Life in Japan

Advice and guides for the complicated parts of life in Japan.

In Japan, battery sizes don't follow the battery size name conventions you might be used to if you come from an English speaking country.

Here is a list of ways to make money online in Japan. If you are an ALT in Japan, you may have a lot of free time and you may want to make a little extra cash. There are some opportunities to make a little extra money offline as an ALT, generally through conversation lessons. However, if you want to make money online in Japan, here are some ideas.

About the JLPT

JLPT Japanese Language Proficiency Test

The JLPT or the Japanese Language Proficiency Test is one of the most recognized and accepted tests to show your proficiency in the Japanese Language. This test is taken in Japan and around the world once or twice a year (depending where you are) in either June or December. The JLPT test, since 2011, has 5 levels.

The levels are designated N5 to N1, with N1 being the most difficult. Prior to 2011 it was a 4 level system with a large jump between Level 3 and Level 2. The new system has added a level that fits between the old Level 3 and Level 2.

Every level test sits at the same time on the same day so it is impossible to do 2 different tests during one testing period. For this reason it is important to choose the test level you wish to do carefully.

Cooking rice in a Japanese rice cooker is very simple once you know the basics. Make sure you get these three steps right and you'll have delicious, perfectly cooked rice from your rice cooker.

If you're in Japan teaching English, you will have been provided with a visa from the Japanese government to work for a specified length of time. You may decide to stay and will need to extend your stay. Here are a few helpful links and a short guide on how to renew your residence card.

This page details the varying salary you will receive on a month by month basis if you are employed with Interac Co Ltd as an ALT teaching English in Japan.

My main online study tool up till recently has been and I have written a little about my experience with RTK. However, I have recently started using another website too, by the name of

This is a response to the article entitled 10 reasons to become an ALT in Japan. While there are many people who come to Japan and work successfully as an ALT for a year or two, there are many complaints and even a few people who have more complaints than reasons to stay and have to leave before they initially planned to. Note: This article is quite negative but your own experience is what you make it.

This is just an average day in the life of an ALT living in the countryside in Japan. It is not any specific day, rather just a summation of what you can expect a normal weekday to be like (based on my personal experience) if you become an ALT in Japan and are stationed in the country.

Are you thinking about going to Japan? Are you considering living in Japan for a year to experience Japan life? Well, you wouldn't be the first and you won't be the last - Japan is a country that holds an interest for a lot of people and becoming an English teacher for a year is one to get to Japan.