The real lucrative way to visit Japan is to be female, pretty, and willing to (ab)use this a little. The glory days of English teaching are over, nowadays they get paid shit and treated worse. Many a disillusioned English teacher has realized that instead of speaking English to a bunch of nitwits trying to get into her pants in a classroom, she can speak English to a bunch of nitwits trying to get into her pants in a hostess bar and make at least four times the dough. And yes, that and pouring your beers really is all that Japanese bar hostesses do; unless you're at a really low-class joint, your odds of actually getting into her pants are almost zero -- and should you succeed, odds are she will be fired.

Those not satisfied with 4000 yen an hour (a typical wage for a hostess, not including tips and bonuses) may wish to explore other options. Many women, including quite a few who would never qualify for the role in the West, model or become TV tarentos. An umfriend of mine was, in addition to all of the above, an exotic dancer: at the end of a good night she might have over 100,000 yen stuffed into her G-string. Now I know that the word "stripper" conjures up certain mental images, but she wasn't particularly tall, her long blonde hair was a wig and even her cup size was a lowly A (which still sufficed to outrank 90% of the locals). A cousin of a friend of a friend (half-Swedish, half-Italian), on the other hand, was a male prostitute who, according to whispered rumors, earned around 1,000,000 yen per gig.

Do note that the inevitable downsides include constant on-the-job drinking (not as fun as you might think), having to put up with jerks who would never get that close to a woman without money, the horrendous expense of living in a big city that will instantly swallow up most of your earnings, big gaping holes in your resume, and warped perceptions of human sexuality and the availability of money. Not many escape unscathed.