When I first came to Asia, intending to teach ESL as my choice of profession, I too considered going there, but I had the impression at the time (1992-3) that the bubble had burst somewhat for new entrants. Yet, people are still saying that!
I don’t know if there are really a lot of people heading to Japan to teach or not nowadays, but certainly salaries for newbies aren’t really very attractive any more, and you have to pay a lot of money for key deposits, and so on… (But that was always true.)
Scott also mentioned that tenure practices at Universities have also changed as a result of the influx of foreigners teaching. If you want to teach Uni, there, you more than likely will only be offered a max. three year contract.
Given the expenses, the relative salaries, and the trouble getting a real job, is Japan still a viable teaching alternative? Opinions?