Before you Leave for Japan
If you have money saved (about US$2,000) and don’t mind pounding the pavement, then getting on a plane and flying to Tokyo without a secured job can save a lot of time. This may sound rash, but you’re almost certain to find a teaching job soon after your arrival and this is how most teachers get started.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a sizable amount of money saved and/or the prospect of arriving in Japan without a job is unnerving. Be sure to try and secure a stable job before you leave the United States and fly all the way to Japan.
Obviously being homeless in Japan would not be an ideal way to visit.
To begin, select a few schools in the geographic area where you would like to teach from the list of English schools at the end of this section. Write to them. Along with your cover letter, send photos of yourself, a resume, and a copy of your college transcript or degree. You may also want to send along a cassette tape of your voice explaining your thoughts on teaching English and discussing your goals in going to Japan. It is even better to send a videotape of yourself teaching a sample lesson. Keep in mind, though, that making and sending a videotape can take time and money, so we recommend sending a videotape only to the schools from which you’ve already received a letter of interest.
Also, contact a few sending organizations and speak with counselors at a local college or university career placement center. Japanese recruiting companies often seek new teachers through these centers.