Today I want to introduce something that I consider as a necessary resource for anybody who wants to – or already does – live in Japan: Gaijinpot.
I’m sure most of you have already heard of it, if not you really should bookmark it.
I myself have been using Gaijinpot successfully in the past few years to find jobs, but also to recruit people for my company.
Gaijinpot has been around for many years and has always been useful. Recently there have been several big changes, so there’s a lot to expect in the future as well.
Let’s have a closer look at the new Gaijinpot:
1. Gaijinpot Forums:
One thing that gave hope to people who wanted to come to Japan was the Gaijinpot Forum.
I have to admit that there were a lot of trolls and that the majority of comments and threads were rubbish, but there were some good posts and lots of valuable and helpful responses, too.
This forum helped me more than once, before – and especially after I moved to Japan – particularly in terms of labor and immigration laws in Japan.
Unfortunately with the ‘New Gaijinpot‘ the forum has been closed down for good in October 2013.
Instead you can check out Gaijinpot’s Facebook Group! It’s not exactly the same, but on Facebook everybody has to use their real name, so hopefully there will be less trolls.
2. Finding Jobs in Japan
Gaijinpot is still one of the best options if you want to find a job in Japan. They’re listing not only teaching related jobs – which I like a lot.
For companies it does cost money to advertise, but yet most of them do, as they know it’s the best way to reach a huge amount of foreigners. Like I said, my previous company did so as well.
I recommend you sign up to their Jobmail Newsletter. I did a long time ago – and even when I’m not looking for a new job, I sometimes check it out, just to see what’s currently out there.
It’s completely free of charge for jobseekers. You can sign up and upload your resume.
It’s the first step to take if you want to apply to jobs that are advertised on Gaijinpot.
If you have an interesting and promising resume, employers might even contact you directly!
Gaijinpot keeps you updated and gives you job related advice. Here’s one example: “How to Get an English Teaching Job in Japan”
3. Studying in Japan
This seems to be rather new and probably came with the recent update of Gaijinpot, so I can’t say much about it just yet.
For people who are interested in studying in Japan – or simply in studying Japanese, it’s definitely worth checking out.
First of all, there’s a list of schools where you can study Japanese in Japan. It’s yet a very short list, but I’m sure it’ll grow soon.
There are also “study series” like “15 Japanese Holidays” where you can study Japanese and later check what you have learned.
4. Travel in Japan
Another new gimmick that came to life with the “New Gaijinpot” is a travel service.
And the travel geek in me will keep a close eye on it for sure. Thus far it looks promising – and I think it might be very useful for people outside of Japan who are looking for hotels.
Here’s a Toyoko Inn Hotel in Osaka with lots of information about it in English and you can book it via Gaijinpot.
I’m a huge fan of Toyoko Inn Hotels, so I’d go with that one, I guess. However, I wouldn’t book through Gaijinpot simply because I have a member card and get things cheaper (sometimes even for free) if I go directly via the Toyoko Inn website.
However, if you live outside of Japan and have difficulties finding hotels in the region you want to stay and can’t read Japanese well, I think the new service that Gaijinpot is offering might be very helpful.
5. Finding an Apartment in Japan
If you’re looking for an apartment in Japan as a foreigner it can be tough. A lot of companies provide you with a (furnished) apartment, but if not, it’s up to you to find one.
Gaijinpot offers a service to help you find a suitable apartment.
I tried it out just for fun, adding some realistic requirements, to find an apartment in the area I live, but nothing popped up.
I live in the Japanese countryside. Next, I tried a big city like Osaka and finally something showed up.
I suppose it’s only useful if you’re looking for an apartment in bigger cities. Well, it’s a start – especially for those of you who have no idea where to start looking and can’t understand Japanese well enough yet.
Everyone might have different needs and interests, but if you’re serious about finding a job in Japan, it can’t hurt to have Gaijinpot in your bookmarks. With the new design and the new services that just came out, I’m looking forward to where this is going in the future.
Have you ever used Gaijinpot, e.g. to find a job or to ask for advice in the forum?
Care to share your Gaijinpot experience with us?