A Traveller’s Guide to Part-Time Work: Exploring Japan through アルバイト Arubaito

Japan is a country full of culture, history, and natural beauty. The allure of Japan is undeniable. Yet, understanding the language and culture is key to immersing oneself in the Japanese way of life. This is where the concept of “arubaito” (アルバイト), or part-time work, comes into play, offering travelers a unique gateway into the heart of Japanese society. This blog will discuss things you need to know regarding part-time jobs in Japan.

Introduction to Arubaito

Arubaito” offers a fascinating insight into the Japanese work ethic and social norms. Originating from the German word “Arbeit” (work), it signifies part-time employment that many Japanese engage in. For travelers, taking up an “arubaito” is not just about earning extra yen; it’s an unparalleled opportunity to live as the locals do, understand workplace etiquette, and improve your Japanese through real-life practice.

How to Find Arubaito Positions

Finding an “arubaito” can be as simple as checking local job boards and websites or even inquiring at schools or universities for those on a student visa. Jobs range from serving in a café, assisting in retail, and teaching English. However, having a conversational level of Japanese for most of these positions is crucial, highlighting the importance of learning the language.

For those interested in finding “arubaito” positions in Japan, several websites are excellent resources to start your search. Here’s a list of platforms where you can find part-time job listings, ranging from teaching positions to service industry roles:

  • Indeed Japan – The Japanese branch of the global job search engine Indeed also lists part-time jobs in Japan. It aggregates listings from various sources, offering a broad spectrum of opportunities.
  • LinkedIn – The most popular platform for business-minded people and companies. Businesses often post job offerings or connect potential candidates through direct messages and more.
  • Townwork (タウンワーク) – One of the most popular job listing sites in Japan, Townwork covers a wide range of part-time job opportunities across various industries. It’s user-friendly and offers detailed job descriptions, including work hours, pay, and requirements.
  • Baitoru (バイトル) – Baitoru is another leading job search portal specializing in part-time and temporary positions. It features an intuitive interface and allows users to search for jobs based on location, industry, and job type.
  • FromA Navi (フロム・エー ナビ) – FromA Navi offers a comprehensive database of part-time job listings throughout Japan. It includes filters to narrow down search results according to specific criteria, making it easier to find suitable “arubaito”/part-time positions.
  • GaijinPot Jobs – Specifically tailored for foreigners living in Japan, GaijinPot Jobs includes listings for part-time jobs that may not require high levels of Japanese proficiency. It’s an excellent resource for English-speaking job seekers.
  • Daijob – While Daijob is mainly known for full-time career opportunities, it also lists part-time jobs suitable for bilingual or non-Japanese speakers, focusing on positions that require foreign language skills.
  • Hello Work – Hello Work is a government-operated employment service center with offices all over Japan. They offer job consultation and listings, including part-time jobs. While navigating their services might require some Japanese proficiency, they provide valuable support for job seekers.

Before applying for jobs, ensure you understand the visa requirements and restrictions for working in Japan as a foreigner. Some visas may not permit employment, or there may be restrictions on the number of hours you can work. It’s also beneficial to have your resume and cover letter ready in both English and Japanese to increase your chances of securing a position.

Here is a blog that guides you on how to write a resume and cover letter and do a job interview in Japanese:

These websites are a great starting point for finding “arubaito” in Japan. Remember, patience and persistence are key, as well as a willingness to immerse yourself in the Japanese language and culture.

Legal Considerations 

Before embarking on your “arubaito” journey, you must understand the visa requirements and ensure you can legally work. Additionally, immersing yourself in the Japanese work culture demands understanding its nuances, from the paramount importance of punctuality to the respectful treatment of colleagues and superiors.

To legally work in Japan, including part-time jobs or “arubaito,” having the appropriate work permit or visa is crucial. Japan has specific visa categories for different employment and activities within the country. Here’s a general guide on how to get a work permit in Japan, tailored for travelers or foreigners looking to engage in part-time work:

1. Understand the Types of Work Eligible Visas

  • Working Holiday Visa: For young people from certain countries, offering the chance to travel and work.
  • Student Visa: Allows part-time work up to 28 hours per week with a permit from the immigration office.
  • Specified Skills Visa: For individuals with certain expertise or skills in industries in which Japan has labor shortages.
  • Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services Visa: For professional employment, which may allow for part-time work in related fields.

2. Secure a Job Offer (Full-Time)

Before applying for a work visa, you typically need a job offer from a Japanese employer. For part-time work, this might be less formal than for full-time positions, but having employment lined up is crucial.

3. Gather Required Documentation

The specific documents required can vary depending on the visa type, but generally include:

  • Passport
  • Visa application form
  • Photograph
  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE) – obtained by the employer in Japan
  • Job offer letter or statement from the employer

4. Apply for the Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

The COE is issued by the Japanese Immigration Services and is essential for applying for a visa. Your employer in Japan will need to apply for the COE on your behalf by submitting the required documentation to the nearest immigration bureau in Japan.

5. Apply for the Visa

Once you have the COE, you can apply for your visa at a Japanese embassy or consulate in your country. Submit the completed application form, your passport, the COE, and any other required documents.

6. Entry into Japan

After receiving your visa, you can enter Japan. Depending on your visa type, you may need to perform additional registrations with local government offices or the immigration bureau. Check this for more information on Kuyakusho: A Survival Guide for Foreigners in Japan.

7. Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted

Suppose you are in Japan on a non-working visa, such as a student visa. In that case, you must apply for “Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted” at an immigration office to take up part-time work legally.

Cultural and Legal Considerations

  • Understand and respect Japanese work culture: Punctuality, diligence, and respect are highly valued.
  • Stay informed about legal working hours: Students are typically allowed to work up to 28 hours per week during term time and full-time during vacations.
  • Keep your visa status and work permit updated: Ensure your employment activities are always within the legal boundaries of your visa or work permit conditions.

Navigating the process of obtaining the right to work in Japan can seem daunting. Still, it can be straightforward with the right preparation and understanding of the legal requirements. Always check the latest information from official sources or consult with immigration specialists to ensure compliance with Japanese law.

Before you go!

Have you ever considered an “arubaito” in Japan, or are you curious about learning Japanese to enhance your travels? Share your thoughts and experiences on our social media (Instagram and Linkedin).

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