I just wanted to make a quick post about what I do when I'm not studying, partying or exploring Tokyo in all its gloriousness: I have a part time job!
Now, as a foreigner with limited japanese knowledge one'd think that getting a job here is a pain in the bunghole. But in reality, it's not hard at all! Maybe you won't be able to work what you reeeaaally want to, but it pays the bills (or the new skirt you've been eyeing for weeks!).
So here's what I do:
Chat host at an English conversation cafe!
As you might already know, the Japanese aren't exactly well-known for their great English fluency. English education of Japan has for a long time been just about learning to read and write English, and not about actually speaking the language. They study grammar and vocabulary, but close to nothing about pronunciation and how to communicate.
Japanese people want to speak English, and with the unstable economy, the Japanese company need to reach out internationally. So, the also need to speak English. So, while waiting for the English education system to change (hopefully), there have been English chat cafes, or English conversation Cafes popping up these last couple of years.
The deal is: You pay by the hour (or 30mins) to sit at a table with someone who is fluent in English, and talk. That's it. You can talk about your day, about your troubles, about politics, about your plans for summer, just about anything! The only topic my boss has refrained me from discussing, is religion. And that is very understandable, as it can be an incredibly touchy subject for some. But other than that, I talk about what I feel the client(s) are comfortable talking about! On one table, I can have zero to five-six people. If more people come, we split the group and make two chat tables.
You're able to get free drinks, and on weekend after 7pm you can also get free alcoholic beverages! Whee! But as a chat host, I'm not able to drink, hehe.
The pay is a-okay, 1000 yen per hour. It's not anywhere neeeaar good enough pay if this was Norway, but the price level here in Japan is pretty cheap, so there's a good balance :)
So all-in-all, I think it's quite fun, actually! I was pretty nervous the first times, figuring out what I could present as a topic, remembering peoples names and such.. But now I'm more relaxed, and a 4-hour shift seems like nothing :)
If you live in Japan, and you are fluent English, then a Chat cafe should be easy money! :)