Your Work HoursEdit

Your work hours are set at 35 hours per week. ALTs and CIRs usually work Monday to Friday. On special occasions when you have to work outside of these days and hours (for example, attending a school festival or sports day), a system of time off in lieu is outlined. Nenkyu (年休, Paid Leave) Nenkyu is paid holiday or vacation. All Ishikawa JETs receive around 20 days of nenkyu per year, although the amount can from one contracting organisation to another. Most contracting organizations require that JETs use their nenkyu during school holiday periods (spring, summer, and winter vacations) except in emergencies.

Cultural FurloughEdit

Ishikawa Prefecture is one of the few remaining prefectures where JETs (some, not all) receive Cultural Furlough. If you are entitled to Cultural Furlough you may take a total of 5 days during each of the Vacation periods (summer, winter, spring) in order to travel within Japan, to study the Japanese language or to attend seminars.

Note you may only use Cultural Furlough to travel WITHIN JAPAN. Cultural Furlough is a privilege so do not abuse it.


If you are asked to work outside your contract hours (evenings or weekends) you may be entitled to Daikyu (time off in lieu). It's up to your contracting organisation if and how you get to take this. You may have a limited amount of time after your extra working hours (e.g. 4 weeks) to take your Daikyu.

Special CircumstancesEdit

Asking to Take LeaveEdit

Before taking holidays, discuss the timing and duration of the requested leave with your supervisor, but do also obtain the permission of your Contracting Organisation. Find out in advance whose permission you must obtain to take leave. It might be someone different from your supervisor. If it is deemed that the leave would interfere with work duties, the Contracting Organisation has the right to change the timing of the requested leave.

School HolidaysEdit

Please keep in mind the school holidays at the school(s) where you work. Schedules differ between regions and Contracting Organisations, but in general, the school year begins in April, summer holidays runs from late July until the end of August, winter holidays are from late December into early January and spring holidays are from the end of March into early April. It may be difficult to take long periods of paid leave outside of these designated holiday periods. If you plan on trying to use your paid leave when school is in session, please consult with your supervisor in advance.

Unused Nenkyu - Carrying it over to the next yearEdit

In CLAIR‘s model terms and conditions it is recommended that a fixed number of paid holidays not used during one appointment year be carried over into the next year if you are being reappointed (often 12 days). This “carry over” process can only happen once. Therefore, if you do not use the paid holidays carried over from the previous year‘s appointment, you will not be able to use them in your third year should you be reappointed a second time.