Sadly, can't do it all. The following are resources that I currently use or have used in the past to help me have more fun. 

Whether it's the hosting service I use for this site (Bluehost), great places to get lesson ideas, or the best place to buy meat in Japan, if I found it useful, it's mentioned below.




For people thinking of coming to Japan

All the best podcasts about Japan, in one place. Whether you are still in your home country, dreaming of your next vacation to Mt. Fuji, a first-year JET Programme applicant nervously waiting for your results, or just someone who wants a window in into Japan for their morning commute, there is a podcast for you there. Check it out.


City-Cost has tons of information about living in Japan, with an emphasis on all things financial. With a Q+A feature and a way to sort info based on prefecture, there is definitely something here to make your life easier. Adding to the awesomeness, the editor was a guest on the podcast.

City-Cost has tons of information about living in Japan, with an emphasis on all things financial. With a Q+A feature and a way to sort info based on prefecture, there is definitely something here to make your life easier. Adding to the awesomeness, the editor was a guest on the podcast.

Surviving in Japan is a website designed to help you handle all the day to day tasks that may get confusing in Japanese in a very easy to understand way. From how to transfer money to how to use your air conditioner, this site can definitely help you out when you're first getting started with your life in Japan!

Audley specialists have toured extensively throughout Japan and can help you plan a trip suited to your interests, while advising on everything from the best local festivals to attend to the more unusual specialties to try.

 Print Reading Material


Lonely Planet Japan – It may not tell you much about the job, but Lonely Planet is a good overview of the places you might check out while you're in Japan. If nothing else, it will get your "Japan excitement level" to an all time high.

A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony – Another great read for before you get to Japan, I find that it still re-energizes me.

DIY: A Tome of Life and Love In JapanGuest post writer Craig tells a dark and gritty tale about living in Japan.

Japanese Study

To fully enjoy Japan, you’re going to want to know some Japanese. Here’s how to start and continue on your Japanese learning journey. It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this.


I’m no Japanese master, but I did pass 2kyuu two years after arriving in Japan simply by following this guy’s ideas. Here’s a summary: all Japanese, all the time. If you're serious about studying Japanese, check it out. 


For kanji flash cards, JLPT books, and other language tools, this is the place. I have spent my share of money on this site and have never been disappointed. I bought all my JLPT N2 books from here many moons ago, and I still treasure them. They are my children. Thank you White Rabbit!




Tofugu has tons of great material about learning Japanese, things to do in Japan, and a lot more. I even wrote two articles there myself. The first was about what to do after ALTing and the next about what I used to learn Japanese. They also recently started a podcast that I was a guest on. Go and be merry!

 Print Reading Material


Japanese Hiragana & Katakana for Beginners: First Steps to Mastering the Japanese Writing System – The first step to learning Japanese is handling the hiragana and katakana. This baby will dramatically speed up your first steps.


Remembering the Kanji: A Complete Course on How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Japanese Characters – This book is how I learned Kanji. You will also need an SRS, but put in the time and you will know ALL THE KANJIS. I declare this an absolute must-have.


Bonus Awesome Thing. I had this poster on my wall for 5 years. It is that special to me. I would take a bullet for this poster. It uses all the Kanji from the first Remembering the Kanji book, so it's like a constant reminder of your progress through that book every time you look at the poster. You can also use a highlighter to make notes on it, and then wash them off. It’s my everything. You need it.

(They have newer versions but I still linked to my old faithful.)

 Getting Hired

From figuring out how to apply, to making sure you hit the JET Programme deadlines, to getting your actual resume and cover letter in tip-top shape, we are here to help you. Don't just dream about living in Japan; make it happen. Click here to find out more about our services.


If you need more information about the whole experience of working in Japan, this series of articles is for you. It starts with laying out your options, and leads all the way to getting packed for the start of your adventure. Get started here.


If translating or proofreading is something you'd like to do to earn some yen, this guide is for you. It's a complete step-by-step guide to help get your first translation gig. has an extremely diverse list of job openings in an easy to navigate package. It's definitely a great place to start your job search, no matter what field you're looking into. Check out the available jobs here.

 Dealings with your Home Country


My wife doesn’t eat meat, which means I rarely eat meat. But I’ve heard good things about this site. Check it out for your meat needs while you're in Japan.


There are some things you can't buy easily in Japan: Deodarant that works, shoes above size 9 US, some medications etc. etc. is the very best way to have things you buy online shipped to you in Japan. Don't go without the things you need. Check it out.


For non-meat stuff like cereals, Pop-Tarts, and other things you can’t usually find in a Japanese grocery store, this site is pretty much the best. You'll pay a premium, but if you need a Pop-Tart, you need a Pop-Tart.


If you need to send money back home, this company has never let me down. You deposit it into their bank account, they send it to you in less than 48 hours. Learn more here. 


ALT Insider Tools

A collection of all the resources and tools available here at From resume advice to complete lesson plans for your classes, there is a plethora of information here all designed to help you have you more fun in Japan. Go forth to more fun. 


Last Minute games are just that: games tailor-made for when you need a game for your next class, and don't have much time to prepare for it. Whether you need something for your elementary school class, or something to challenge those "too cool" junior high students, click here and go have a fun class.



Englipedia: Free games galore. If you’re on this site, there's about a 99% chance you’ve already heard of this one. (I also interviewed the webmaster.)


An ALT website aiming to help you be a better a ALT through awesome training modules and a like-minded community, created by the writer of this epic guest post. Things are just getting started there, but give it a look so the epicness doesn’t sneak up on you.


 Many prefectures have wikis, but Akita’s is the best of the best. Endless game ideas. Go. 

While Akita’s is the best prefectural wiki, Tochigi has some stuff worth checking out as well. I also wrote a post for their site. So go there.



English WebBook: Huge list of classroom ideas formatted in an easy-to-find manner. Honestly, it's not talked about often enough for how useful a site it is. The webmaster was a guest on the podcast as well. Neat!



 The best grammar book to take between schools, period. Good for any JTEs that have a lot of fun questions.

Wild Mushroomland: A lot of stuff here for all those Hi Friends! users out there who might have misplaced your CD or teacher’s manual. There's lots of other stuff about Japan as well.

Yes it’s basically just a huge PDF that's extremely difficult to navigate, but if you have some free time, it’s worth it to scan the multitude of games and activities. There are plenty of great games, and plenty more inspirations for your own.


MES English has a huge number of totally free printables covering a huge number of topics.


Web Hosting


This is the best and easiest way to host your blog. This site is running on it. It’s so easy to connect to WordPress, it’s worth the extra cost. You can also register your domain there. Check it out.


There is no easier place to write a blog. I’m not linking anywhere else because there is no need. And it’s totally free.


 Mailing List/Podcast/Lead Pages



Aweber is the mailing list service I use, and it has helped me share the latest news and exclusive content to my readers. At first I wasn't sure I wanted a mailing list, but I regularly have some of my most meaningful interactions with the awesome people on that list. I very glad I started one. Learn more here.


Libsyn takes care of my podcast hosting duties, and I have had zero problems. If you are serious about your podcast, you need real hosting. Learn more here.



Leadpages does a lot for my site, from the mailing list sign-up to the sales page for the lesson plans. If you are selling products on your blog or website, definitely give them a look.

The ALTInsider Discord

Want to interact with other people currently living it up in Japan or working towards doing so in the future? Join the awesome people already having awesome discussions by clicking below. I'm also in there basically 24/7 so if you ever have a question for me, don't be a stranger.

Stay in Touch

Most direct way to ask a question or contact me

Best place to discuss the latest content from

Behind the scenes stuff from running, life in Japan, and of course, cats.

Webinar replays and random vids from the site