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How can I become a tour guide in Japan? 2008/2/12 02:12
As the title, how can one become a tour guide in Japan? I really would want to guide in Japan(I LOVE JAPAN!!!). And I think I would have slight advantage because I can speak English, Chinese and Japanese (intermediate level).

I have checked with my local side - yes, there are of course opportunity if I want to guide in my own country, but no opportunity for becoming one in other countries, like Japan(as so I enquired).

In my country, I know that there are some non-native tour guides - mainly German and Chinese.

In Japan, are there any requirement in becoming a tour guide for non-native? Or before that, is there even chance in becoming one?
by lindy  

... 2008/2/12 09:06

There is a license exam to become guides in Japan.
by AK rate this post as useful

Questions 2008/2/13 01:50
AK, thanks for the reply.

I have read and walked through the website(its quite informative). But I am at a lost of how to go about going for the course and taking the license exam. They did not state more regarding registration and stuff? Do I email them?

Sorry for the questions.
by lindy rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/13 08:43
For last year, they distributed the application in May - June, with the written exam in early Sept., followed by verbal exam in early Dec., according to Japan National Tourist Organization's websited. THe test venues were: Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Naha, seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taipei.

They have not yet released the guidelines for 2008.

They have the 2007 exams with answers written in - they are on this page.

1. is for the languages (you choose one)
2. Geography of Japan
3. History of Japan
4. IIndustry, economics, politics and culture in general.

At the very bottom of this page, there are two e-mail addresses. Use the very last one for general inquiries. The other one is for questions on how to fill electronic application form (once it is made available).
by AK rate this post as useful

Whoops 2008/2/13 09:46
Sorry I forgot the link for the 2007 exam and answers:

Difficulty for you may be that this is (so far) mainly intended for Japanese who have other language skills as well. Meaning, the exams themselves are written in Japanese. For example, in the English language section, the exam tells you to read the following English paragraph, and translate certain sentences into Japanese, which means you will need to be able to write Japanese. I do not know if they have different versions for non-Japanese natives.
by AK rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/13 09:55
I think the problem you'll face is actually getting hired.

Japanese tour company is most likely to hire a Japanese person with english skills as a tour guide vs a english speaking person with Japanese skills.
Or a Chinese or Korean person with Japanese fluency, as both represent a large number of tourists to Japan.
by John rate this post as useful

Reply~~ 2008/2/15 05:19
AK: Thanks for providing the useful information(I see you helped me translated some). :) So I guess the best way out is to email them. What is the difference between Japan Guide Association and Japan National Tourist Organisation anyway? Should I try to contact with JGA too?

John: Getting hired is definitely difficult because of nationality barrier, plus, the processes which are all very inconvenient and tough. But I thought it would be good to ask if there are any one who have experienced this before. :)
by lindy rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/15 06:58
Hi again.

JGA is a private (I believe) association that works to promote the profession of tour guides, and JNTO is the government-affiliated organization that administers the license exams.

So for general questions on tour guides in Japan - for example, if you want to know if there are non-Japanese guides registered, or if there are good books for studying - then you would ask with JGA, and if you want to know the exam dates for 2008, you'd ask JNTO.
by AK rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/16 23:17
I see, thanks for the information again. Will try to email them as soon as possible and see how the chances go.
by lindy rate this post as useful

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