Leaving Japan for now

It’s been a while since I wrote anything in this blog and unfortunately, this might be the last time I’m writing as a resident of Japan.

So 2020 isn’t really the best year for all the people on Earth. The coronavirus really affected everyone in some way or another. In the case of our start up company, we weren’t able to secure additional funding because investors are reluctant to spend more money for risky investments like us.

Because of the funding issue, our company decided to restructure and to make the Tokyo office dormant for the mean time which means no business activity for the foreseeable future.

I’m somewhat lucky in a way that I’m still working for the project but I’m now forced to relocate back to the Philippines because the company won’t be able support my working visa. In a way, it’s good because I’m been thinking of going back to Manila anyway.

I hope this won’t be my last time writing about Japan. And I’m really looking forward to returning as a tourist when the virus situation gets better.

Ja ne for now 🙂

Work in Japan: 2019 IT and Software Engineering Jobs

Finding IT jobs in Japan is not easy and even harder if you don’t have a good Japanese language skill.

In here, I compile companies and resources you can check to help you find a job here in Japan.

Rakuten (company)

  • Provides Visa Sponsorship
  • Japanese Language Not Required
  • Hires Overseas Applicants

Rakuten is the Amazon of Japan. It started as an online retail e-commerce website. Now, it provides services across multiply industries like banking, insurance, mobile services, etc.

You can check this list of Rakuten jobs.

Mercari (company)

  • Provides Visa Sponsorship
  • Flexible Time Schedule

Mercari is a secondhand online marketplace. It’s probably Japan’s first unicorn company. Based on their website, they are open about hiring foreign workers.

You can check this list of Mercari jobs.

Tokyodev (Job Listing)

  • Provides Visa Sponsorship
  • Japanese Language Not Required
  • Hires Overseas Applicants

TokyoDev is a career blog with a list of Software Engineering jobs targeted for international developers and software engineers. You can check the curated list of jobs specially for English speakers here.

Justa (Job Listing)

Justa is an English job postings, mostly for engineering positions. It has a focus on lesser-known startups.

I haven’t fully check this website and I feel the website is lacking with a good filtering and sorting mechanism.

If you feel like working for start-up companies, check it out in here.

Japandev (Company Listing)

This next one is a full website dedicated for listing tech companies in Japan which accepts foreign workers.

The website provides a summary of each company and also has links to each company’s careers page. Here is the Japandev’s website.

There you go. I hope with the resources above, you’ll be able to find a good company where you can work at the same time, enjoy Japan.

Btw, last one, don’t forget to create a LinkedIn account and make a great profile. A lot of IT recruiters look for candidates from this platform.

That’s all and good luck!

Japan News: Emperor Akihito’s Abdication Ceremony

It’s raining today in Tokyo but a lot of people came in front of the Imperial Palace to honor the Abdication Ceremony of Emperor Akihito.

The whole abdication ceremony only lasted for about 15 minutes from 5:00PM to 5:15PM.

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe delivered a speech in behalf of the Japanese people followed by Emperor Akihito’s final speech as the Emperor of Japan.

Tomorrow, the Crown Prince Naruhito will ascent to the Japanese throne and the Japanese Reiwa Era will start.

Credits for photos and videos: NHK World

Naruhito: Japan’s Crown Prince and Next Emperor

Naruhito is expected to succeed his father as the new Emperor of Japan on May 1, 2019.

Here are some facts that you might want to know about him:

  • As a crowned prince, his title is Prince Hiro.
  • He will become the 126th emperor of the world’s oldest monarchy.
  • He will also become Japan’s first emperor who was born after World War 2 (Birthday: February 23, 1960).
  • He is the first in about 200 years who will ascent the Japanese throne due to an abdication of a current living emperor.
  • It was announced that he will reign over the Reiwa (令和) era.
  • He proposed three times before his wife, Masako Owada, agreed to marry her.
  • He and his wife have an only child, Aiko (Princess Toshi).
  • He is interested in environmental issues related to water policy and water conservation.
  • He enjoys jogging, hiking, and mountaineering in his spare time.
  • His birthday was named “Mount Fuji Day” by Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefectures because of his reported love of the mountain.

Work in Japan: Foreign Workers Statistics as of October 2018

As of October 2018, there are now 1,460,463 foreigners working in Japan. This is a record high increase of 14.2% (181,793 foreigners) compared the previous year.

Number of foreign workers by Nationality

  • Chinese – 389,117
  • Vietnamese – 316,840
  • Filipino – 164,006
  • Brazil – 127,392
  • Nepali – 81,562
  • G7 / G8 + Australian & New Zealand – 77,505
  • South Korean – 62,516
  • Indonesian – 41,586
  • Peru – 28,686
  • Others – 171,253

Number of foreign workers by Industry

  • Manufacturing – 434,342
  • Wholesale and Retail business – 186,061
  • Accommodations, Restaurant, Drinking business – 185,050
  • Education and Learning – 69,764
  • Construction – 68,604
  • IT and Communications – 57,620
  • Medical and Welfare – 26,086
  • Service Industry (not classified into others) -230,510

Source: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/11655000/000472893.pdf

According to the source above, there are only 1,673 Filipinos working for Information and Communications industry related jobs (うち情報通信業).

To be honest, I thought the number foreign workers under IT and Communications industries will be a lot higher since I see a lot of software engineering job posts. I guess there is still a lot of slots here in Japan waiting for my fellow software engineers.

Work in Japan: Programmer and Software Engineer Average Salary Latest Survey

You’re working as a software engineer in your home country and suddenly you realize, you want to work in Japan; the country of polite people, efficient transportation system, safe communities, anime and long work hours.

But before you go looking for job post and doing interviews, I recommend you check your potential salary range working in Japan. One of the many things to consider when thinking of living in Japan is the salary gain or loss you will get once you start working here. For me, since I came from the Philippines, the salary increase was very good when I moved here back 2013.

Average Salary

According to the latest survey, the average annual salary for a software engineer in Japan is 4,146,000 yen.

Average Male Salary: 4,250,000 yen
Average Female Salary: 3,720,000 yen

Source: https://www.creativevillage.ne.jp/27962

Average Salary by Programming Language

Average SalaryTop Salary
Python6.51 million yen16 million yen
Perl6.33 million yen19 million yen
Ruby6.06 million yen16 million yen
C5.97 million yen19 million yen
JavaScript5.55 million yen16 million yen
PHP5.38 million yen19 million yen
Scala5.3 million yen11 million yen
Java4.99 million yen19 million yen
Swift4.83 million yen12 million yen
Objective-C4.75 million yen15 million yen
COBOL4.46 million yen12 million yen
Assembly4.41 million yen8.4 million yen

Source: https://jp.stanby.com/media/programming_ranking/

Salary Range per Age Group

AgeSalary in Yen
20~243.059 million yen
25~293.89 million yen
30~344.225 million yen
35~394.554 million yen
40~444.754 million yen
45~495.159 million yen
50~545.205 million yen
55~595.403 million yen

Source: https://www.creativevillage.ne.jp/27962

There you go. If you are a Python programmer, you are more likely to be compensated generously. I know these numbers are way lower than software engineering salaries in Europe and USA (specially in Silicon Valley). So if you came from these places, give it a couple of thoughts before moving here for an IT position.

If you love Japan and it’s culture, come here and enjoy. I wish you find a good company to work here.

Read my posts about my working experience here in Japan and my monthly cost of living in Tokyo this 2019 if you want to know more about the working condition here in Japan.

Cheers and good luck. 😀

Japan: New Era and October 2019 Enthronement Ceremony

The new Japanese Era, Reiwa (令和時代), will start this May 1, 2019.

With the Abdication Ceremony happening on April 30, the new Emperor Naruhito will start his reign the next day with the ceremony for Inheriting the Imperial Regalia and Seals (Kenji-to-Shokei-no-gi) where he inherits the Imperial Regalia, the State Seal and the Privy Seal upon his accession to the throne.

Following this is the First Audience after the Accession to the Throne (Sokui-go-Choken-no-gi), in which the new Emperor Naruhito meets with the representatives of the people of Japan.

The actual Enthronement Ceremony is now scheduled to happen on October 22, 2019. The new Emperor Naruhito will proclaim his enthronement at the Enthronement Ceremony at the Seiden State Hall (Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi) and receive felicitations from representatives from both Japan and abroad.

Events related to the Abdication from the throne

  • April 30, 2019
    • Abdication Ceremony
      • Ceremony to announce the abdication to the people and for the Emperor to receive in audience the representatives of the people for the last time before the abdication.

EventS related to the Accession to the Throne

  • May 1, 2019
    • Ceremony for Inheriting the Imperial Regalia and Seals
      • Ceremony for the Emperor to inherit the Imperial Regalia (Sword and Jewel), which are treasures inherited together with the throne, as well as the State and Privy Seals, as proof of his accession to the throne.
    • First Audience after the Accession to the Throne
      • Ceremony for the Emperor to receive in audience the representatives of the people for the first time after the accession to the throne.
  • October 22, 2019
    • Enthronement Ceremony
      • Ceremony to proclaim the enthronement and to receive felicitations from representatives from home and abroad.
    • Imperial Procession after the Enthronement Ceremony
      • Procession to show the new Emperor to the people after the Enthronement Ceremony and to receive their good wishes.

Source: https://www.gov-online.go.jp/eng/publicity/book/hlj/html/201904/201904_06_en.html

Japan Life: Helpful Websites and Mobile Apps for Foreigners in Japan

Life in Japan is not easy for foreigners who are not fluent in Japanese. Even after my seven years here, I still struggle to remember the train schedules specially the last train.

Here is my list of helpful websites and mobile apps that will make your life here in Japan a little better.

Google Translate


Google Translate is definitely a must have application if your Japanese language skill is still rusty.

Here are the reasons why I like it:

  • Aside from text translations, you can do image and Augmented Reality (AR) translations with the use of your mobile phone’s camera.
  • You can type in romaji and it will still try to translate it to your desired language.
  • You can download the translation data so you won’t need to be connected to the internet while doing the translation.

Excite Translator


Excite Translator is a translation tool just like Google Translate (with only limited feature). And while they have the same purpose, most of the time, Excite Translator uses more appropriate or more formal translation than Google Translate. This is good when you’re writing emails and messages to your colleagues.

Jorudan – Japan Transit Planner


I know there are a lot of apps and website where you can check train schedule but for me, Jorudan, will always be my go to website for checking train schedule and transfers.

It provides a simple UI to input the starting station and destination station. You can also input the date and time you want to ride from the starting station or arrive in your destination.



Trip.com is my go to website for finding cheap flights. This one saved me a lot of money when I travel for a Philippine vacation.

Our usual round trip flight fare from Tokyo to Manila is around 40-70,000 yen during off peak season but with Trip.com, you can find fare for as low as 20-30,000 yen.



TransferWise is one of the money transfer services I use (aside from MetroBank). TransferWise has the best exchange rate and easy to use and track because they have a mobile application.

There you go. I will update this list every time I find new useful websites and mobile apps.

Japan Life: Sending money from Japan to the Philippines

I think it is safe to say that most of Filipinos living here in Japan sends money to the Philippines from time to time. It could be for supporting our love ones or for our investments in the Philippines. Either way, as much as possible we try to get the best exchange rate with the cheapest remittance fee that we can get for our remittances.

You probably only need a single remittance service for all your money transferring needs. In any case, here are the services I used since living here in Japan:

Metrobank Easy Transfer Service (METS)

METS is a service provided by Metrobank Japan. It’s my main mode of sending money to my parents for quite some time now.

What I like about this service is that the customer service is really great. I never had an issue with any of my remittance and in case of problem, you can always call them.

Their customer service accepts Tagalog, English and Japanese inquiries so we are pretty much covered even if our Japanese language skill is still not good.

Here is a link to METS website.


TransferWise is a UK-based money transfer service and among the remittance services that I use, this has the highest exchange rate from Japanese Yen to Philippine Peso all the time.

Since this is a global company, customer service is a bit slow to respond. They take hours or a day to reply to emails and I don’t really like calling them for inquiries about my remittance.

I mainly use TransferWise to send money to my personal Philippine savings account.

Here is a link to TransferWise website.

Western Union Money Transfer

I don’t really use this service anymore since the other 2 above are good enough to accommodate all my remittance needs. This was my main mode of remittance to my parents before I use METS.

Basically, it’s a bit troublesome since you will need to go the Western Union agent’s location personally to do the money transfer. You fill up a form and hand over the money physically. On top of that, exchange rate is not really that good.

So there you have it, these are the services I use to send money from Japan to the Philippines. Do you use a different service? Do you think it’s better? Comment below and let us know.

Travel Japan: Cherry Blossoms 2019 Forecast

The forecast of the first bloom of Sakura in different places in Japan are now available.

Hanami (花見; literal meaning “flower viewing”) is the Japanese tradition of going to parks and enjoying the view of Sakura trees in full bloom. It is an outdoor party where people gather beneath Sakura trees during the day or even at night. Hanami at night is called yozakura (夜桜) which means “night sakura”.

From the end of March to early May, cherry trees bloom all over Japan, and around the first of February on the island of Okinawa.

The Japanese National Tourism Organization provides a forecast of the first bloom and full bloom of Sakura all over Japan. As of the moment, only the first bloom are available.

Sakura First Bloom Forecast 2019:

  • Tokyo: March 20
  • Osaka: March 22
  • Kyoto: March 23
  • Sapporo: May 1
  • Fukuoka: March 16

You can checkout the whole information in Japan National Tourism Organization’s website.

Since I live in Tokyo, one of the nearest and most popular Hanami event place near me is in Meguro River.

Every year, a lot of people go to the Meguro River to see the beautiful Sakura. The place is packed of people every year since Sakura trees are beautifully stretched along the sides of the river. The place is busy until the evening even until 9-10 PM. You can also eat street foods since there are a lot of vendors selling different food and items along the river.

Before I end, here are pictures of the Meguro River Sakura during the day and night.

That’s all for now. Feel free to comment below. 🙂