Are you a Canadian citizen thinking about doing a Japan Ski Season in Niseko? You might be wondering how to get started, and most importantly – what is it really like living in Japan for the winter season? There’s no better way to find out if a ski season in Japan is for you than by hearing from someone who’s done it themselves!

Hannah’s Experience Doing a Ski Season in Niseko, Japan

Hannah traveled to Niseko, Japan in November 2019 to work the 2019/2020 ski season. She decided to move to Japan with her boyfriend after they both fell in love with the country during a previous vacation. After doing some research, Hannah discovered that Stepabroad could help them get set up to spend a ski season in Niseko. Instead of visiting on a ski vacation, they could live there, make money and enjoy the world-famous powder all season long!

Stepabroad is recognized by the Government of Canada as a trusted provider of work and travel support programs for Canadians. We assist Canadian youth between 18 and 30 through the process of moving to Japan on a working holiday. What is a working holiday exactly? It’s an extended trip where Canadian citizens can work, live and travel in over 30 foreign countries.

Hannah joined our Japan Ski Resort Working Holiday Program where we set up her job and accommodation in Niseko. By getting assistance with landing a job in Niseko, she was able to start making money faster and get settled in her apartment right away. Stepabroad also supported her with getting the Japan Working Holiday Visa, and helped her with everything needed to move to Japan.

Hannah had an amazing time living in Japan skiing the famous Japow, eating delicious food, making lifelong friends, and exploring the country.

Hannah Japan working holiday Travel
Meet Hannah! She moved from Calgary to Niseko, Japan to work the 2019/2020 ski season.

Check out Hannah’s experience in Niseko over the 2019/2020 ski season:

Once Hannah returned home to Canada, we caught up with her to see what she thought about her experience living and working in Japan for a ski season:

What did you do for work in Japan during the ski season?

My job was working in a ski and snowboard rental shop in Niseko! My favourite part about my job was being able to try out all of the snowboards and skis during my free time.

What type of accommodation did you live in?

I lived in a three-story house with my boyfriend and three other roommates. They were all super lovely and from all over the world!

How far did you live from work and the ski hill?

I lived a 15-minute walk away from work and the ski hill. It was great to walk to work, or I could take the staff bus.

Sunrise over Mount Yōtei. Not a bad view to wake up to everyday!

What is one thing that surprised you about Japan?

The one thing that surprised me was all of the food I got to try. There were so many interesting dishes. My favourite was ramen!

What was your favourite part about living in Japan?

It was the culture, the food, and the people! I loved getting to experience all of the different parts of living in Japan.

Did you make any friends in Japan?

I made a ton of friendships that will last a lifetime – some of those being with Japanese locals! 🙂

Hannah Reece friends in Japan Ski Resort Working holiday

Once you finished working in the ski resort, did you travel around Japan?

Yes, I did lots of traveling! My travels were sadly cut short due to COVID-19 but I am really happy that I got to experience what I did. I went to Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and my favourite – Okinawa! It was cool going to each place because they were all so different.

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Emerald beach 🌸

A post shared by Hannah & Jacob 🇨🇦 (@jandhtravels) on

What did your parents think of you moving across the world?

They were very accepting of it because they have had their own adventures living abroad. In fact, I was born in Switzerland because they were working abroad there! My Mom also taught English in South Korea so they thought it was very cool that I was now having my own adventure! 

Japan was one of the countries affected early in 2020 by the COVID-19 crisis. What was it like being in Japan during this time?

It was a bit scary at first, but in my opinion, Japan handled the situation well. Stepabroad also went above and beyond to make sure that we were okay and got home safe! 

How did Stepabroad prepare you for moving to Japan?

Stepabroad helped me every step of the way! From my visa application to getting me a job and many other things. They helped make everything run smoothly and are the best company ever. I would recommend them to anyone looking to work abroad!

“Stepabroad has helped me more than words can describe and I just want to say a big thank you for the best year of my life! All of the self-growth I have learned and confidence has been amazing!”

Knowing that nothing in life is ever certain, do you think it’s important to do these experiences while you can instead of putting them off for a “better time”?

Yes, I think doing these experiences when you are young is important because life is short and so you have to do what makes you happy. For me, that is traveling!

I cannot thank Stepabroad enough for being the best company ever! They have inspired me and helped me learn what I want to do! Before I went away I did not really have a clue about what I wanted to study in post-secondary, but I have decided I would really like to go into tourism so that I can help people go on working holidays!

Are you planning to do another working holiday?

Yes, I am planning my next trip with Stepabroad going to New Zealand when borders open up again! My sister is also planning a working holiday with them in Australia!

Stepabroad has helped me more than words can describe and I just want to say a big thank you for the best year of my life! All the self-growth and confidence I have gained has been amazing. 

Thanks for sharing Hannah! We can’t wait to send you on your next working holiday adventure!

Ready to start your ski season adventure in Japan?

Want to see more? Check out Jesse’s experience:

Interested to learn more about doing a Japan ski season in Niseko?

If you would like to live and work a ski season in Japan – or participate in another working holiday experience – simply fill out the form below. We will be happy to get back to you shortly.

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