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What Tohoku has to offer.

Here are some reasons to make Tohoku your teaching destination.

The Tohoku (North Eastern) Region of Japan provides a pleasant surprise to first time visitors. Most newcomers arrive in Japan only to have their image of huge, sprawling, congested cities confirmed when they arrive in Tokyo or Osaka.

However, it is important to understand that 90% of the population lives in urban areas, which cover less than 5% of the total land area. That means that more than 90% of the country remains full of natural beauty. In addition, only two of the top sixty urban areas are located in the Tohoku / Niigata region where James operates, which means that James English Schools are located in smaller cities with very scenic surroundings.

Being located in Tohoku allows teachers to enjoy the best of traditional and modern Japan and still just a short bullet train ride to the big cities.. While even rural Japanese cities are very modern, providing all the amenities of home, many small communities are just a short distance away; the locals employed in traditional roles as farmers or craftsmen.

These communities host several events throughout the year, including amazing summer festivals and fireworks displays. Of course, if teachers want a faster paced holiday, Tokyo is only 1.5 to 2 hours from Sendai by Bullet train. Japan continues to have a reputation for being an extremely expensive country to stay in. But is that reputation really warranted?

If you are coming to Japan as a tourist, and will be frequenting five-star hotels and restaurants and travelling everywhere by Bullet train or taxi, then the answer is “Yes”. If, on the other hand, you are coming to teach and will be living and working here, then the answer is “No”. Of course, everything is relative. If you live an extravagant lifestyle here, then it will be costly – just as living an extravagant lifestyle in your home country would be expensive there.

The fact is that the average cost of living in Japan is actually lower than the cost of living in the USA and almost exactly the same as Canada. Once a teacher is being paid in Yen and not converting from another currency, the financial paradigm changes substantially.

Add to that the fact that in terms of living expenses, Sendai (the largest city in Tohoku) is 20-40% cheaper than Tokyo. All in all, a teacher’s salary will allow them to travel extensively throughout Asia and/or save substantial amounts of money.

New teachers may also expect to encounter Southeast Asian climate which is hot all year round. On the contrary, Japan has four distinct seasons, similar to Canada or the United States. While winters are often milder than in North America, Tohoku is even less tropical than Tokyo and Southern Japan, so planning for a “winter” climate is important. However, this means that living in Tohoku gives you the best of both worlds. Hot (though humid) summers and winters with enough snow in the local mountains to do plenty of winter activities.


While the cost of living in Japan vary greatly on the location, these numbers should give you a rough estimate of the difference in cost of living in Tokyo and the Tohoku Regoin. Also remember the big city is just a short train ride away.



Typical Costs of Living in Tokyo


Rent: ¥75,000 ~ ¥100,000
Gas: ¥5000 ~ ¥7500
Water: Included with the rent
Electric: Included with the rent
Home Internet: ¥10,000
Mobile Phone: ¥10,000

Food: ¥30,000 ~ ¥50,000

Typical Costs of Living in Sendai


Rent: ¥40,000 ~ ¥55,000
Gas: ¥3000 ~ ¥4500
Water: Included with the rent
Electric: Included with the rent
Home Internet: ¥10,000
Mobile Phone: ¥10,000

Food: ¥20,000 ~ ¥40,000

JAMES School List

Aomori Akita Morioka Kitakami Furukawa Sendai Fukushima
Koriyama Shirakawa Niigata Joestsu Yamagata Tendo Yonezawa
Iwaki Tsuruoka Hirosaki Takahata