extra change at the register, chances are you’ll have someone call you back because they thought you forgot your change. 

6. No slamming taxi doors

When you’re in Japan, remember not to slam the taxi doors here. That’s because the taxis here are all automatic. You don’t even have to touch the door handle to get in or get out of the taxi. The driver will open and close the door for you. 

Because Japanese taxi drivers are used to that, they’re not used to having the doors slammed. So keep in mind not to do that. It might give them a tiny scare from the sound of the slam!

7. Chopstick etiquette is crucial

If you’d been to Japan before, you would know that the most common utensil served at restaurants is the chopstick. You rarely see a fork in sight. Chopsticks are no casual matter in Japan. You’ve got to respect the chopstick etiquette. 

There’s actually a long list of things you can and cannot do with chopsticks in Japanese culture. One of the biggest no-no’s is to stick them upright in rice. This image is associated with funeral traditions.

It’s also inappropriate to pass food from one pair of chopsticks to another. The reason behind this is for hygiene purposes. 

8. Business cards are an extension of yourself

If you’re in Japan for business, bring a lot of business cards. In Japanese, this is known as ‘meishi’ (名詞). A business card is considered as an extension of oneself. Because of that, you ought to handle them with care. For both receiving and giving, be sure to do them with both hands. 

When you receive a business card, be sure to read it carefully and place it in front of you until the meeting or encounter ends. Do not shove it in your bag or back pocket of your trousers. This is considered extremely rude. Put it away in your wallet or a file. Similarly, when you give your business card to another person, they would treat it with utmost care.

Which is the most important Japanese culture fact?

There are dozens, if not hundreds, more of Japanese culture facts. But these 8 are important for you to know, especially before going to Japan. Which one of these are the most important in your opinion?