In America and abroad we may be facing a job shortage, but if you happen to be in Japan with some spare time on your hands you could make a pretty penny in some fairly strange ways. The diversity of temporary side jobs out there is truly surprising, and today we’d like to introduce nine unusual occupations found via the Internet. Who knows; you may even find your true calling in life!

(All wages are converted from Japanese yen to United States dollars.)

Sell Your Hair (approx. $200 per 4050 cm)

It’s a single shot, but it’s one of the few parts of your body you can sell legally! If you don’t mind cutting off a few years of work you can sell your prized locks for cash. The hair is used for products such as wigs and extensions, and it seems Japanese hair in particular, valued for its quality, fetches a good price.
(RocketNews24 does not endorse black market hair.)

Scouting Potential Vending Machine Locations ($100$1000 per machine)

Anyone who has visited Japan is familiar with the nearly overwhelming number and variety of vending machines found in the cities and countryside. It so happens there’s money to be had in finding a spot where they can drop another hunk of beverage-/cigarette-/underwear-dispensing metal: once you’ve found a suitable place, simply contact your local vending machine industry representative. They’ll negotiate with the landowner, and—if they reach a contract—you’ll get your reward.

Mystery Shopper ($30$80 per day + free stuff)

Get paid to shop. As a spy. Visit restaurants and retailers pretending to be a customer, take note of atmosphere and quality of customer service, and enjoy the spoils.

Driftwood Pick-up ($80 per day)
Walk the beaches! Enjoy the air, the sound of the waves! Pick up as much driftwood as you humanly can, and soak it in strange chemical baths so rich people can decorate their aquari!

Clinical Trial/Product Testing Participant (Two luxurious four day, three night hospital stays, including transportation expenses—approx. $1500)

Offer up your body in the name of SCIENCE! Be a rhesus monkey for the latest drugs and medical equipment. Or, if that’s too much for you, try the newest health and cosmetic products for free. Participating terms and conditions are manifold, though it largely seems men are in higher demand than women.

Odd Jobs (Pay depends on the work)

As the name implies, you take on enemies of Auric Goldfinger a variety of tasks that draw on a wide range of skills. Repair and maintenance work are the most common, but we’ve also heard stories of these modern-day mercenaries being given such tasks as searching for runaway children, collecting unnecessary office equipment, cleaning up trash, and even doing lazy childrens’ summer homework assignments. As they’re informal in nature, your best bet for getting started is to check local ‘Help Wanted’ ads or Craigslist.

Tuna Fishing ($30
$60k per year)
Sure, like a sex worker, the hours are brutally long, and you’ll reek of fish, but the pay is fantastic. Your main choices in the Japanese tuna industry are coastal water fishing ships, or longer-term deep sea longline fishing ships. The latter will net you a higher income, but it also requires a higher degree of mental and physical endurance.

Like a sex worker.


P.E. Tutor (approx. $150 for three hours)

Apparently many children in Japan are supplementing their routine P.E. lessons with the help of private tutors. While Japan faces a dire problem of an ever-declining birth rate, parents’ educational priorities will ensure that the few children left in the country will all grow up to be mega-athletes. Though some degree of fitness is required for the job, you don’t quite have to be an Olympic athlete to supervise kids playing baseball for a few hours.


Murder Scene Cleanup ($100
$200 an hour)
You can’t find a much more descriptive job title. After the body has been recovered by officials, you’re responsible for cleaning up the mess at murder and suicide scenes. Therapy fees not included.

If none of these struck a chord, we encourage you to harness the power of the Internet to find that high-paying niche job that simply screams you.

photo by flickr aresauburn

Translator: Steven