Do You Live in Japan? Here Are 3 Great Ways to Earn Extra Cash!

  • HOW TO
  • Living in Japan is an exciting experience. You can learn a new language, experience a unique culture, and open doors to brand new experiences. Whether you’re a student, a language teacher, or a company employee, it’s always good news when you can find a way to earn a little extra money. Here are three ways that foreign people living in Japan can earn an extra income.

    1. Selling unwanted items at BOOK-OFF (ブックオフ)

    Do you have any video games you’ve finished playing? How about books you don’t read anymore or DVDs you don’t need? BOOK-OFF and some other bookstores often buy items from customers at a pretty fair price. Video games, in particular, fetch decent compensation. You can easily make a few thousand yen as long as the games are in good condition. Just make sure that they were bought in Japan originally; the shop may not accept them otherwise.

    BOOK-OFF Website
    Access (There are many branches, but we will introduce one of them here.)

    2. Freelance teaching


    The demand for English teaching is high in Japan, and in metropolitan areas, it isn’t too difficult to get yourself several regular students a month. Try; it’s free for teachers to join, and you can set your own schedule, rules, and lesson fees. Classes can be anything you like, from group lessons with children to an hour of conversation a week in a cafe.

    The good thing about freelance teaching is that you can set your own teaching style and goals for your students, meet when and where you want, and take a break from it anytime you choose. Freelance teaching is a great way to earn an extra few thousand yen a month.

    3. Freelance writing


    Japan is a popular country, especially in the last couple of years. Many websites and magazines offer cash for original, well-written articles about Japanese culture, food, hotspots, celebrities, media, and more.

    Compensation varies depending on the website or magazine, so it’s good to do a little research to see how you can get the best deal. Here are a few tips if you’re interested in freelance writing:

    • Have interesting, original topics to talk about. Everyone knows about sushi and Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー). Think of unique experiences you’ve had or places you’ve visited that aren’t necessarily known to tourists.
    • Have good English skills. Even native speakers sometimes have trouble getting their thoughts on paper. Get a friend or family member to beta read what you’ve written before you submit it to a site.
    • Have basic writing skills. Include good, interesting information, have an introduction and conclusion in your articles, and make sure your sentences flow in a reader-friendly way.

    As a freelance writer, you can write just one or two articles a month and still have some extra cash in your pocket for shopping or a fancy meal. You might even discover a skill you didn’t know you had.

    We all need some spare money from time to time, and it’s good to have a few backup plans in case of an unforeseen expense. Try one or more of these methods to make yourself a second, or even third, income while you’re living in Japan. Studying or working in Japan should be a fun experience, not to be spoiled by money worries. Hopefully, these tips will help you get by and let you concentrate more on the fun parts!

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