Visiting Japan While Teaching English In Korea

Teach English And Travel!

Perhaps my favorite thing about teaching English in Korea is how easily accessible travel is. In just six  months of living in South Korea, I’ve traveled to 4 bucket list cities in the country and spent countless weekends exploring Seoul itself. From Jeju Island and its clear blue water to Jeonju and its beautiful architecture, South Korea truly has so many epic places to explore. Join me on my latest excursion visiting Japan!


Native English Language teacher taking a picture in front of cherry blossoms in Japan

Popular East Asian Destinations

When I decided to take my first international trip (yes, it’s financially and logistically possible to travel internationally while teaching English in Korea), I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I was so delighted to realize that traveling internationally from Korea is just as easy as traveling domestically. Some popular international destinations from Korea include Japan, Vietnam, China, and Thailand.


Tokyo Travel Costs

For my first trip, I flew to Tokyo, Japan for a week.  Gimpo Airport and the flight (2 hours and 20 minutes) were a breeze. When I lived in the United States and would travel internationally, I always suffered from horrible jet lag. This time, I got to have a once-in-a-lifetime vacation while never switching time zones from Korea or dealing with the fatigue and brain fog that accompanies jet lag. I ended up staying in a hostel for my week in Tokyo, which only cost me about $160 USD in total. Plus, I got to meet people from all over the world!  Airfare from Seoul to Tokyo is extremely affordable in my opinion. Depending on when you decide to go, it can cost as little as $170 USD! 


The first time I set foot in Asia was when I moved to Korea to teach English. The most rewarding part of vacationing in Japan was getting to see a different side of Asia than what I’ve been exposed to in Korea. It gave me a deeper appreciation for Korean culture, particularly the food and the language. A few of the highlights were learning to make gyoza and visiting Sensoji Temple. It brought back memories of visiting Guinsa Temple in Korea last fall, and it inspired me to sign up for a kimchi making class here in Seoul!


Residency Pays Off!

When I returned to the airport in Korea, I got the best surprise. Because I am an ARC holder (the residency card you receive while teaching English in Korea), I got to go through the line with Korean passport holders and skip customs with the other citizens. Not only did this feel a little like having a super power because the line was faster, but it also made me feel like I belong in Korea in a way I’ve never experienced before! It was the perfect homecoming after a week of international travel visiting Japan!

Diana Richtman is a writer and ESL teacher living in Seoul, South Korea. Originally from Savannah, Georgia in the United States, Diana holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in English & Women’s Studies. After receiving her TEFL certification, Diana moved to South Korea where she works at one of Creverse’s April Institutes. When Diana isn’t working, she loves exploring Korea, drinking warm cups of tea, and scaring away her friends with her karaoke performances.