Teaching in China vs. Teaching in Japan: A Brief Comparison

Teach in Japan or China? Let’s find out!

If you’ve decided you want to teach English in Asia, you’re in for a wonderful adventure. But the options for locations can make it difficult to choose.

Before you decide about big or small cities, the first task is deciding on which country to choose. 

Often, those that consider moving abroad to teach English ponder whether they should teach in China or Japan.

So are you trying to decide between these two? Both of them have incredible English teaching opportunities.

Here is some information that can help you understand each country a little bit better.


First, let’s talk about Japan.

Japan is a stunningly beautiful, incredibly clean country. Japanese people are incredibly polite and kind. It’s kind of utopian, from a foreigner’s perspective (not as a local though).

There are wonderful things to discover from the culture to the history and every little Japanese tea house and sushi spot in between.

On the downside though, Japan is incredibly expensive. Maybe more so than US.

The cost of living is very high, and while you’ll no doubt earn a robust salary teaching there, the cost of transport is astounding.

The other thing about Japan is that while the people are very polite and kind, there’s only so close you’ll get to them.

There might a big challenge to adapt to the local culture as someone who’s been brought up in the western world.

The culture is very closed off due to not wanting to express personal feelings for fear of rocking the boat. So it might a big challenge to adapt to the local culture as someone who’s been brought up in the western world, where people talk about feelings and opinions more openly.

>> 10 Best Places to Teach English in Asia

Teaching in China vs. Teaching in Japan - 2


Now, on to China.

In China, there are an abundance of teaching jobs. In fact, there are more available in China than both Japan and neighbouring South Korea combined. This is due to the rapid growth of China’a economy in recent years, and this trend is still going on.

There are more positions available in China than both Japan and South Korea combined. 

That means you have better chances of scoring a great teaching job in China. As China is in the middle of a massive growth spurt, it creates even more potential for your success as an English teacher.

The cost of living in China is very low, especially when you compare it to that of Japan.

You’ll also find transportation costs to be significantly cheaper. That means more money in the bank for you while living and teaching in China.

Additionally, Mandarin is becoming a more prevalent selection in the schools of Western countries, largely due to China’s globalisation and growth. That, coupled with China’s eagerness to learn English, makes it a great place to teach.

Teaching in China vs. Teaching in Japan

Chinese culture is incredibly warm and welcoming too. 

While you might love visiting Japan, China makes a better home away from home. You’re more likely to make Chinese friends who will invite you to their homes for holidays where you’ll gain even more incredible experiences from your life teaching English abroad.

In our opinion, China is a great place to start teaching English. It has plentiful opportunities for you to teach as well as to enjoy life.

Your time to decide 

As we discussed above, both Japan and China are awesome places if you’re looking to start your overseas life as an English teacher.

You’ll find that taking that plunge at the first place is the most important step, and the rest? Let it flow and make it the best experience of your life!

If you want to see more comparisons, check out this guide when deciding which country to teach in Asia: Which Country To Teach: Korea, Japan, or China?

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