1. You have the right qualifications

Like most other places, you usually need to be a native speaker and to have a bachelors degree in any subject to apply for a work visa to teach in Japan. Experience and TEFL certification can help as well.

2. You have some start up cash

If you are planning on going there to get a job I wouldn't go there with less than $5000. Japan is a relatively expensive place. Hotels and hostels will quickly add up. Even if you find a place quickly to rent you may have to pay a deposit (key money) which can be sizable. Employers can sometimes help with that. Most teachers don't get paid for more than a month after they first start. But if you have a job and a home lined up then you can get by with less.

You can look for a job in Japan here.

3. You want visa freedom

Japan is the place to be for visa freedom. In countries like Korea, Taiwan and China your work visa is connected to your employer. Should you want to quit in those countries then you will lose your visa and have to get another one from a new employer. And that is not easy. In Japan your visa is not connected directly to your employer, so then you will have more freedom.

4. You want to be an assistant teacher

If you want to work in the JET program or in a public school you will most likely be an assistant teacher. These can be easier jobs for some as you are secondary to the main English teacher who is Japanese. These can be good jobs for beginner teachers, but there is usually less autonomy since you're an assistant (ALT).

5. You want to be the lead teacher

If you want to be the head teacher in the classroom then you may want to work in an Eikaiwa or in a university (if you have good qualifications which is usually a master's degree). ECC, AEON, GEOS and Berlitz and some examples of private chain schools.

6. You want to live in a modern and developed country

Japan has the fourth largest economy in the world. While it still holds on to many of it's famous traditions it's a pretty modern, westernized and comfortable place to live.

7. You'd rather rinse than wipe

Japan is known for it's high tech gadgetry and robots. They even took this technology to the bathroom. Many toilets in Japan contain an electronic bidet and wash system. Sound strange? It may be at first, but it is more hygienic.

8. You are not afraid of earthquakes, volcanoes or tsunami's

Japan lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean. This is a very active place. There are many earthquakes here and active volcanoes. Japan has the highest rate of natural disasters in the developed world. But fear not those don't happen very often.

9. You prefer a cleaner environment

Compared to China, Korea and Taiwan Japan is the cleanest and the least polluted place in Asia aside from Singapore.

10. You have an otaku for manga, anime or cosplay

Otaku is a term in Japanese relating to someone with obsessive interests such as a passion for the above. Japan has created some of it's own unique art forms and shared them with the world. If you are in Tokyo be sure to check out Harajuku. There you will see much of this cosplay in action. Manga comics are popular throughout China, Korea and Taiwan as well. Many children read them.

11. You appreciate a diversity of fashion

Japan is at least - on the surface, a pretty diverse place compared to other Asian countries. You'll see more fashion styles such as punk rockers, Elvis imitators, hip hop, cosplay and more of a diversity of everyday fashion styles compared to China, Korea, or Taiwan. Yet, Japan like the rest of Eastern Asia has a group mindset versus an individual mindset that's common in the USA.

I first went to Japan for my visa after living in Korea for about a month and one of the first things I noticed was that everybody didn't dress alike. I thought it was rather refreshing.

12. You like polite people

The Japanese are a pretty polite bunch on average. I once heard a Japanese friend jokingly say that in Japan if a man is drunk, passed out and say dropped his wallet someone would pick it up and put it back in his pocket. No one would steel it. Eastern Asia is a pretty safe place to live for the most part, but the Japanese are the most polite.

13. You have an open mind

This one is not really specific to Japan, but it is to teaching abroad. Things will be different and having an open mind is a key ingredient to having a good time while abroad.