Teaching Japanese Kindergarten

My Japanese Kindergarten assistant teacher...Bunny Sensei

My Japanese Kindergarten assistant teacher…Bunny Sensei

Now that I’m pretty settled I sat back and realized just how busy the start of this year has been. I have moved twice in 60 Days?!? First it was Ouji, now it’s…well, I’ll tell later, keep reading:

I told that being away from my beloved writing hasn’t been because of my master ghost ninpou tactics, but because the start of this year has been a whirlwind. Even thought I recently moved to Tokyo in early January, I did things a bit backwards from the “traditional job” perspective. I moved, then ended having to hunt after the modeling dry spell. I had to find a full-time job because I needed to eat, pay bills, invest, all that good stuff.

A good friend friend reached out when I was struggling to find work and I ended up in a rather good position with a company called JIEC (thanks, Ben!). JIEC teaches primarily to Japanese kindergarten students and seems to be a great middle ground between eikaiwa and ALT work.

How is teaching kindergarten like ALT work?

I’m still quite new to this job, but so far, being at an actual Japanese kindergarten means that you will often be the only English speaker at a the school, which I felt was one of the benefits of ALT work. Some people do feel isolated by it at times, though.

Having exposure to Japanese on a daily basis is important if I’m going to keep my Japanese skills up to snuff or, dare I say, build on them.

Japanese kindergartens have special events, ceremonies, and customs just like Japanese elementary, middle, or high schools do. I will have the chance to watch and take part in some of these events as well.

How is JIEC like eikaiwa work?

With my current job situation, I don’t have the full summer breaks that I did as an ALT, but I’m not complaining, because the tradeoff is a much more comfortable salary. Over 500 USD a month more to be specific. With the time off I had as an ALT, I guess the problem I ran into was that I wasn’t earning enough to take any big trips, but I’m planning to change that this year.

So, Where did you move to?
When I interviewed I wanted to try to stay in Tokyo, but that wasn’t in the cards. One of the stipulations of securing my kindergarten teaching job was that I would have to move. I didn’t complain and did even make it an issue.

I was a little worried…EXTREMELY worried…of course about where I was going to end up, but I agreed to it because I wanted, no…NEEDED to work. I ended moving to Yokohama.

For the second time in about 60 days, I had to move again. I packed up my things got a cheap moving company to help me (we’ll talk about that, too) and now I’m here in Yokhama. I’m close to a JR line, not far from a 24-hour Gold’s Gym (WOO HOO) and close to everything I need.

On top of that, it’s also not so hard for me to get to Tokyo, if need be.

JIEC (the company I’m working for) was SUPER cool about helping to find a reasonable moving company and they even spotted me on the key money, which I will pay back over the course of my first twelve months of work. I’ll take!

My apartment is smaller & more expensive than the one I had in Tsukba or in Ouji, but at the same time it’s more modern, it’s cozier, and more convenient. I realize being in my own apartment trumps being in sharehouse, at least for me. It’s quieter, which means it’s easier for me to get back to making more Japan Guy vids, coming and going as I please, and having people over when I want (that hasn’t been happening a whole lot, though, unfortunately).

So now it’s time to see what cool things Yokohama has to offer. It really seems like it’s gonna be a cool place to live. I’m excited!

Donald Ash

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  • I’m glad you’re doing good though! Going to do an apartment tour again? Hopefully later this summer I’ll be posting some place on my blog too!


  • Totty

    I’d really like to know about your job with JIEC. Did you apply to the company themselves or to a particular opening? It says online that they do their recruiting through gaijinpot.com. I am very interested in continuing my ESL teaching with this company, but I haven’t seen anything about them at all.

    • thejapanguy

      Hey Totty,

      I am so sorry, I just saw this message today. Yes, I applied to JIEC through gaijinpot but I know that it’s a lesser known, hidden gem type of an opportunity. I friend of mine who was already working there who spoke on my behalf probably didn’t hurt either.

  • c.rosen


    I was wondering more about your experience working in Japan. I have a few friends who either love it or hate it and I’m not sure how I feel. I would like to work there (in Kyoto, Kobe or Osaka) but I’m hesitant to apply. I should also mention that I am Korean and I know there is a history with the two countries.

  • Angie

    Hi Donnie, I’d just like to say that I really enjoyed reading your posts. They are so much fun to read! I just came back from my first trip to Japan so your posts help me relive that experience. Please keep on writing!
    -Angie from NY

  • Sam Oren

    Do you have any more articles on working for JIEC? I’m interested in applying for the job postings on gaijinpot but I also want some contract details and maybe work experience working for this company

  • Julie Bennett

    Hey Donnie, now that it has been a few years, looking back how iswas working for JIEC?

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