Mr. Tom Couchman(United Kingdom, 27, SE/Programmer)

  • English (United States)
  • 日本語
  • 한국어

Specializing in software developing and data analysis, total solutions company Co-graph Inc. recruits Mr. Tom Couchman, from the United Kingdom as an engineer. Here is an interview with Mr. Couchman on his work life in Japan. (JIKOPY)

Name Mr. Tom Couchman (27)
Country United Kingdom
Company Co-graph Inc.
Industry IT
Corporate position Software/application engineer
Location Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Japanese skills Before Japan:JLPT-N5
Currently:JLPT-N4
Study abroad experience (Japan) Yes
Latest education history Master’s graduate
Any working experience (before Japan) Less than 5 years


Why did you want to work in Japan ?

How old were you when you developed an interest in Japan?

Around 16 years old.

Tell us about your interests and motives of coming to Japan.

It started when I was in university. I started watching Japanese movies, and not long after, my interest for Japanese music and literature grew.

Also when I visited Japan with my family at 17 years old, I have thought about living in Japan.

When did you decide that you want to work in Japan?

When I was about 26 years old.

When did you decide that you want to work in Japan?

Same time when I decided to, 26 years old.

Why do you want to work in Japan?
  • I wanted to live in Japan.


Tell us about your job search for work in Japan.

What was your method of job searching?
  • Through a recruiting agency based in Japan
  • Searched on the internet and applied on my own
What do you look for when choosing a company?
  1. Interest in the company
  2. A company where I can learn and further my career for the future.
  3. A company that provides adequate training / education after hiring.
When attempting to get a job in Japan, what was your biggest challenge?
  • The level of Japanese that the companies require are too high.


Tell us about your current employment.

Tell us about your main role/responsibility.

I am being entrusted to software and application developing for our clients.

Tell us about what you consider important and concerns you other than your job.

For software developers, maintaining skills and up-to-date knowledge is very important. For that reason, gaining experiences from learning in-house and also outside of work is also crucial.

In addition, it is also important to work closely with colleagues and help each other at any time. Everyone has a different sort of sill set, so it is always extremely helpful to learn from each other too.

What is the appealing factor/attractive feature of your current employment?

I develop a wide range of softwares from various clients, and I get to work with various projects from different categories. This has helped maintain new interests.

We are given adequate time and resources to learn new technologies between project, allowing you to improve as a developer.


Tell us about working in Japan.

Tell us why working in Japan appeals to you.

I feel it is a very valuable experience to live and work in a foreign country.

You are able to better understand Japanese lifestyle and customs, and a deeper variety of insights than the average traveller.

Are there any other struggles you are facing aside from work in Japan? How did you manage to deal with it?

The language barrier is sometimes a problem, but there are a number of international employees that are my fellow colleagues, and we communicate in English.

In order to be able to further express meanings and deepen conversations with my Japanese colleagues, I have been working hard to improve my language skills. I try to help anyone translate or interpret when in need, from time to time.

Tell us about your job aspirations (Career developments) in the future.

I really like the current industry (IT) that I am working in. To put it simply, I’d like to continue improving in my software developing skills, and learn new technical skills along the way.


Tell us what you do in your everyday life in Japan.

Type of accommodation.

Rented property.

How did you find an accommodation when you first came to Japan?

I was staying at my girlfriend’s apartment (in Japan) in the meantime.

How do you spend the holidays?

I would go out with friends, or work on developing a project.

I have been thinking about travelling around Japan, but there is still a lot left to explore in Tokyo.

Are there any struggles that you are experiencing other than living in Japan? How are you dealing with this issue?

The one I encounter the most is the language barrier.

Fortunately for me, I often get help from my fellow colleagues and friends. One of the examples is getting a bank account set up because that would be too hard for me to do alone.

The Japanese are very kindhearted people. They would do their best to help you understand.

Any words of advice for those who want to (or interested in) work in Japan?

Before I start job hunting, I have always thought that the chance of getting to work in Japan as a foreigner is considerably low.

I often consider teaching English as one of my go-to options. However, there are many other industries that are actively employing international workers, but they do require a certain level of Japanese skill.

That being the case, my advice is to work hard in your Japanese. The higher your skill, the higher your chances of landing a career in Japan.。