Are you interested in going to Japan? Until recently, if you wanted to work in Japan, your options were limited to English Teaching, or bar work. But now, thanks to the huge ski tourism boom Japan is experiencing, foreigners can now choose to work in Japanese Ski & Beach Resorts, which is a lot more fun!
Contracts in Japanese resorts usually last anywhere from 2 – 6 months. Often, if you’re working in Beach Resorts down south in Okinawa, you can work all year-round, as the weather there is always warm, so there are always tourists visiting the tropical resorts. In general, if you want to work in Ski Resorts, contracts start in December, and finish at the end of February, March, and April (in Hokkaido). For Beach Resort work, contracts usually start in April – May, and finish around October (but shorter contracts are also available). Almost always, 2-3 months isn’t enough, and workers often extend their contracts to stay a few extra months, because they’re having such a great time!
Jobs in Resorts depend completely on your Japanese ability. For lower levels, there’s work in Restaurants, or on Ski lifts. For intermediate levels, working in a gift shop, ticket sales, pool / beach attendant, or ski instructor / patrol positions are available. And for higher levels, working at the hotel front desk, as a concierge, or a bellhop becomes possible. While the different jobs require differing levels of Japanese, one thing is certain: all of the jobs are in a completely Japanese environment, so no matter what your level, your Japanese is going to improve FAST.
Living and working in a Japanese Resort is a little like going on school camp as a child. All of the facilities are communal, so you live in large dormitories, staying in rooms with up to 4 other people. You bathe in large group facilities, with showers and often a large bathtub (Japanese love soaking in the bath). You eat in dining halls, with all of your friends, and Japanese food is served to you on trays, just like a school cafeteria. And best of all, before or after work, you’re always hanging out with your friends – snowboarding, or lying on a tropical beach – all these things are possible working in a Resort in Japan.
Working in a Resort in Japan, you don’t get paid as well as you would working in an English school – but once you factor in that all of your accommodation, meals, and season ski passes are completely free when working at the resorts, you realize that it’s actually a really good deal. Expect to save almost USD$500 per month, which is usually a lot more than you could hope to save living in the city. But really, you don’t choose to work in a Resort in Japan for the money – you do it because you want to have the time of your life; to make new friends, improve your Japanese, and experience the REAL Japan. And in all of these ways, Resort jobs in Japan deliver, like no other job does.