How to Work the 2023 Ski Season in Japan

Updated: February 2023.


Imagine stepping out from work and straight onto ski slopes blanketed in 14-metre-deep fresh powder; capping off the day with a steaming bowl of ramen before soaking your muscles in a hot spring. Just your average day working a ski season in Japan (tough gig). So, if like us, you’re dreaming of a white Christmas riding through clouds, read on to discover how you can work the 2023 ski season in Japan.

Experience Japow! Best summarized as deep powder, incredible terrain, snow-capped mountains and volcanoes. It's the ultimate ski season.

Why You Should Work the 2023 Ski Season in Japan

Ever heard of Japow? There’s a reason Japan has built a reputation as the top ski and snowboarding destination on the planet. Japan is the Holy Grail for Canadians wanting to experience deep powder skiing and snowboarding, and working during a winter snow season will give you unparalleled access to this legendary Japow.

Experience The World’s Best Ski Season

Aside from boasting waist-deep powder, Japan also boasts over 600 ski resorts with incredibly varied terrain. Not to forget a totally unique apres-ski culture. Want to learn more about Japan’s ski season? Check out of blog on The Best Skiing in the World in Japan.

Participants in our Japan Ski Resort Working Holiday Program are guaranteed a ski resort job in Japan with staff accommodation for the 2023 ski season. In other words, start planning now and you could be in Japan for the start of the season this December.

Japan's après-ski scene is all about steamy hot springs, Japanese whiskey, live music and epic nightlife. Need we say more.

Japan Ski Season Visa

In order to work the 2023 ski season in Japan (or any other job in Japan), you will need to apply for a Working Holiday visa. However, there are new temporary work visa sponsorship requirements, which we cover in-depth in this Japan Working Holiday visa post. But to summarize, in order to apply for the Working Holiday visa, you will need to have an ERFS document from a sponsoring organization in Japan and a purpose for your trip. Cue: a lot of head-scratching on where to start. That’s where we come in. We can provide the ERFS document for participants in our Japan Working Holiday programs, saving you the headache of trying to secure sponsorship.

Start Your Ski Season in the City…

Kickstart your Japan ski season with two weeks in the buzzing cities of Tokyo or Kyoto; meet travellers from across the world, learn Japanese and experience Japan’s wholly unique culture. Next, head north to Niseko to start working in a ski resort. In other words, have your cake and eat it too.

On our Japan Ski Resort Program, we guarantee you a ski resort job in Niseko, the 'Powder Capital' of Japan.

How to Find a Job at a Japanese Ski Resort

Finding a ski season Japanese resort job as a foreigner can be difficult. First, you will need to consider language barriers when applying for a position. Next, you will need to revise your resume to suit Japanese standards and secure an interview, which can be hard to prep for all the way in Canada. Not forgetting that you will need to for your Working Holiday visa and travel to Japan. The solution? Well…

Get a Guaranteed Japan Ski Season Job

On our Japan Ski Resort program, we will ensure you have everything you need for your ski season, from step-by-step visa support to a guaranteed Niseko ski resort job with staff accommodation, and support throughout your time in Japan.

Niseko: The Crown Jewel of Japan’s Skiing

Hailed as Japan’s snow factory, Niseko is the largest snow resort in Japan, boasting a whopping 16-metres of pillowy powder per season across four interconnected ski hills. It is heaven. But don’t just take our word for it, check out Hannah’s experience doing a ski season in Niseko.

Take your skiing or snowboarding (or both) to new frontiers.

What ski season jobs can I get in Japan?

There are a wealth of ski resort jobs in Japan for foreigners. Whether you want to live on the slopes as a ski instructor or add hospitality experience to your resume working as a server, we will match you with the perfect role to suit your experience, goals and interests. For a flavour of some of the ski resort jobs available, check out our Japan Ski Resort Guide.

Language Skills

Different ski resort positions will require different Japanese language skills. However, we work with ski resorts specifically looking for English speakers to cater to the international ski tourism market; from housekeeping and spa therapists to working as a chef or a server.

Regardless, we recommend taking Japanese language lessons to make the most out of your time in Japan; whether getting around town, ordering basic items or meeting new people.

Pay and Work Hours

You will be able to work 40+ hours a week, earning roughly 1,000 – 1,400 yen per hour (around CAD $9-13), which will allow you to save for travel adventures after you have finished the season (more on that later).

Workers on a working holiday visa will be taxed at a rate of 20%, and you are required to contribute to a Japanese pension fund. However, as a seasonal worker, you can claim some of this tax back. No need to panic, we will walk you through this process.

Employee Benefits

Aside from living on the doorstep of Japow, there is a multitude of benefits of working at a Japanese ski resort, like great work environments and fun international co-workers, for starters. While employee benefits will vary across resorts, they generally include subsidized accommodation, meals and ski passes.

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Travelling Around Japan

Now that you’ve come all that way, it would be a shame not to travel around the Land of the Rising Sun. Home to the high-speed shinkansen (bullet train) network, travelling around Japan is a (speedy) breeze, resulting in a wealth of options for weekends away during the season. Craving the city life? Niseko is under two hours from Sapporo, famed for great beer, nightlife and spectacular snow festivals.

Once the season ends, longer trips are on the table. Think: hiking volcanoes in the interior, eating your way around modern metropolises, discovering ancient shrines and decamping on postcard-perfect beaches in the south. The best part? Your Japan Working Holiday visa is an open permit, so you can continue to work in Japan throughout your travel adventures.

Want to experience Japow?!

Interested in learning more about our Japan Ski Resort program? Get in touch with our team of travel experts and start planning your ski season in Japan.