Since leaving Osaka, I’ve been staying in Kyoto, bouncing from hostel to hostel, staying wherever’s cheapest for a few days at a time. Why? I’m applying for jobs!
My initial idea, before I’d even had my visa approved to come here, was to explore the south for three months and then try to find work north of Tokyo, perhaps Sendai, living there but making shorter trips to visit parts of the country I’d not yet seen.
After my adventures, I started to adjust that plan for two reasons. The one I tell people is that I’m not confident enough in my Japanese to jump straight to somewhere I’m unfamiliar with, and would rather stay put somewhere I’m comfortable for the time being and hone my language abilities before venturing further.
The other reason, if I’m being honest, is just that I love it here in Kyoto. I love having a cool city nightlife or a gorgeous, secluded natural hike within walking distance. I’ve made friends here and continue to love just about every person I meet.
So, I came up with a plan: find a hostel in Kyoto or Osaka, work there for three months while I practice Japanese and look for a job to move onto. I’m two weeks into that search.
For applying for hostel jobs, I have a slightly awkward system. I look at a town I’m interested in staying in, search for hostels there through booking sites and so on, then copy and paste the hostel’s name into google to find their homepage. Once I’m on the website, I check to see if they’re hiring or offering any free accommodation cleaning work, and if they are then I apply.
As well as applying at hostels, I’ve also branched out into applying for more serious work, be it full or part time. Particularly interesting and available are jobs teaching English, a highly sort-after skill in a country with a low rate of second language. For this, I’ve mostly been searching through the excellent GaijinPot and YOLO Japan websites, both specifically designed to help English-speakers apply for work in Japan.
For the foreseeable, I’m continuing to search for other jobs, be they teaching or hostels or anything in between, while taking plenty of time to walk along the river, sit on the grass, spend time eating and drinking and laughing with my friends, and loving life.
Right now, anything could happen. I could find a job tomorrow and jump across the country, I could be here applying with no joy for months. If I decide to go with one of the jobs in June, I’ll have a month to kill, which I’m thinking I might spend volunteering on a farm, or living in a tent and exploring the mountains, or staying at a temple on a ten-day meditation course. This is an adventure, after all.