by Stephen, Hakuba 2013-14
Making the most of your free time while working at your resort is very important because the time will go by quickly. It flies by, especially during the busy periods. You don’t have to be doing something interesting or different every night (you can if you want to though!) but it’s just important to make sure that you try to do as much as you can while in Hakuba, because if you don’t make an effort, you will live to regret it.
One thing you can do is setup a social media group to use with the other foreign staff and your Japanese friends. It’s a good idea for organizing parties, attending events and sightseeing trips as it gives everyone an easy way to discuss what’s happening and the best way to attend. Not everyone will have a cell phone, but everyone has access to Facebook!
Once you’ve found an event/or show which you want to checkout, make sure you ask your boss at work for the day off as soon as possible in order to give them a few weeks to arrange it. Japan has a strong focus on work culture, which can make it hard to get a day off work, but the sooner you give them the date you want off, the more likely you are to get it. If you work hard, your bosses will try to return the favor when they can. Just remember that sometimes, no matter how much you want a certain day off, it might not be possible.
When you aren’t out sightseeing or partying, you can use your free time to do a lot of other fun things. If you are working at one of the ski resorts you can go snowboarding/skiing (day and night), hangout in the common room (playing card games and eating/drinking/talking with friends) or go to a local restaurant, cafe or bar.
I recommend going to the bars that the Japanese staff go to as they’re normally more interesting and fun to hangout at. Also you’re not coming to Japan to hang out with Australians, so try to avoid the Aussie bars if you can!
Resort areas and the facilities around them provide a great place to meet new people and make friends outside of the workplace too. It’ll be here (not at work) where you can kick back, relax, and joke around with your friends – improving your Japanese at the same time.
Hope this information helps and enjoy your stay in Japan!
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