JAPOW PROGRAM – JAPAN
WHY WORK IN A JAPANESE SKI RESORT?
Until recently it’s been extremely difficult for expats to undertake working holidays in the ski fields of Japan due to the language barriers. However, The Working Holiday Club is stoked to now offer positions which require no Japanese language skills across the country’s best ski resort towns including Niseko & Hakuba. With a variety of positions including Lift Operators, Rental Technicians, Guest Services, Reservations Host, Food & Beverage (of all varieties) & Ski & Board Instructors; there really is something for everyone.
Wait it gets better, all of our positions also come with on mountain staff accommodation, a free season lift pass as well as full training on arrival. Some of our partners even include a free meal each day. Unlike doing seasons in other countries you can actually save a few bucks rather than return to your home country with wicked debt.
Between June-August you will have your Skype interview with the HR manager of the resort so you will have the luxury of knowing you have a job before you even book your flights or quit your current job in Australia.
If you love experiencing new cultures, have a passion for the snow and are ready for a truly unique working holiday experience then the Japow programme is your one stop shop to one of the most memorable experiences of your life!
WHAT DO I GET?
WHAT JOB CAN I GET?
Obtaining a one year working holiday visa for Japan is relatively easy in comparison to working holiday visa applications for other countries however you MUST apply for your working holiday visa from your country of citizenship.
The Key criteria for obtaining a Japanese Working Visa are:
- Have no criminal convictions
- Aged 18-30 (must be 20+ to be eligible with TWHC)
- Application process takes 2 weeks
- Must visit the embassy in person in your home country (no exceptions)
- Must have flight itinerary (not booked/paid tickets) of intended trip
- Must write a two-page document outlining why you want to visit Japan.
* TWHC will walk you through every step of the process to ensure it is completed correctly and you receive your visa without any hassles.
The type and cost of staff accommodation varies depending on which resort partner you chose. Staff Accommodation is extremely reasonable as it is subsidised by the resort/hotel so it will no break your budget.
All staff accommodation in Japan is shared style dorm accommodation. Couples can be housed together in some but not all locations. Please check with your working holiday specialist to ensure the resort you are applying for allows shared couple accommodation.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS?
- Japow programme £699
- Japan visa application £20
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Terms & conditions/refund policy
Applicants will be sent The Working Holiday Club™ Terms & Conditions which need to be read, understood and signed prior to the commencement of the program. Any questions… let us know… we are very clear about what we offer and what we don’t… so should you need clarification, ASK!
- Once these T&C’s are signed (online) and the program has commenced, should applicants drop out or no longer want to continue, all money paid, be it partial or full payment, is not refundable.
- Once applicants have secured employment and commenced work at the resort/hotel, The Working Holiday Club™ will not interfere with the employment relationship. We are a facilitator of the employment relationship.
We are, however, always there for you should you have any questions down the track, are interested in a second employment opportunity after the season, or simply want some advice.
Can I go with a friend or a partner?
We have placed plenty of pairs at the same resort location, however Japanese employers are not as accommodating when it comes to larger groups. For this reason it is a little harder for groups to all be placed at the same resort location.
Some resorts have same sex housing or different housing locations so it cannot always be guaranteed that you would be sharing a room. If you are traveling in a group or pair mention this to our Working Holiday Club specialist.
Do you need ski/board experience to work in a ski resort?
In most positions you will not need to have skied in your life before. Some of our applicants have never even seen the snow before! However, lift operations & instructor positions will need you to have experience on the slopes to be considered for a position.
What is the average age of ski resort workers?
International ski resort employees age from 19 – 35 but keep in mind that local staff, particularly supervisors and managers, can be older than this. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s a state of mind, not age!
What kind of people are we looking for?
Our Japanese resort partners love the international flair our participants bring to their ski resorts and the experiences they provide for their guests. As long as you are over 19, hardworking, outgoing, friendly and eager to be in Japan (and are available for the entire season) you should not have any problems. While some jobs require particular skills and experience, many provide full training on-site. Cash handling experience, if applying for ticket sales positions, or bar/wait experience in hospitality positions, would obviously be an asset, and you can never go wrong with customer service skills in almost any position.
They also want to see that you are genuinely interested in the Japanese language and culture, you do not need to know the language but it is important to show an interest. The resorts also do not want employees who only want to party so it’s important to not give this impression in your interview.
Can I specify a particular position I want to apply for?
- You sure can! Once your application fee has been finalised and you have completed your online application, your application will be reviewed by a Japanese Working Holiday Specialist. However, as certain positions are very popular, you may wish to consider listing some different preferences. Remember, flexibility is an attractive trait for all employers!
- The job you applied for might have many other applying for it as well, so consider the role and your suitability carefully. For example, many people apply for lift operator roles… those people who have worked outside previously or in labouring roles will have a distinct advantage over those who have never had a physical job. Reading and understanding job descriptions and how they will apply to you is incredibly important when considering jobs for six months or more.
- Consider if you are fit for the role – if you have previous experience. Some roles start early and finish early. Again, read and research the roles you are interested in.
- Ask your Working Holiday Club™ recruitment manager if you have any questions or require clarification.
What happens if i'm not offered a job?
- Should you not be offered a position by one of our resorts, TWHC will, where possible, provide alternate employment opportunities and set up secondary interviews for you. We will continue to do this until all options are exhausted. Once all attempts at locating a job are exhausted we will refund the program fee (less your deposit).
- Should you decide to ‘drop out’ due to the fact, you weren’t offered a role at your first preference location, or your travelling partners were offered positions and you weren’t, you will forfeit your program fee. We are committed to finding you work in Japan… For us, the process is not completed until all avenues are thoroughly exhausted.
Will working holiday club rep be there when i arrive?
Yes there sure will be if you are arriving within the 10th-20th December which will time perfectly with 95 % of start dates.. The Working Holiday Club™ representative will also host the meet and greet drinks with the other staff heading to the same location as yourself, so you get to make some new mates before heading up to your resort/hotel.
Can I just do it myself?
You can. However, it’s extremely risky and no doubt costly. The Resorts & Hotels have staffing needs of hundreds of employees and can’t leave it until the last minute to do their hiring in case they fall short.
- You might be able to score yourself a job at one of the local grocery stores, bakeries or restaurants, but without guaranteed hours, at $10.00 per hour, if you are only getting 15 hours per week that’s not even going to pay for your rent if you are not living in staff housing.
Here are some factors to take into consideration if you have decided to do it yourself.
- If you decide to work at a ski resort, you will need to have accommodation before the resort offers you position.
- If you manage to secure employment with a local grocery or retail outlet on the mountain, your accommodation will be very expensive if any is even available for you to rent on min wage.
- You will need to fork out as much as $1800 for a season ski lift pass – local shops very rarely can offer you an annual pass for free.
- You will need to budget for a minimum of three weeks in a hostel while you jobs hunt
- For your interviews, you will need to travel to the resorts and pay for accommodation and flights. Very costly.
In a nutshell, those that DIY face accommodation issues, ski lift pass cost, a lack of consistent, reliable work and interview travel expenses!
The Working Holiday Club™ offers you the security to have everything pre-arranged so that you have peace of mind when arriving in Japan You’re also guaranteed:
- Instant income
- Free season lift pass
- A roof over your head
- Legal visa
- Safe arrival into your new home
What is the legal age for drinking in Japan?
The legal drinking age is 20.
Can I apply for the Japow program if I am a uni student?
- Yes… but be aware that Japan employers consider university students pathological liars because they rarely commit to the entire season/job contract. Because of the poor reputation of uni students, applicants are required to obtain ‘letters of deferment’ to prove their commitment to this program and employment.
- If you are a uni student, remember that this experience is for potential employment for up to 12 months… don’t waste this opportunity by only coming for six months, Need clarification? Give us a call… we’ll help walk you through it!
Reference letters - what information do you require?
We would like you to provide us with a maximum of one page, the minimum of two paragraph, the document on a company letterhead, or at very least with the employer’s business card. This will outline your length of employment, skills, duties, responsibilities, work attitude and their personal reflections on your work ethic and presence within their team.
**Please Note: Not all partners provide free season lift passes, particularly some hotels. Please check with The Working Holiday Club™ specialist team if your preferred employer comes with a free season lift pass.
Qualification criteria to work in a ski resort in Japan?
- No previous experience is necessary. Obviously previous experience is an asset, specifically in a hotel environment, if applying for these positions.
- Applicants are advised that hotels are very picky regarding applicants entering the world of a four-to-five-star location.
- Applicants need to be verbally polished, well spoken, articulate & well presented. It is highly advisable for applicants to visit five-star hotels in advance of their interviews to do some on-the-ground research, ensuring they have a realistic gauge of what they are getting in to.
- Those applicants looking to kick off a career in hotels usually look at this program as a huge opportunity to obtain experience in hotels while completing a working holiday.