Lots of people ask me the best way to get to Japan.
By far away the best, and cheapest because it’s free, way to get here is on the Japan Government’s JET programme.
It operates in 40 different countries, so you’re probably able to apply where you are, and you spend 1,2 or 3 years working in Japan.
It’s how I came here and is by far and away the best programme, both in the freedom it gives and in how much you get paid. Yep, it’s a paid gig!
But …. it’s not for everyone!
If you look online though, amongst all the good reviews, you will find a few people complaining about it.
To get the most out of JET you definitely need to be a person with “get up and go” and the ability to make the most of your time. If you are the sort of person who can’t fill your time and needs someone to tell you what to do every minute of the day, then please do not apply! You’ll just end up being one of the moaners online. (How anyone can moan about being paid to do nothing, I’ll never know, but hey, if you’re like that then Japan really isn’t for you!)
But if you are the sort of person who takes a totally open day in a foreign land as a chance to create new things, learn new skills and help people all on your own, battling crazy bureaucracy and ulta conservative mindsets without any support, then you are absolutely going to love the JET programme!
And here’s a great book to get you started
If you want to get a picture of what the real JET programme is like, I’d totally recommend this new book by Sam Baldwin called “For Fukui’s sake!” (Yeah, he was in Fukui prefecture!)
Sam takes what could be a boring experience (seriously Fukui is in the middle of nowhere!) and turns it into a huge series of adventures and experiences. He had a plan of what he wanted to do before he came (I’d totally recommend writing your goals down too!) and set about meeting the right people to make it come true.
Even in the most inaka – out of the way – Japan you will find the most amazing people who have done the most amazing things. And if you take the time to search them out then you can make your Japan experience just as amazing.
If you are interested in the JET programme or working in Japan I’d totally recommend Sam’s book, it’s a bit of a bargain on kindle, and it gives you a real insight into what the majority of JETs do with their time here!
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