I loved teaching in Japan, especially since it had been a dream of mine for a few years. I enjoyed my students, co-workers, and the Japanese parents I met, and I loved watching my students become more confident in their English abilities. The Japanese work ethic, however, is very rigorous and can create a bit of a problem for people interested in a decent work/life balance. I worked from noon to past 9 at night, and I often went into work an hour earlier and stayed almost an hour later.
This company has great benefits (health insurance and annual health exams), and I had a nice manager who took care of me. She was not professional with the Japanese staff, though, and sometimes grew terribly impatient and difficult to work with. Some managers are not like that, but having one as your boss can make the whole job rather dismal.
insurance, respect, good pay
long hours, weekend time, cultural differences