Are you really coming to Japan just to study? Don’t you have plans on wearing that Japanese traditional clothing and walk through those festive streets? How about enjoying the nice outdoor hot springs or filling your gut with top-class Japanese gourmet? Whatever you do, there’s one thing we know we all need.


In this episode of SchooLynk’s Online Information Session, John and Eli talks about アルバイト (“arubaito“) or part-time jobs in Japan. With experience in part-time jobs, both our hosts give us advice on how to look for jobs, what to expect and other valuable information as to what it’s like to be an international student working in a Japanese society.

What is “Baito”?

Eli: “Part-time jobs. I think everyone has to do it in japan. Part-time jobs are called “Baito” or “Arubaito” in Japan.”

John: “I’m pretty sure you guys aren’t planning on studying in Japan just to study right? I’m pretty sure you’ll be interested in going to different places, and enjoying the culture and the food. If you want to have fun, then it comes with money.”

John: “We really suggest that you have at least one (job) while you’re studying here, because it’ll also serve as a good experience.”

Minimum wage for Part-time Jobs

Eli: “In Japan, or in Tokyo, the minimum wage is around 1000 yen per hour. For me, since I’m working in Tokyo, I also get the minimum wage.”

John: “It really depends on the nature of the job you’re taking and the company as well. Although the average hourly wage in Tokyo is a thousand yen, sometimes it depends on what time it is. For example, convenience stores which are open for 24 hours, people are less willing to work from 10 pm onwards. Because of that convenience store owners usually pay their workers 30 percent more than the average wage. Back then I also used to work at one.”

Eli: “So your salary actually depends on what time you work, where, what kind of company, and what kind of job it is.”

Is it usual for students in Japan to work while in university?

Eli: “People might ask if it’s usual to work in Japan while they’re in college.”

John: “From my experience, it’s actually rare for people not to have a part-time job. Most of my friends have part-time jobs, unless they’re really financially capable. Why would you sacrifice the opportunity for money?”

Eli: “Also experience, and for brushing up your Japanese. So don’t be afraid to apply for jobs. It’s normal, everyone is working, everyone is tired.”

Eli: “I mean tired from school!”

John: “No, everyone’s fulfilled. (laughs)”

Eli: “Yeah, everyone’s fulfilled. (laughs)”

How to look for part-time jobs in Japan?

Eli: “If you guys want to know where to look for jobs, then you can look for it on Townwork. It’s a magazine.”

John: “There’s a magazine for it, and there’s also an online website for it as well as a mobile application.”

John: “You also have other websites like Baitoru or Recruit.”

Eli: “Some people use that to get jobs in their local convenience stores.”

John: “Restaurants, cafes. Usually, they can be a bit strict with cafes, especially for part-time jobs that are really strict with customer service. Of course, they at least require you to speak, not only fundamental Japanese, but also ‘customer service‘ Japanese.”

Eli: “There’s also a website called MyNavi. It’s also a same site where you can find a job. They actually post what level of Japanese you actually need like N1, N2 or N3. You can also search for a job by place, like finding a job through the nearest station.”

John: “That’s one of the biggest benefits of looking for a part-time job in Japan. You can also search with different conditions like, let’s say, you want a minimum wage of 1200 yen, or you want to work near this station or near this city, or around 300m proximity from your house. It’s very convenient.”

John: “When I used to work at a convenience store it was a 10-minute ride with my bicycle.”

“Sometimes employers can be strict when it comes to hiring foreigners, but don’t worry guys, because when you use these websites, there’s usually this condition where it says they welcome foreign people.”

Eli: For anyone who wants to know the Japanese term, what’s it called, John?

John: It’s 「留学生歓迎」 or “Ryuugakusei Kangei.”

Eli: It means foreigners or international students are welcome. If you want to look for more jobs, there are also other websites. You can just look it up on the internet. There are also openings for jobs in a certain language.

John: “Some of the sites we mentioned earlier were in Japanese, but there are actually some sites that are written in English. Usually, the jobs offered there are english-speaking or teaching jobs.”

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