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Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/19 01:28
Hi, I have started studies in computer science and was thinking of becoming a web developer, but recently I have been thinking of dropping it and becoming a travel agent in an agency specialized in Japan or Asian countries, which would make going to Japan more accessible (I live in Europe and it is extremely expensive from here). Going to Japan is my main motivation, I don't really plan on living there permanantly but Japan is one of my only passions. While I'm cool with web developing I cannot really say that it's a passion. So, I've been wondering, when I see people who are able to go to Japan regularly and spend a good amount of time there, what type of occupation do you have that allows you to do that ?
by Miharuie  

Re: Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/19 08:07
So you question isn't really Japan related.

You just want to know which job makes lots of money so you can travel lots.

In that case. Best to research closer to home for details than ask here. As you home nation incomes for jobs will be very different than worldwide incomes.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/19 09:17
My thoughts on this
- if you just want to go to Japan as tourist, any job will do as long as youfll be able to make a decent amount
- if you want to go a bit longer to Japan quite regularly a remote job could be an idea. Itfs kind of a gray zone. Because youfd be going as a tourist, which theoretically means you are not allowed to work. But remote work isnft really controllable. If thatfs something, then youfd need to look for work that allows for remote working. I am no expert in that field, but I guess that web design actually could be okay. Your work as a freelancer for your international clients from wherever you want.
- if you want to be able to go FOR WORK to Japan, that itfs more complicated. There are thousands of different ways to it, but I would say none over any guarantees. Just take myself. I studied biotechnology and work in Pharma. And through many chances and turns in my private and professional way I am now an expert in clinical trials in Japan and have a job in a Japanese company. But that wasnft something that was a straight path. Probably if your study Japanese your likelihood in ending up at some work that might send you to japan more frequently for work is higher than other studies. But all Japanese will be better at Japanese than you. So youfd still only be interesting for a few specific companies.
- you wie that working IN Japan isnft one of your goals. And thatfs perfectly fine. But as you are studying something with IT, that could actually be a relatively geasyh way to Japan. Probably not web design as I guess it depends too much on your communication skills. But some more programming type of work , there are opportunities in Japan.

Regarding your idea to work in a travel agency. Sure it might be that you will travel more frequently to Japan but normally travel agencies work with some local agency. So there might be no need for you to travel to Japan for work. If youfd be fluent in Japanese, that might improve your chances. But that takes time. About 2 yrs.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/19 14:36
Miharuie,

I used to do that vice versa a long time ago. What I mean is that I am/was a Japanese living in Japan and employed by a Japanese travel company. I aimed to do what you're aiming now, and was granted. The company and/or its business partners happened to offer great deals for its employees who wish to travel overseas on vacation.

The more the destination is related to the company's business, the better deals they were able to offer me. For me, it was a lot better than traveling overseas on business. I never had to pack my business suit, and all I did at the destination was to have fun. Of course, what we sold was "leisure", so all the fun I had was useful in feeding back information to our planners and salespeople.

So, yes, you could indeed consider working for companies that do business with airlines. You can even consider working for an airline itself, which would allow you the greatest deals as far as airfare is concerned. Be sure the airline flies to the destination you wish to travel to.

But keep in mind that due to the pandemic (and now the war), the traveling industry has pretty much hit the bottom. You have to see if any company could afford hiring you or even "keeping" you hired, moreover giving you airfare deals.

The unfortunate part for me was that since I was too busy working, I couldn't get enough days off worth a long trip to Europe. I got only like 4 days off at a time, which was long enough only for shorter destinations.

I soon quit that job, because the working hours was affecting my health. Now I'm happy enough using my credit card points to add up for air fare mileage. And traveling cheaper stopping over in southern tropical countries isn't bad at all either. The first destination I traveled to after I quit the job was Europe, where I hadn't gone since I graduated college.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/19 21:53
Speaking from experience as someone who used to live in Japan and now (pandemic notwithstanding) spends a lot of time (at least three months a year, sometimes as many as six) in Japan, any kind of remote work where all you need is a laptop and an internet connection is fine. I work in marketing but honestly web dev is also a very viable option for someone wanting to work from home on a full-time basis. I usually rent a monthly mansion in Tokyo or some other city and spend the daytimes exploring, shopping, etc. then go home and work by night. I don't really love the work since it is more of a consultancy role and I can't really flex my creativity as much as I would like to, but the Japanese language, Japan travel, as well as the shopping that Japan offers, are pretty much my main passions in life, so I'm more than happy to accept less than ideal work as it enables me to pursue my hobbies with more or less total freedom. If you are someone who wants to enjoy the fruits of his or her labour more than the labour itself, this kind of arrangement is well worth considering.

I do wonder about your idea of a career in the travel/tourism sector. Travel to Japan from Europe is honestly already really easy, and unless you find a way to make flying internationally cheaper that is better than what Jack's Flight Club, Scott's Cheap Flights, etc. are already doing I wonder if the niche you are hoping to carve out exists. In my experience web dev is a much better option for someone wanting to work in such a way that they can travel freely, or even move to Japan permanently since many Japanese companies do hire quite a lot of web and software developers, as well as network engineers and others in the CS field from abroad. Not necessarily web design as LikeBike stated, but certainly an English-speaking full stack web developer is pretty employable in Japan as far as foreigners go. Of course, command of the Japanese language is a big plus.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/20 22:05
Thank you all for your detailed answers and sharing your experiences, they are all very helpful and I'm very grateful.

@H
I was more looking to hear about the experiences of people who travel to Japan often and if there are any jobs that can make traveling to Japan specifically easier but it's true that just doing a job that pays well is also an option.

@LikeBike
I hadn't thought of working remotely and will need to look a bit more into that. I guess especially working as a programmer that would be feasible. I didn't think working remotely from another country would be allowed but apparently there are people doing it so I'll definitely keep that in mind. And thank you for the advice about working in Japan, maybe I will take the chance to work over there one day if I get it, for now I'm focusing on traveling there but I could change my mind one day, who knows.
I have interviewed some travel agents and I know that they do get to travel to Japan for the ones that are specialized in that destination. That is why I was considering it but on the other hand the industry's pretty fragile and they also told me that the pay was pretty bad so I have to consider that as well.

@Uco
This is exactly what I had in mind so this is very helpful. The fact that the tourism industry is kind of fragile with everything happening has been one of the things that have made me doubt this idea. I have been interviewing people in specialized agencies so I know some of them do get to go to Japan but it's still part of the work since they have to feed back after, plus it can be quite intense as they have to experience a lot of stuff in a minimum amount of time. I'm not sure what I will do yet but I will keep your experience in mind. Might be better to just accumulate mileage as you said.

@Liz
I had never thought of doing this. This does sound nice but reading your answer I couldn't help but wonder when do you find the time to sleep ? If I was working at night I am not sure I would have the energy to visit during the day but I guess you still get weekdays and holidays to explore. I am definitely going to look into this, it still sounds like a nice arrangement for staying a few months in Japan plus indeed working as a developer could make it even easier. I had not heard of services like Scott's Cheap Flights or Jack's Flight Club so I will look into that as well.
I was considering travel agencies because I know that they do get to travel for "free" even though it's still part of their work, and they do get some great deals for traveling. Then again the industry is pretty fragile and I have been told travel agents in my country do not get paid that well and start at minimum wage so I'm still questioning it.
by Miharuie rate this post as useful

Re: Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/21 03:41
I don't find a lack of time to be a big issue at all. I can do everything I want to and more. The time difference between Japan and the UK where I am based necessitates sleeping and waking late, but it is rare that I am unable to get 6-7 hours quality sleep.

A busy day in Japan for me would probably be getting out of bed somewhere between 8 and 10 a.m. Over the next couple of hours I'll go for a run or a walk, visit a convenience store to get breakfast, eat back at home then get ready to go out. I would usually be on a train somewhere by 12ish and I might stay out until maybe 6, 7, 8 p.m. On the rare occasion that I have something scheduled before I want to go home for the day (my work involves lots of Skype/Zoom calls and live collaboration on Notion/Google Docs) I will jump in an Internet cafe or karaoke box for an hour or two. After going home and winding down for a bit I might work from around 8 or 9 p.m. until I've done everything I need to do, 2 or 3 a.m. would be typical. An hour later I'll be asleep.

Now, that isn't what every day looks like by any stretch, but I could easily get 3-4 really enjoyable long days out of a week without exhausting myself. Just bear in mind that while a normal tourist visiting Japan for two weeks and wanting to make the most of what may turn out to be a once or twice in a lifetime trip might spend 8, 10, 12 or more hours out and about exploring every day, someone like me spending two or three months in the country, multiple times a year, every year for hopefully the rest of her life will be operating on a much more relaxed itinerary. In fact it is rare that I even have one at all. I do go to Japan with a short list of things I want to tick off, but generally speaking I just do what I feel like when I wake up on that particular day. Sometimes I spend the whole day out enjoying the weather, exploring, meeting people, shopping, etc. Other days I might take a walk along a river for an hour or two then go home and sit on the balcony with Netflix on my iPad until it gets dark. Pretty much anyone visiting the same country on such a regular basis and with such high frequency is going to slow down the pace of their visits dramatically. Spending 3-6 months out of every year on a tourist's timetable just wouldn't be fun at all.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/21 21:43
Hi again,

Just to add, traveling free on work and traveling cheap on vacation are two very very different things. That difference is probably the first thing you want to keep in mind. There are people who love to do the former and those who love to do the latter.

If you travel on work, you not only travel for free but you'll be paid to travel. Typical opportunities in the travel industry are (A) traveling as a tour guide for a big group and (B) traveling on an inspection tour. Even if you're not in the travel industry (C) you can do something that is only possible in Japan (such as discussing business with people in Japan, location scouting in Japan, etc.) and they'll pay you all the expenses.

(A) is rewarding for people who love to do it, but it's a very very busy, responsible and stressful job a lot of people don't want to do. You need to look after your customers pretty much 24/7, because they sometimes have problems in the middle of the night. (B) is, in fact, quite fun and easy, except that there is indeed an itinerary you need to follow. For (C), your freedom depends on the job, and a lot of people do enjoy the flexibility.

So, being paid means you need to pay back with your work. But in my case, even when I was in the travel industry, I only used something more like "agent discount" which is kind of the same as employee benefits. So, I was able to lay at the beach all day without having to report anything back to the company.

What I'm saying is, when looking for employment, you should think whether you want to "travel for work" or "enjoy benefits on vacation traveling". Remember that if you ask, "Can I travel on work?" they will indeed make you work.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/22 01:03
As someone working as a Japan travel specialist in Europe, I can say that my own company would never employ someone to work as a Japan travel specialist unless they had already lived in Japan and knew the country very well. Seeking a job in this sector because you're interested in Japan and want to have a way to be paid to go there is unrealistic.
by Saru Bob rate this post as useful

Re: Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/22 03:14
@LIZ
Thank you again for the detailed answer. I see, I was looking at it through the eyes of a tourist who's only been there for 2 weeks but this makes perfect sense. Honestly this sounds like something I might want to do in the future plus I'm already a sleep and wake up late type of person so this is really fitting. I will definitely keep your experience in mind, this was really helpful so thank you!

@Uco
I was thinking more of doing (B), but honestly I haven't even figured out if I want to travel on work or on vacation yet. I feel like there is no wrong option here and both could be satisfying but that is not helping me choose. This is something I need to figure out myself but laying it out in the way you did is definitely helpful so thank you!

@Saru Bob
Thank you for the advice, I do not plan on seeking a job as a Japan tavel specialist right away, but am planning to eventually work my way towards it if I decide to go for that line of work. I haven't even finished my studies yet, so it's really more of a plan for the future.
by Miharuie rate this post as useful

Re: Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/24 09:36
To Miharuie,

As Uco-San mentioned, you can consider working for an airline.

Ifm not sure where you live, but the company I work for in the USA is currently hiring pilots, flight attendants and ramp agents. However, unless youfre a pilot, I honestly wouldnft recommend it since itfs not stable.

Before Covid, I used to work Japan trips as a flight attendant. We would go to Narita twice in one week and stay there for about 24 hours each time. Now, only those with at least 25 years company seniority can work those trips, unless they get randomly assigned. Before the pandemic, I used to go to Tokyo for vacation at least twice a year, too. You can even fly first class practically for free, though it depends on seat availability.

The pros to this job are the travel benefits, flexibility and health insurance. The salary isnft great unless youfre consistently working international trips. Also, as I mentioned before, itfs not stable. Many of us were furloughed because of the pandemic.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck!
by Ann (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Occupation that makes going to Japan easier 2022/3/26 04:07
@Ann
Thank you ! It is a shame that jobs in the tourism industry do not pay well, on top of being unstable especially right now. The benefits are nice but I have to think about wether they outweigh the disadvantages. I'm considering continuing with web developing but keeping the idea of working in travel in mind, but we'll see.
by Miharuie rate this post as useful

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