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Teach English in Nagoya, Japan

Nagoya, Japan's fourth-largest city, sits majestically in the Chūbu region, serving as a beacon of industrial might and cultural richness. This dynamic city is home to a myriad of attractions, from its iconic Nagoya Castle, telling tales of samurai battles and ancient folklore, to the futuristic SCMaglev and Railway Park, showcasing Japan's rail engineering prowess. Nagoya's unique geographical position means it often serves as a crossroads, linking Tokyo to the Kansai region. However, more than just a transit point, Nagoya stands proud with its own distinct dialect, scrumptious local cuisine like hitsumabushi (grilled eel) and tebasaki (chicken wings), and an ever-growing community of international professionals. As the city continually evolves and integrates into the global sphere, the demand for English education rises, making it an attractive destination for prospective English teachers.

Reasons to Teach English in Nagoya

  1. Growing International Influence: Nagoya's prominence as an industrial hub, housing giants like Toyota, has led to a surge in international businesses and collaborations. This global integration has amplified the need for English proficiency, creating ample opportunities for English educators.

  2. Rich Cultural Experiences: While Nagoya is often heralded for its modern innovations, it's equally renowned for its cultural festivals, like the Atsuta Festival and Osu Kannon Temple's Honen Matsuri. Teaching here allows you to immerse yourself in these traditions firsthand.

  3. Favorable Location: Situated almost in the middle of Tokyo and Osaka, Nagoya offers a strategic advantage for weekend getaways and exploring other parts of Japan. Its efficient public transport ensures ease of movement within and outside the city.

  4. Diverse Student Demographic: Whether you're teaching spirited youngsters in public schools, motivated professionals in business English classes, or curious retirees in community centers, Nagoya's diverse student base ensures that every day is fresh and engaging.

  5. Culinary Delights: For those passionate about food, Nagoya offers unique local dishes, such as ankake spaghetti and Nagoya cochin (local chicken). Experiencing these culinary delights becomes an everyday affair when living and teaching in Nagoya.

  6. Supportive Expat Community: While Nagoya embraces its traditions, it also warmly welcomes its growing expatriate community. With various international events, meet-ups, and support groups, new teachers will find it easy to adjust and make connections.

Understanding Nagoya's Education Landscape

Nagoya, with its mix of tradition and modernity, has an education system reflective of this unique blend. Traditional values play a key role, but there's a clear focus on global perspectives and languages, especially English. This is evident in the city's kindergartens, schools, and universities, many of which now offer bilingual programs or have a strong emphasis on English education. Apart from the formal education system, eikaiwas (private language schools) and "conversation cafes" have sprouted across the city. These institutions often cater to working professionals and students looking to hone their conversational English skills. Furthermore, many companies in Nagoya, given its industrial backbone, run their in-house English programs or collaborate with language institutions to ensure their employees are globally competent.

Eligibility and Requirements to Teach English in Nagoya

The requirements to teach English in Nagoya will be similar to the standard requirements for teaching English in Japan, however, here are the specific requirements for Nagoya:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree: Irrespective of your major, a four-year university degree is typically required.
  2. TEFL/TESOL Certification: While not always mandatory, having a TEFL or TESOL certificate can significantly improve your job prospects and potential salary.
  3. Native English Speaker: Preference is often given to native speakers from countries like the USA, UK, South Africa, Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland.
  4. Japanese Language Proficiency: Not a strict requirement, but having a basic understanding of Japanese can be beneficial, especially in daily life and certain teaching positions.
  5. Clean Background Check: Most institutions will ask for a background check to ensure the safety of their students.
  6. Teaching Experience: This isn't always necessary, especially for entry-level positions, but having prior teaching experience can open doors to higher-paying jobs and reputable institutions.

Salary and Benefits for Teaching English in Nagoya

In Nagoya, English teachers can expect to earn a monthly salary ranging from ¥200,000 to ¥300,000, depending on the institution, qualifications, and experience. Here are some benefits that might be included:

  1. Contract Completion Bonus: Some institutions offer a bonus upon successfully completing the contract term.
  2. Health Insurance: Typically, half of the insurance premium is covered by the employer.
  3. Paid Leave: English teachers can usually expect paid vacation days, apart from the national holidays.

Living in Nagoya

Nagoya, situated between Tokyo and Osaka, is the fourth most populous city in Japan and serves as the capital of Aichi Prefecture. As a key transportation hub and the center of the Chūbu region, Nagoya holds significance both historically and in modern times. When living in Nagoya, here's what you can expect:

Culture and Lifestyle

  1. Mix of Tradition and Modernity: Nagoya beautifully marries its historic past with the conveniences of modern urban life. The iconic Nagoya Castle stands testament to its history, while the skyscrapers and the Nagoya TV Tower indicate its contemporary facets.

  2. Festivals: Nagoya has vibrant festivals like the Atsuta Festival and Osu Summer Festival, providing teachers with an opportunity to immerse in local traditions.

  3. Cuisine: The city offers an array of culinary delights. From the famed Nagoya Cochin (local chicken dishes) to hitsumabushi (grilled eel on rice), the city is a treat for food enthusiasts.

Cost of Living

While Nagoya is more affordable than Tokyo or Osaka, it's still essential to budget wisely. Rent in Nagoya is reasonable, with many teachers spending between ¥50,000 to ¥80,000 per month for a one-room apartment. Daily expenses like food, transportation, and entertainment are also comparatively lower than in the major metropolitans.


Nagoya boasts an efficient public transportation system, including buses and the city's subway. The JR Tokaido Shinkansen also runs through Nagoya, connecting it to other major cities.


Nagoya's central location offers a balanced climate, not too harsh in winters and not overly humid in summers. With several parks and green spaces, such as the Hisaya Ōdori Park, residents have places to relax and rejuvenate.

Community and Expats

Given its industrial and economic significance, Nagoya has a robust expat community. There are several international associations, meetups, and community events that help newcomers adjust and find a sense of belonging.

Teacher Stories

Sarah from the USA

Sarah, originally from Texas, always dreamt of experiencing a culture far removed from her own. She chose Nagoya due to its strategic location - being a blend of both traditional and modern Japan. "Nagoya provided me a deep dive into authentic Japanese culture without the overwhelming hustle of cities like Tokyo," she says. Sarah also fondly mentions her weekend visits to the Nagoya Castle and her gastronomic adventures with local dishes.

Liam from the UK

A native of Manchester, Liam came to Nagoya on a friend's recommendation. He was fascinated by the efficiency of Nagoya's education system and its students' earnestness. "Teaching in Nagoya has been a profound experience. The students are eager to learn, and the city offers a warm, welcoming environment," Liam shares. He also enjoys the city's festivals, where he got opportunities to mingle with locals and understand their traditions.

Thandi from South Africa

Thandi's journey from Cape Town to Nagoya was filled with expectations and excitement. As she put it, "I wanted a city that offered a unique blend of the old and new, and Nagoya perfectly fit the bill." Thandi was particularly taken with the local community's inclusiveness, making her transition smoother. "My school organized a welcome party for me, and the local teachers introduced me to Japanese customs, festivals, and even some secret dining spots!"

Caitlin from New Zealand

Hailing from Auckland, Caitlin chose Nagoya for its balance between urban life and nature. An avid nature lover, Caitlin often explores parks and green spaces in Nagoya. "The teaching experience here is exceptional," she mentions. "But what I truly love are my weekend retreats amidst nature, just a stone's throw away from the city."

Moving Towards Teaching English In Nagoya

Taking the plunge to teach English overseas is a monumental decision, but Nagoya can be the perfect destination. It's not just about imparting language skills; it's about immersing oneself in a culture, experiencing the harmony of tradition and modernity, and forging lifelong relationships.

Nagoya, with its welcoming community, rich history, and modern amenities, offers a comprehensive experience for English teachers. Whether you're a fresh graduate seeking adventure, a seasoned teacher looking for a change, or someone eager to immerse in Japanese culture, Nagoya beckons with open arms. Let the journey of teaching and self-discovery begin in this vibrant city!