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5 Side Jobs for Foreigners to Make Extra Money in Japan

Making some extra income while working in Japan can be really helpful for foreign residents who are saving their money or are simply trying to make ends meet. This is a common practice for gaijin who are familiar with the unique working culture of Japan.

But a lot of new foreigners in the country may be under the notion that all part-time occupations in Japan aren’t accessible because of the rigorous scheduling that comes with maintaining a second job. Luckily for them, that is not always the case.

Although some companies actually do require complete loyalty and commitment from their employees, there are also types of side jobs that are more flexible and easier to manage.

In this article, we’ll be covering 5 of the most interesting side jobs with which foreigners can make some extra income while working in the Land of the Rising Sun.

5. Service Staff

If you are willing to work as service staff on a part-time basis, then there are lots of opportunities for you. In Japan, you will find openings for restaurants, bars, cafés, izakayas, shops, and convenience stores.

You could work as a waiter, dishwasher, or busboy for an establishment. This could be ideal for any foreigner as these types of work usually utilize a shift system, meaning that you could attend to your full-time job without any interruptions from your secondary one.

Another option for you could be working as an assistant for shops and stores. This is also an easygoing job as assistants usually just arrange shelves, unpack products, clean the aisles, oversee the store for potential shoplifters, attend to customers, and track inventory.

A benefit for these jobs is that you’ll get to practice your Japanese language skills, as you’ll most likely be assisting customers, especially if you’ll be waiting tables. But if you think your abilities in the local tongue are not yet up to par, then fear not. There has been an influx of western and other international restaurants in Japan lately, so you could also seek for opportunities there.

4. English Tutor

Are you a native English speaker or of near-native English ability who happens to be a fan of teaching? Perhaps being an English tutor or instructor could be a great way for you to deepen your pockets.

It isn’t a secret that teaching English is the most popular job for gaijin. Some foreign residents choose to do it as their primary occupation while some do it as a secondary means of working. The ones who do the latter teach privately at their homes or at students’ homes. Some even teach at cafés through online class tutoring.

This is a great opening for foreigners as they can cater to a clientele that can range from primary level students, secondary and college learners, and even to professionals and businessmen who want to learn the English language.

Another positive for English tutors is that there has been an increase in demand for their expertise from Japanese professionals and businessmen. Japanese companies are determined to build relationships with other countries in the west and expand internationally so they will need to improve their skills in the language.

3. Game Localization Tester

Game on! This is the ultimate side job for working adults who are also passionate about video games. Video game testers typically test video games thoroughly before they are released to a new country or region.

Aside from testing if the games are up to snuff, testers also play a huge part in the preparation of a new game. They help with creating the software and hardware of a game for a new country or region by translating the game from Japanese to a new market’s dialect.

A game localization tester’s most important goal is to make the game enjoyable and easy to understand for its new region. They need to be mindful of a country’s cultural context while staying within the game’s theme and content at the same time.

Video game companies only have two requirements for game localization testers: love for video games and proficiency in both Japanese and another language. Japanese video game companies are usually on the lookout for gamers who are knowledgeable in Chinese, English, Korean, and Western European languages, as these are the biggest markets in the world.

2. Delivery Rider

Over the years, food delivery has become immensely popular in the Land of the Rising Sun with more and more food delivery giants like UberEATS, Rakuten Delivery, and Docomo’s D-Delivery putting their stamp on the country.

This means that delivering food via a motorcycle or bicycle has become another great way of earning some extra money while working in Japan. This is an ideal option because you get to choose your own schedule, as these companies only assign you to deliver if your schedule is available.

If your time is more flexible, you could opt to do some part-time deliveries for western fast food joints like McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza, and KFC. But more than likely, these establishments would require you to do shifts and not on-call deliveries.

1. Vlogger

Being a vlogger is probably the most accessible job on this list. You just need a camera or phone, a laptop, a pleasing personality, some creativity, and basic editing skills and you’re basically good to go.

Although some traditionalists may not consider vlogging in Japan a profitable work, the amount of money being invested by advertisers and endorsements on vloggers’ channels may beg to differ.

The Australian vlogger “Tokidoki Traveller”, who has over 230,000 subscribers on Youtube, reportedly made an estimate of 330,000 JPY and upwards from advertisements and endorsements in 2019 alone. 330,000 may not seem a lot but you have to consider the fact that she only posts new content once every week, not to mention that she does it on her own time as well.

But if you’re aiming a little bit higher, the Youtuber “Paolo fromTOKYO”, who has over 900,000 followers on the video site, made earnings of up to 8,396,580 JPY in 2019. That is more than double the average annual income in Japan in the same year.

So if you have some spare time, you could start your own blog and maybe you’ll attain internet fame and earn just as much as the biggest channels online.


There are many more opportunities for foreign residents in Japan who want to earn more for savings and expenses, as Japan is known for being a country that is welcoming towards the foreign workforce. So, the quest for finding a part-time job shouldn’t really be a daunting task for you.

We hope this article will help you in deciding which part-time work you’ll apply for. Until next time. Too-da-loo!

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