Fish Out Of Water Guide to Teaching in Japan – Part 1

Greetings, aspiring expats! Have you ever thought about the idea of teaching English in Japan? If so, you’re not alone…TRUST ME! I was in your shoes at one point, and now I’m here! I created a video series to assist and and everyone who’s thinking about coming to teach English here. It’s available on Gumroad as a $25.00 11-part video series. but I’m going to share five, full videos of it here on for free (here is part one!):



If you’re interested in getting the full video series, it’s $25 over on Gumroad. BUT for those of you who are willing to tell me your biggest challenge/issue about teaching in Japan…there’s a sparkly, shiny, discount coupon (a pretty deep discount) in it for you. Share your thoughts with me? Click Here!


Hello and welcome everybody, this is Donnie and this is the Fish Out of Water Video Series
and in this series we’re gonna discuss everything you need to know…well…the most important stuff you need to know, about teaching Japan.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Donald Ash and I’m from Atlanta, Georgia in the United States (WOOT WOOT! ATL). I have been living here in Japan as an expat:


“Expat – a person who lives outside of their native country.”

…for nearly eight years*, about seven years and eight months now.
Although my initial intentions were to only stay in Japan for a year, this place has really really grown on me. And I have been teaching English in some way shape or form for the entire seven years and eight months.

Another thing you might not know about me, if this is your first time meeting me, is that
back in August of 2010 I started a blog called That blog became my baby for some reason. I really enjoyed writing to it, making videos, and just sharing content with people. Initially it was just to catalogue my experiences here in Japan and later it turned into other things: it was a place to share my thoughts, to rant a little when I felt like it, to meet foreigners I had never met before and eventually it became a place where I could help other foreigners who might’ve had the same troubles and struggles that I did.

Even now in 2015, I still make video content for the site and tweak some of the old articles that need updating.

Well that’s the short version of me, if you wanted to find out more, you can check out the what’s your story page over at right here.


I would imagine that many of you watching this video are a lot like I was when I was getting ready to come to Japan. I know what’s it’s like to be that fish out of water. I didn’t come to Japan speaking any Japanese or any of that stuff. I just made choice and came, you know? It can be really daunting and I know that stops a lot of people from coming; because you just do not know what to expect.

While you can find information on the internet, I think sometimes it’s hard to get that true voice of what it’s really like. That’s what I want to be for people, I wanna be that voice. I’ve been here for a while and I know what’s it’s like coming here, I know what it’s like not knowing a lick of Japanese, for those of you who don’t speak…

It can be a little scary. You’re on the plane moving to a new country; you’re leaving your family. THAT’S A BIG DEAL!

So, at the very least this video series will help those people who having an interest in teaching and working in Japan. It’ll help them make an informed decision. And for those who’ve already decided that you’re coming here, maybe it’ll put you a little more at ease.


And just a quick change to my screen guys, these are all of the different topics that we’ll be discussing in the Fish Out of Water Video series:

  • 1. Types of Teaching you can do in Japan
  • 2. Teach in Japan Prerequisites – all of those requirements that you’ll have to meet to be able to teach here successfully – with most companies anyway.
  • 3. What to Expect From your Teaching Job- everything from working conditions, to salaries, to students, and everything in between.
  • 4. How to Land a Teaching Job Here in Japan – while I can’t guarantee you a job, I can show you the resources that have really helped me to find work during my time here in Japan.
  • 5. The Pros and Cons of Teaching Abroad


    I’m a really big fan of keeping thing simple and this video series is no different.
    The way I recommend using it is just starting from the beginning, first section, and going all the way through the fifth section, at your own pace of course.
BUT I know everybody learns in different styles. So maybe your style is to kind of pick and choose, you like finding the topics that are most interesting to you and start from there. And that’s fine, too.
I’ll make sure the videos are labeled well so you can do that very easily.

    No matter how you decide to watch the videos, just do it in a way that’s comfortable for you.

    The biggest thing, my biggest hope, my biggest wish, is that you just get something from them.
    Ladies and gents that’s gonna finish our overview for the Fish Out of Water Video Series. I’ll catch you in the first topic, or whichever topic you decide to start watching first.

    See you soon, guys. Bye 🙂


    [Go to FOWVS Video 2 —>]