In this episode Charlie talks to Alex Fraioli, the owner of Critical Hit Bar in Nagoya. Starting a business in Japan can be an incredibly tough challenge, and while you don’t need Japanese you do need to have a lot of resilience. Alex shares his entrepreneurial journey with us.

We will talk about:

  • Alex’s start in Nova, being here in Japan when they went bankrupt and stopped paying their teachers.
  • The myth of Japanese eco-friendliness and high-tech (and the dreaded fax machine, killer of trees).
  • Studying Japanese by playing video games (this doesn’t work, but it’s fun).
  • Figuring out real estate in Japan as a foreigner, how hard it is to find a space and how unimportant your hanko or even your signature can be!
  • A tough start to the business with relationship struggles, and other game bar owners being arrested or threatened with copyright notices.
  • Alex’s unconventional advice for starting your own business in Japan.

Here’s a map to Critical Hit Bar in Nagoya.

Alex’s Twitch channel: HoodedPitohui

Alex hanging out in the awesome Critical Hit Bar in Fushimi, Nagoya

Podcast #9: Building Your Dream Job, A Video Game Bar in Japan with Alex Fraioli

by Charlie | with Alex Fraioli

Download is HERE (Right-click and Save As…)


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Have you been teaching for a while, but now you want to start your own business? Love video games and want to check out the bar? Tell us about your dream to start a business in Japan in the comments below!

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