Sadly, ALTInsider.com 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.
Jobs in Japan has been a key resource for foreigners looking for work in Japan since 1998. It's got a bit of everything, including a job board, a place to post your resume and a blog that I write posts for from time to time. This is a great place to begin or step up your job search.
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!
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.
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!
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 Kanjibook, 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.)
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.
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
ALTInsider.com's "tools" are a wide range of useful documents for people working in Japan now, or planning to in the near future. From a full year of elementary school lessons, to an ebook designed to prepare you for an ALT career, and everything in between, there's something here for you. No doubt about it. Learn more here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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