Top 10 Part-time Jobs in Shinjuku for Foreigners

By Camilla Chandra | December 2020

Jobs in Shinjuku

Searching for part-time jobs in Shinjuku can be challenging and, more often than not, intimidating, especially when you're a foreigner. If you have ever looked for open part-time positions, you have most probably traveled down the rabbit hole of surfing through job boards, Japanese websites (yes, Google-translated), and sketchy offshoots on the internet. Getting sidetracked, calling it a day, or just plainly giving up on finding the perfect job—we've all been there.

The great thing about Shinjuku is that it is the major hub for all sorts of fun activities and entertainment. Chances are, you will find more job openings in the area than anywhere else. Cafes, clothing stores, bars, and hotels—many of them are in desperate need of workers. That makes Shinjuku not just a great place to make friends, but to work as well. With hundreds (if not thousands) of available jobs open, it can be pretty overwhelming. Luckily, we have done extensive research to come up with a simplified, solid list of the most common and available part-time jobs in Shinjuku for foreigners so you don't have to.

This article is on part-time jobs in Shinjuku is a subsection of our guide to part-time jobs in Tokyo for foreigners. 

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    Tokyo kitchen jobs

    Cooking/ Kitchen Part-time Jobs in Shinjuku

    Shinjuku offers seemingly never-ending options for dining out, ranging from familiar fast-food chains, well-established ramen, and traditional Japanese outlets, to high-end boutique hotels. That also means that there is always a great demand for kitchen helpers. Kitchen and cooking positions are some of the most popular part-time jobs for university students. You can gain a lot of experience and improve your language skill by interacting with other workers. A kitchen staff/assistant performs duties in a very fast-paced working environment, particularly if it’s the weekend of after-hours when all the Japanese workers come rushing in. 

    Many popular restaurant chains are welcoming to foreigners. Most of the time, kitchen jobs don’t need prior experience in the food industry and only require basic Japanese proficiency because they will train you once you’ve started. For fast-food chain restaurants such as McDonald's or conveyor belt sushi chains, you will not be doing much prep work. If you want to gain a lot of experience, improve your language skill, and interact with workers from various backgrounds, then kitchen part-time jobs in Shinjuku is the right fit for you. 

    Typical Salary:  ¥1000-¥1200 an hour

    Job Boards 

    Restaurants Hiring Cooking Assistant/Kitchen Staff in Shinjuku

    ※ Please note that links without the “(English Ad)” are in Japanese.

    Server jobs in Tokyo

    Hall Staff and Server Part-time Jobs in Shinjuku

    Generally speaking, the same restaurants or chains that are taking applications for kitchen staff will also hire both kitchen and hall staff, but it’s up to you to choose your preference. Unlike kitchen staff, hall staff—or servers—work closely with customers and provide direct service  to them. Their core responsibilities include guiding customers, serving food, handling the cashier, and maintaining the overall cleanliness of the place. As such, hall staff need to have excellent customer service skills and attention to detail. 

    Keep in mind that because they work directly with customers, hall staff will use a lot of Japanese honorifics (or keigo). You will need to have an intermediate-to-advanced Japanese proficiency to be able to communicate with the customers. However, the great thing about part-time jobs in Shinjuku is that you will most likely meet staff workers from other nationalities alike. Restaurant managers and owners are also more accepting and tolerant if you have minimal Japanese proficiency. In general, you need to have daily-conversational level Japanese, but it’s preferable if it’s business-level. If you are interested in challenging yourself and are confident with meeting people, then hall staff is a recommended position for you. 

    Typical Salary: ¥1000-¥1200 an hour

    Restaurants Hiring Hall Staff or Server in Shinjuku

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    konbini clerk Tokyo Shinjuku

    Convenience Store Clerk Part-time Jobs in Shinjuku

    Convenience store—or more familiarly known as konbini—is scattered throughout the city, the Shinjuku being no exception. If anything, because of its very concentrated population, you will find konbini on almost every corner of the street. Three of the biggest konbini chains in Japan are 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, and Lawson. You can sometimes find them established side by side or right across one another. Most konbinis are open 24/7, and because of that, it’s convenient not just for customers, but for those seeking part-time jobs in Shinjuku as well.

    Working at the konbini entails a very diversified collection of responsibilities. These tasks include managing the cashier and registry, stocking new products, and handling deliveries and postal services. Occasionally, customers may inquire about other services, such as issuing tickets, sending parcels, and other menial tasks as photocopying and printing documents. Like working at a restaurant as a server, working at the konbini means you have to be comfortable with using keigo and speaking Japanese fluently. However, you will gain a lot of useful experience in management and customer service. 

    In Shinjuku, you might notice that many konbini clerks are of foreign nationalities. Because you will use keigo and learn skills in management, working at the konbini is a common part-time job in Shinjuku for language school students. Konbini also has one of the easiest application systems. If you’re feeling brave, you can sometimes visit one of the stores in the area with your Japanese resume and ask if they are currently hiring. You can also search through the local stores on each chains’ websites. 

    Typical Salary:  ¥1015-¥1300 an hour

    Common Konbini Chains Hiring in Shinjuku

    Most restaurants and stores will want you to bring your resume during the interview, so be sure to check our guide to cover letters and resumes for more helpful tips! 

    Part time cafe staff Shinjuku Tokyo

    Cafe and Barista Part-time Jobs in Shinjuku

    Another attractive position for university students is a barista at a cafe or coffee shop. Working there might seem like one of the most daunting part-time jobs in Shinjuku for foreigners. It’s seldom that you find foreigners working in a coffee shop, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to work there. In fact, many of my foreign friends are able to find work at their dream coffee shop.  The crucial thing to consider is your Japanese skills and perhaps, more than anything, your enthusiasm to work there. Many coffee shops prefer if you have some barista experience, but chains such as Starbucks and Doutor can train you, so your commitment is an important factor. If you have a soft spot for coffee, then there is no harm in applying for your dream job while studying in Japan.

    Other than improving your customer service skill, you will be learning the technique on brewing coffee and making all sorts of specialty beverages. You will also manage other responsibilities, such as cleaning the store and handling the cashier. 

    Typical Salary: ¥1015-¥1200 an hour

    Cafes chains/Coffee Shops Hiring in Shinjuku

    Pro Tip! 

    You will need enough Japanese proficiency for jobs that meet customers. If you are looking for ways to improve your Japanese in the middle of your hectic schedule, be sure to check Japan Switch! Located at the heart of Shinjuku, we offer:

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    English teacher children Shinjuku Tokyo

    English Teacher for Children Part-time Jobs in Shinjuku

    Teaching English to children is among the most typical part-time jobs in Shinjuku for university students. Your friend or an acquaintance might be at a kindergarten or school, so it’s a safe bet that you have probably been tempted to apply at a certain point—and why not? A teaching position is perfect for individuals who love interacting and staying active. Because you will be dealing with children, you have to be friendly and adopt the right personality to make sure that they are having fun while learning.

    Becoming a kindergarten teacher has some merits and disadvantages. For a start, this position isn’t necessarily the best way to improve your Japanese. As a matter of fact, you are strongly discouraged from speaking in Japanese. However, teaching positions offer a significantly more competitive salary than your regular part-time jobs. The growing demand for English speakers also means that this job isn’t just limited to native speakers, but foreigners of many nationalities. As such, you will work in a very dynamic and diverse environment. Oh, and one more thing: if your performance meets your employer’s standards, you can be offered a full-time position! 

    Typical Salary: ¥1500-¥2500 an hour

    Kindergarten/Preschool Hiring in Shinjuku:

    Eikawa cafe host in Tokyo

    English Teacher for Adults Part-time Jobs in Shinjuku

    While the number is not as significant as teaching English to children, there is a steady demand for English-teaching positions specifically tailored for adults. Many Japanese people ranging from university students to office workers are looking for ways to improve their English, so English cafes and schools have been growing in popularity. 

    You’ve come to the right place! Scattered around Yokohama and Tokyo (including Shinjuku) One Coin English is among one of the well-established English cafes in Japan. They have a very inclusive work environment with teachers from over 35 countries. Beyond English skills, they also look for other redeeming qualities that help teachers build a strong connection with students. This position also provides a more flexible working schedule, so this is definitely the perfect option for those who are looking for temporary part-time positions. 

    If you are still curious about OCE, visit their website to learn more about the company. Better yet, why not apply now to get a head start? 

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    Eikawa cafe host in Tokyo

    English Cafes and Hosts

    Aside from OCE, there are plenty of part-time jobs in Shinjuku for English conversation partners. A plus point in working as conversation partners or hosts at English cafes are free to engage in fun discussions with their students. Unlike kindergarten or nursery schools (or other English schools), you are not required to stick to a certain lesson plan nor curriculum. You will also have more chances to discuss working hours and days that suit your schedule. 

    As mentioned above, companies don’t just look for those with good English proficiency. You have to be sure that you have the personality and enthusiasm to hold up a conversation. Similarly, you have to keep in mind that many cafes operate on a reservation system, so your pay can fluctuate depending on how busy it is. 

    Typical Salary: ¥1000-¥2000 an hour

    English Positions in Shinjuku

    Job Boards for Eikawa, ALT, and English Positions:

    If you are interested in starting your career as a teacher in Japan, we have provided an in-depth explanation about teaching jobs that can help you. 

    Hotel staff in Tokyo

    Hotel Part-time Jobs in Shinjuku

    Working in the hotel industry is also a popular option for foreigners. Particularly in Shinjuku, as it is the top destination for tourists, hotels are likely to be in a hiring surge for non-natives. The easiest option for jobs at a hotel is cleaning staff as you don’t need to have high Japanese proficiency to do your duties. Basic tasks include maintaining overall hotel cleanliness, managing the guest rooms following the company’s guidelines, and laundry. 

    However, many hotels are also looking for bilingual foreigners who can speak Chinese, Korean, or English. If you want to challenge yourself or gain a more professional experience through meeting customers directly, you can consider applying as a front-service clerk. Like teaching, this is among the rare part-time jobs in Shinjuku where you can get full-time employment. 

    Typical Salary: ¥1015-¥1300 an hour

    Hotels Hiring in Shinjuku

    There are so many things that go into play when finding the perfect hotel job for you. Be sure to check our guide to hotel jobs in Tokyo for a more thorough explanation regarding salaries, skill, and types of hotels! 

    Courier and driver part-time jobs

    Delivery Driver and Courier Jobs in Shinjuku

    For those who are looking to stay active while making some money—why not consider becoming a delivery driver or a courier?  Fast food companies are offering delivery services to keep up with their competitors, and some famous chains such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut are more than happy to recruit new delivery staff on any day! Company vehicles (usually motorcycles) are usually provided, but you need to have a valid driver’s license in Japan to apply.

    If you don’t want to go through the effort of taking a driver’s test, you can apply as a driver at UberEats (English page). Recently, the company has been giving financial incentives to those who wanted to become an Uber Driver. This can be considered the ultimate freelance position as working hours are very unrestricted. In addition to that, because you will be driving around the city, delivery and couriers can’t exclusively be considered as jobs in Shinjuku.

    Typical Salary: ¥1015-¥1100 an hour

    Delivery Driver & Courier Hiring in Shinjuku

    Apparel retail jobs in Tokyo

    Retail and Apparel Part-time Jobs in Shinjuku

    As the epicenter of commercial activities, you will virtually find retail and apparel stores anywhere in the area. Correspondingly, that also means a broad option for part-time jobs in Shinjuku for the industry. 

    This position involves working with customers in sales or service and managing product inventory. Larger retailers such as Don Quijote or Big Camera are also in great need of workers who can speak English (and possibly other languages) due to the variety of international customers, so it’s a plus point for us.

    Above all, working in the retail and apparel industry is a great way to integrate your passion and hobby with work. If you love fashion, why not apply at your nearest Uniqlo chain or H&M? For those who love gadgets and electronics, Big Camera is a possible option. 

    Typical Salary: ¥1100-¥1500 an hour

    Retail &Apparel Stores in Shinjuku

    Finding Jobs in Japan

    We’ve set the options literally in front of your eyes, but we know you’re still holding on to the urge to browse through other sources. For those who are not residing in Shinjuku, worry not! Japan is a land of countless opportunities, and there are great job boards to diversify your options. 

    Job Boards

    If you are interested in finding a full-time job in Japan—we got you. We’ve created the ultimate guide to finding a job in Japan.  We also strongly recommend you to consider participating in job fairs or reaching out to recruiters if you plan on building a long-term career in Japan. Ultimately, it all comes down to finding the right fit for you and the company. 

    Conclusion

    The overwhelming feeling of scanning through job openings, the excitement of being reached back,  the dread as you go for an interview—it's all part of the process. But remember: don’t forget to relax, pat yourself in the back, and have fun in Shinjuku!

    Find more jobs in Japan for foreigners and we hope you find what you are looking for.

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