Baito (バイト)



When most people think about working in Japan, they usually have the typical image of a salary man. But actually, there is more than just that. One of them are the so-called baito.

What is baito?

Part time jobs received the name of arubaito in Japan (known as well as baito). These are many baito which you can enter without specific skills.
It is very typical for both high school and college students to have some baito to start earning their own money, thus paying part of their own expenses. They are also jobs typically done by foreigners in order to pay for living expenses in Japan while, for example, studying at a university or a language school. It also serves as an experience to try to live a little more within Japanese society and to be able to put Japanese into practice.

Let’s go deeper into baito!

There are a great variety of jobs, which usually do not require advanced knowledge. They are usually “simple jobs”, mainly in restaurants, coffee shops, stores, convini or even at schools. It is often paid per hour, and it is important to know the legal minimum hourly wage in the city where you are applying. For example, in Tokyo, it is 1072 yen per hour currently ( I am wiriting this article on March 20th, 2023).

Most companies pay part of the commuting to the workplace. The following depends on the baito, but in many cases you can choose your own schedule depending on your availability.

How to get a baito in Japan as a foreigner?

If you have decided to look for a job, here you will find a brief description of the process. For foreigners with a student or working holiday visa, the process is very simple. The first thing you need to do is to obtain a part-time work permit. If you do not have such a permit, you would be working illegally in Japan, so be careful with it! In my case, when I arrived at the airport I brought the document to apply for the permit, so it didn’t take a minute. You hand in the document, and if they accept it, congratulations! you have your permit! 
With your permit in hand, the only thing to do is to start looking for job offers. It can be overwhelming, but the truth is that there are thousands of possibilities. The easiest option is through free job search sites where companies post job offers. In such job search sites, you can use filters that match what you are looking for (what type of job you want, what area you want to look in, the hourly salary range you would like, etc).
Once you have applied for the job, they usually call you shortly after to arrange an interview, where you should bring your resume. The interview is usually pretty straightforward even if you are not fluent in Japanese. After the interview, two things can happen: either you get hired (hooray, you made it!) or you don’t. But don’t be discouraged! As I said, there are a lot of possibilities, so it’s a matter of keep searching. But it doesn’t usually take long to find it: in a week you may find a job without any problem.

Is it a good idea to look for baito in Japan?

From my own experience, it is. Not only you do earn money to pay for part of your daily expenses, but you also have the opportunity to practice your language skills, get in contact with Japanese people, and do something different in your free time. Also, if you are hesitating to look for a job in Japan in the future, I think it is a good idea to first take this step to live the experience of working in Japan.
Therefore, I encourage you to look for a baito in Japan. If you are hesitating to do it, just do it! It will become part of your experience in Japan.