On the Japan Work and Ski Gap Year you are given the opportunity to immerse yourself into the Japanese way of life and gain access to some of the best snow conditions in the world. The country is home to some of the most beautiful scenery and unique cultures around the world and you will experience it all first-hand. The best part is, you’ll get to ski or board for free while you get paid to do your job. You will make new friends, learn the language and get the chance to ski in some of the freshest powder.
If you are a ski or board fanatic and spend your years chasing winter around the world then Japan should be number one on your hit list! Even if you only make it down to the snow once or twice a year, as long as you have tried skiing before and enjoyed it, then you will have a blast in Japan. Some jobs, such as a ski instructor, will require skills and experience but you also have the option to work in retail, in a restaurant, as a concierge and much more. You must also be prepared to adapt to the customs of Japanese culture with regards to the local cuisine and their lifestyle habits. Specifically, being a vegetarian will make dining very difficult and you should be prepared to use communal bathing facilities.
The most popular occupation for those travelling to Japan in winter for work is ski or snowboard instructing. You will be getting paid to ski in world-class powder every day. This does require a history of skiing/boarding and a willingness to pick up the basics of the language. You can also work as a ‘lifty’, being in charge of operating chairlifts on the mountain. If you don’t feel extremely confident on the mountain yet then there are plenty of other job opportunities available. You can work in a ski rental shop, in ticket sales, as a concierge, a bellhop or even in housekeeping. With such a wide range of job options, there is likely something to suit just about everyone! Considering you have a budget and don’t waste all your money out partying, you could even finish the season with some extra cash in your pocket to visit your new friends or other undiscovered areas of Japan.
Our program works with the best resorts in the country. Hakuba, Nozawa, Niigata and Hokkaido have the best skiing that Japan has to offer. While some are more touristy than others, you will be made welcome and experience the same level of exceptional skiing at each of the destinations.
This work and ski gap year is an opportunity to make new friends, learn the language and get the chance to ski in some of the freshest powder around the world. Japan is renowned for getting big dumps of snow over their winter season so you can expect to get caught skiing in waist deep snow. Some ski resorts also have night skiing and boarding available which is definitely something worth trying. In addition to experiencing world-class skiing conditions, you will also be immersed into a new culture and learn about the Japanese way of life. You’ll be in the motherland of sushi and sashimi so come hungry!
Travelling to a foreign country where a different language is spoken to live and work is a life-changing experience. You will learn more about yourself and develop a range of skills that will benefit you in years to come. Immersing yourself in a new culture teaches you to be adaptable and proves that you are not afraid to take on new challenges. In addition to your new, cultivated approach to life, you will also finish your gap year with some irreplaceable skiing experience.
You'll need to know how to speak conversational Japanese. You'll be assessed before you apply, but don't stress if you don't get accepted the first time. We'll give you another crack after some revision!
In Japan, single-sex communal baths are part of the culture. Bathing facilities in all Resorts are communal. There will be a single room, with a line of showers situated next to each other (where you first wash your body), and a single bath which fits about 4-6 people (which everyone gets into after their body is clean).You will be required to bathe naked with the other staff. Please understand this has been part of the Japanese culture for thousands of years. If this will be a problem, please consider whether Resort work is for you.
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