Working in Japan seems to be an exciting prospect for anyone who’s interested in the culture of one of the most colorful countries in the world. Japan has embraced a more global approach, welcoming more foreign tourists. This interest has seen the growth of hotels constructed by popular hotel chains. A demand for a work force capable of catering to a global market led to more hotel jobs in Japan.
The hospitality industry in Japan is a competitive market. With the working environment far different from that in the Western countries, there are factors to consider in landing a hotel job in Japan. In a culture that is sacredly homogeneous, hotel jobs in Japan adhere to traditional practices that may baffle foreign job hunters at first. As most hotel jobs in the West welcome applicants with multilingual skills, the situation is different in Japan. It is more a requirement to speak Japanese in day-to-day interactions.
Overview of the Industry
Hotel doors to global travelers started to open in Japan at the onset of the new millennium. For a country that earned much of its revenue through inbound travel or domestic tourism, going international meant inviting foreign hotel chains to build varying types of hotels all over the country. An increased surge of luxury hotels and resorts continue to cater to foreign travelers’ tastes. Ryokans, or traditional inns, gained fierce competition in the likes of Ritz Carlton or Westin giants. The Japan External Trade Organization has reported occupancy reaching 80 percent in prime cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.
With the increase in hotel chains, a more capable staff was needed to fill the workforce. Managerial positions, such as directors in sales or food and beverage, and executive chefs, require a bachelor’s degree in hotel management or other related degrees, plus a minimum of five years of experience. Some posts require graduate degrees, as well. For entry-level positions like waiters, housekeeping and bartenders, the qualifications are not as stringent. Proficiency in the Japanese language is expected, however, for all types of hotel jobs in Japan. Hotels are wont to hire legal residents, if not nationals, for entry-level jobs. Candidates sourced by companies specializing in the hospitality industry usually fill higher posts. There is a paid internship program that lets you work in Japan hotels as an intern. It is open to Australians, Germans, Canadians, the British and the French, with certain age and qualification requirements.
Executive positions command a pay ranging approximately JPY 50,000 to 750,000 a month or U.S. $500 to $8,000. Salaries for lower posts are not specified. Lodging and living allowances are often part of the compensation packages for hotel jobs in Japan, depending on the hotel chain. Working in Japan allows the opportunity to explore the beautiful country and its charming culture that in itself is actually a perk.
Knowing about Japan and its traditions is helpful in looking for hotel jobs. Language proficiency must be developed. Another consideration is the worldwide economic landscape, which directly affects the industry. Japan, however, remains optimistic, seeing steady tourist arrivals from neighboring China. Granted that travelers from the U.S. and Europe decrease in the wake of economic downturn, but visitors from nearby Asian countries still keep the industry afloat.
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