Since 2005, we’ve helped thousands of Working Holiday Makers from around the globe secure short-term seasonal jobs in Hakuba, Nagano, Niigata, Hokkaido, and Okinawa.
Our blog covers topics from living and working in Japan, to travelling, and Japanese life in general. We hope you enjoy our posts!
Japan is an incredible country, for so many reasons. If you’re planning to come on a Working Holiday Visa, you’ve got a full 12 months to really make the most of your experience. There’s so much to do, so many places to see, and so many wonderful people to meet. So where do you start? Here’s our suggestion for the best itinerary for a Japan working holiday 😉
When you first arrive in Japan, the 1st few weeks can be hard. Culture shock can be very strong in Japan, because it really is SO different to every other country in the world. As one of the world’s most homogenous societies, the Japanese way has become deeply ingrained in its people, and therefore it’s important to really do some reading into Japanese culture before you come.
After preparing yourself mentally for the adventure, the 1st decision you need to make is: where should I go first? In the beginning, your major focus is probably going to be on learning the language, so you can really meet local people and learn more about the culture. But there’s also the important question of, how will I support myself?
For this reason, we recommend working in a Ski or Beach Resort as your 1st port of call. Over a few month period, you’ll be completely surrounded in a Japanese rural environment, which means less contact with foreigners, which means more Japanese practice 😉 In addition, working with hundreds of other young Japanese people, and living with them in dormitory-style accommodation, you’ll make friendships that last a lifetime. And apart from the obvious fringe benefits of getting to enjoy skiing / snowboarding, or lazing on a tropical beach in Okinawa, you’ll also finish up your contract with some hard-earned cash with which to spend on the next exciting chapter of your adventure!
You might like to journey into the city afterwards, to get your neon fix. This is completely natural, especially after a long winter season. Our best suggestion for this time is to travel around, visiting all your new-found friends from the Resort, in their hometowns. Explore old Kyoto, party all night in Tokyo, Wander peacefully through shrines or temples in any number of amazing spots around the country (Koya-san near Osaka, Kurama Onsen in Kyoto, or Nikko near Tokyo are some of our favourites). Essentially, just be a tourist for a while, and enjoy every day that you’re not working 🙂
Once you’ve had enough of this, we recommend either WWOOFing (http://www.wwoofjapan.com/main/), or volunteering with one of the many Volunteer organisations in Japan. This will be a fascinating, extremely eye-opening experience, and you’ll also meet some amazing people in the process.
After this, you’ll probably still have about 3-6 months left on your Working Holiday Visa. This is when we highly recommend living in one of the big cities, and enjoying modern Japan in all its glory.
Check out either Metropolis (Tokyo area – http://metropolis.co.jp) or the Kansai Flea Market (Kansai area – http://www.kfm.to) classifieds for a share apartment to stay in for a few months. You’ll also find job listings on those websites. Gaijinpot is also a great resource (http://www.gaijinpot.com). Don’t be too picky with jobs, you’ll probably only be there a few months, so just make the most of your time on the job, interacting with the Japanese people, and off the job, going out as much as possible and cultivating some great lasting relationships (so you’ll be tempted to come back to Japan again in future!!) 😉
Most of our team at boobooSKI have been living in Japan for the majority of our adult lives, for good reason. We LOVE Japan. Of course, it has its odd parts, as any country does, but once Japan lures you in, it’ll forever hold a special place in your heart…
We really hope you fall in love with the country as much as we have. If you ever decide to do a Japan Working Holiday, we can find you a job in one of many Ski and Beach Resorts around Japan. We’ll help you out every step of the way to prepare for your trip, have the BEST experience while you’re here, and even after working in a Resort, we’ll ALWAYS be there for you if you ever need any advice/support at all 🙂
Questions about Japan? We’re here to help. Contact us anytime.