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Ski Japan, Working at a Resort – FAQs

If you’re thinking about working in a Ski Resort job in Japan this year, you probably have many questions. Here are the answers to the most common questions you may have!

How much will this cost me?

To participate in Ski jobs in Japan, you have to pay for your own Airfare and Travel Insurance. The cost varies – expect to pay between USD $1,500 – $2,000 for everything.

Do I need to pay a Registration Fee for Ski jobs in Japan?

No – as long as you complete your contract, you don’t pay any fees.

Will I really need $4,000 for the VISA application?

The actual amount depends on your country, but at the time you apply for your Working Holiday Visa you must show that you have a few thousand dollars available in your bank account. The Visa office needs to know you have sufficient funds to pay for your airfare, and support yourself while living in Japan. You’ll need to submit a bank statement as proof.

How will I get to the Resort?

Once you arrive in Japan, you’ll be met at the airport, delivered to your Resort by bus, and your experience of a lifetime begins!

How will I be paid?

Once you arrive, you’ll be shown how to open a Japanese Bank Account, into which your salary will be paid monthly. Banks are located near the resorts, so withdrawing money won’t be a problem.

Will I be paying tax?

According to Japanese law, all foreigners must pay 20% income tax. All figures quoted on this site are after income tax.

You can only file a Japanese tax return, to try to get some of your tax back, if you stay in Japan for more than 12 months. Otherwise, you can’t. In addition, filing a tax return is a complicated process – for help/information, you can contact the “Japan Association of Working Holiday Makers”.

Will I need to work overtime?

Yes. During the busy holiday periods (Xmas/New Year break, Jul-Aug Summer Vacation), your resort will ask you to work overtime, as they tend to be understaffed around this time. During this period, please accept you may not have much free time (in some cases, staff have to work up to 50-60hrs a week!). After the busy period though, things quieten down a lot, and you’ll have about 6-7 days-off a month, working a standard 44-48hr week.

*NOTE: Work hours depend on snow conditions – if there’s no snow yet, you’ll be working less (because the resort won’t be busy yet).

I’m a Vegetarian / diabetic / allergic to dairy foods – will that be a problem?

Unfortunately, Resorts can’t cater to specific dietary needs (vegetarian, diabetic etc). If you’re particular about your diet, you’ll need to buy your own food each day (as staff aren’t permitted to use dorm kitchen facilities to prepare their own food).

PLEASE NOTE: Japanese food is high in fish and meat. In the past there have been vegetarian staff who could only eat the side salad (very small) which accompanies the regular menu, and as a result, they began to complain of lack of energy / became sick etc. Please understand that kitchen staff prepare food in bulk, for hundreds of staff dishes every day, so you can’t expect them to go out of their way to prepare something especially for you. If you have particular dietary needs, please think seriously about whether you’ll mind making a trip to the nearest supermarket / convenience store every day to purchase food (as there won’t be kitchen facilities for you to use). Thanks for your understanding.

Will I have internet access?

Ski jobs in Japan give you a taste of rural life – you won’t be living in the big city. The air will be fresh, the nature vast, and the scenery spectacular. On the other hand, you may have to walk 20 mins to the nearest convenience store, and use a public phone because there’s no internet access nearby. You’ll never have to go too far (more than say 30 mins), but at some resorts, you may have to travel, or pay a little, for internet access.

There are a number of free wireless networks to access near many of the resorts, so if you’re an email junkie, it may be a good idea to bring your laptop with you. However, if you can give up your daily emails for a few months, and immerse yourself in the Japanese lifestyle, it’ll be a much more rewarding experience, and the best way to improve your Japanese!

What if I can’t complete my contract at the resort?

Any staff who break their contract with the resort, must vacate the staff dormitory within two days of their final day of work. Staff who leave early inconvenience the resort by leaving them short of staff, and may result in future foreign staff not being able to work there.

What happens if I have an accident?

All Ski and summer jobs staff must have valid Travel Insurance for the entire period of their contracts, so in case of an accident, you’re completely covered by your insurance policy for the costs. You’ll also be covered by “rousai” Japanese Work Insurance while on the job. In case of an accident, you’ll be taken to a local hospital for treatment.

In the event of an accident which prevents you from performing your job, unfortunately your resort will be forced to dismiss you. For this reason, we can’t stress enough how careful you should be – please be responsible!

Will I need to buy my own ski gear, or can I just rent at the resort?

We recommend you rent ski gear, as it’s convenient, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a good staff discount from your resort! Buying and bringing your own board/skis over on the plane can be expensive if you exceed baggage allowances, and can be troublesome to carry around. In addition, there’s no way to send objects larger than 150cms from Japan back home, so if you do decide to bring your own gear, make sure you don’t go over the airline baggage allowance limit, as you’ll have to bring them back with you on the plane.

We recommend you first check out the Rental deals at your Resort after you arrive. Then, if you’re not satisfied, you can make a trip to the nearest city and pick up some good deals on gear. Here are some rough prices you can expect to pay for average-quality gear in Japan:

Board/binding/boots or ski/boots/poles sets = 30~40,000yen.

Jacket / Pants = 20,000yen for a set.

Gloves / Goggles = up to 10,000yen each.

What kind of protective gear will I need for skiing/boarding?

Unfortunately, each year a few staff are injured as a result of a snowboarding or skiing accident, and are forced to give up their Ski jobs in Japan. The most common injuries are to the head and wrists. Fortunately, these injuries can be easily prevented by two simple items of safety gear – a Helmet and Wrist Guards. Don’t be cheap about safety – it will cost you!

How long is a Japanese Working Holiday Visa valid for?

A Japanese Working Holiday Visa is initially valid for 6 months, but can be extended up to a total of 12 months (18 months for Australians!). To extend your visa, you’ll have to visit your nearest immigration office, fill out the relevant paperwork, and pay a ¥4,000 (USD$35) processing fee. It takes a few weeks to process, so be sure to get it done before your current Visa expires.

Can I get another Japanese Working Holiday Visa in the future?

No, you can only get a Japanese Working Holiday Visa once. If you want to return to Japan to work/live in the future though, you can. Like many foreigners do, you can enter Japan on a 3-month Tourist Visa, then get sponsored by a Japanese company (eg. English language school), at which point you’ll receive a 1 or 3 year Working Visa.

Can the Resort sponsor me for a Visa?

No, unfortunately, they can’t offer Visa sponsorship. A company has to guarantee you a job for 12 months continuously, in order to provide sponsorship. As Ski jobs in Japan are only seasonal, this isn’t possible.

Can I travel around before or after my contract?

Of course! As long as you can be at the airport when everyone else arrives, you’re welcome to travel wherever you like. After your contract, you can travel on by yourself too!

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