Before your Trip

Do I need to pay a processing fee to apply?

No. As long as you complete your contract.

A Processing Fee of 50,000 yen is usually charged, but collected at the end of your contract to help minimize the financial burden on you. However, in appreciation for doing a good job, we completely waive the fee if you complete your contract.

In short, you don’t pay anything if you complete your contract.

How does boobooSKI get paid?

The resorts pay us a fee to source staff. As we get paid by resorts, we don’t receive any portion of your wages or charge you anything except the Transportation Fee of 10,000yen (which includes delivery to your resort, a full Orientation to prepare you for your experience, and delivery back to the city at the end of your contract).

What questions will I be asked during the Telephone Interview?

There’s no reason to be nervous in the Interview; it’s just a relaxed, casual chat, to get an idea of whether you’re suited to Resort work in Japan or not. Your interviewer will ask you a couple of quick questions about yourself and your interest in Japan, and then a couple of simple questions in Japanese, to get an idea of your Japanese level. Depending on how long you’ve been studying Japanese, your Interviewer will tailor the questions to suit your level.

Having a friendly nature and positive attitude is much more valuable for Resort jobs than your Japanese skill. If you’re enthusiastic and open-minded, we’re sure you’ll make a great impression in the interview.

Remember we’re seeking applicants with a genuine interest in Japan. You will need to respect Japanese culture, and make effort to abide by their rules and customs while you’re there. Resorts don’t want staff who are only interested in the powder snow.

What is the minimum Japanese level required?

There is no specific minimum level. If you have studied at all, you probably have a good chance of getting a job through us (because we have positions for almost all levels). Having a genuine desire to learn, is much more important then your current Japanese-speaking ability.

Can I request a specific region or position?

Yes, you can request where you would like to work, or what position, but we can’t guarantee you will be successful in securing a position there (it depends on your availability, Japanese ability, experience etc). But we always do our best to accommodate your preferences.

Can I be placed with my friend?

It’s very likely, but it depends on your availability, Japanese ability etc. We’ll discuss your specific likelihood with you during your interview(s).

Can couples stay in the same room?

Sorry, but all resort dorms are single-sex, so you won’t be able to stay in the same room together. The only other option would be for you to rent a separate apartment for yourselves nearby (costs approx. 50,000 yen per month), though these can be difficult to find.

In the past, most couples have just accepted they won’t be able to spend much private time together for the few months they are working at a resort. You’ll likely have different days-off, there won’t be any private area for you to hang out, so meeting each-other means going out and spending money…

It’s important you are prepared for this, and go with the right mindset: wanting an experience where you meet lots of new people, not one where you’re together 24/7.

Please think seriously about whether this will be a problem for you, before you apply. Thank you for your understanding.

What certification do I need to be a Ski Instructor?

Any type of qualification (from any country) is ok (in fact many resorts don’t even require a qualification).

When should I apply for my Working Holiday Visa?

Only AFTER you have Received a Tentative Offer, accepted it, AND been approved by your resort (we’ll send full details on how to do so, at that time).

Note: You must apply for your working holiday visa in your country of residency. If you plan on traveling to other countries before Japan and need to get your visa early, please contact us for more information.

How do I apply for my Working Holiday Visa?

Find a full description in our “Ultimate Working Holiday Guide“.

Will I need USD4000 for the Visa application?

The actual amount depends on your country, but at the time you apply for your Working Holiday Visa you must show that you have a few thousand dollars available in your bank account. The Visa office needs to know you have sufficient funds to pay for your airfare, and support yourself while living in Japan. You’ll need to submit a bank statement as proof.

As many of you are students, we know this much money can be hard to raise. Before their Visa application, many applicants receive gifts from their parents, of a few thousand dollars. This is fine, as long as you show the Visa office an accompanying letter from your parents, explaining they have given you the money for your stay in Japan.

How long does it take to process a Working Holiday Visa?

It varies depending on your nationality, but the Visa can take up to 3+ weeks to process. It’s really important to provide all the necessary documentation; Japanese are very particular about this, and could result in delays.

When should I buy my flight?

In general, you should wait until AFTER your Visa is Approved, before buying your flight (in the unlikely case your Visa is declined).

However, some consulates require proof of flights when you apply for your Visa. One way to show proof of flights without actually paying for them, is to visit a travel agent and get flights held, along with a quote/itinerary. That will satisfy the consulate, and once you have the Visa you can either go ahead and pay for those flights, or cancel them and get other (cheaper) flights instead.

Can I travel around before or after my resort job?

Of course! As long as you can be at the designated meeting point when everyone else arrives, you’re welcome to travel wherever you like. After your contract, we recommend you travel on (with your new friends) too!

Note: You must apply for your working holiday visa in your country of residency. If you plan on traveling to other countries before Japan and need to get your visa early, please contact us for more information.

Will I need insurance?

Yes. You will need to purchase Travel Insurance (including coverage for snow sports (Ski apps only) for the entire length of your Resort contract. This will cover you for accidents outside of work (you will already be covered by work insurance during work hours).

In addition, due to a recent change in government policy, all foreigners are now also required to enter the Japanese National Healthcare System. Thankfully, this is only a minimal expense of approx. 2000yen (USD$20) per month.

Finally, a few select ski resorts require staff to enter their own additional Ski/Snowboard Insurance scheme aswell (approx. 3000yen per season).

What should I prepare for the trip?

Until you receive a Tentative Offer, then get approved by your resort, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll send you all the steps to prepare (ie. get your Visa, flight, travel insurance, pack your bags…), one by one after your position is approved.

If you really want to plan ahead, you can read our “Ultimate Working Holiday Guide“, and all the information on this FAQ page.

Should I buy or rent ski gear?

We recommend you rent ski gear, as it’s convenient, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a cheap staff discount from your resort! Buying and bringing your own board/skis over on the plane can be expensive, and troublesome to carry around. In addition, there’s no way to send objects larger than 150cms from Japan back home, so if you do decide to bring your own gear, make sure you don’t go over the airline baggage allowance limit, as you’ll have to bring them back with you on the plane.

NOTE: Japan’s largest boot size is about 28cms, so if you have bigger feet than that, you should buy your own ski/snowboard boots, and bring them with you to Japan.

If you decide to buy gear in Japan, expect to pay (for average-quality new gear): Board/binding/boots or ski/boots/poles sets = 30~40,000yen. Jacket / Pants = 20,000yen for a set. Gloves / Goggles = up to 10,000yen each.

Is there any essential gear I will need?

Unfortunately, each year a few staff are injured in a snowboarding or skiing accident, and are forced to give up their Ski jobs. The most common injuries are to the head and wrists. Fortunately, these injuries can be easily prevented by two simple items of safety gear: a helmet and wrist guards. Don’t be cheap about safety!

During your Contract

How will I get to the Resort?

Once you arrive in Japan, you’ll be met at the designated meeting spot (to be announced after you receive a tentative offer), and delivered to your resort by bus/van.

On the way, you’ll be given an Orientation about what to expect from the experience, receive your official job offer, sign your contract, and go through important points to remember about your stay. This is covered by a ¥10,000 (USD$100) transportation fee, which will be collected while you are on the bus.

After you arrive at your resort, your experience begins!

After your Contract, free bus transportation will also be provided back to the city you were picked up from. If you want to travel on to any other destination, you’ll have to cover the expense yourself.

How much will I earn after tax accommodation and meals have been deducted?

Ski jobs: Approx. 100,000yen after-tax take-home pay per month (including meals, accommodation, and ski pass).
See sample monthly cost breakdowns Here.

Beach jobs: Approx. 125,000yen, minus 20% tax (23,000yen), food (5,000yen), and dormitory (15,000yen)
= 82,000yen after-tax take-home pay per month.

How will I be paid?

After you arrive, you’ll be shown how to open a Japanese Bank Account. Your salary will be paid monthly into there. Banks are located near the resorts, so withdrawing money won’t be a problem. Some resorts pay cash, so you won’t even need a bank account.

Will I get an ATM card?

Yes. When you open a bank account in Japan, you will be given an ATM card which allows you to access your money via ATMs all around Japan (though your card probably won’t work internationally).

How much tax will I be paying?

According to Japanese law, all foreigners on Working Holiday Visas must pay 20% income tax.

You can only file a Japanese tax return (to try to get some of your tax back) if you stay in Japan for more than 12 months. Otherwise, you can’t. In addition, filing a tax return is a complicated process. Taxback offer a useful service if you need.

Will I need to wear a uniform?

Yes. Uniforms will be provided for all staff, though you may be required to bring your own shoes, stockings, skirt/pants or white shirt. We’ll send uniform details to successful staff before departure to Japan.

Can I take trips on weekends?

You may wish to travel to the big cities on the weekends. However, they’re the busiest time for resorts, so your days-off will always fall on weekdays. In addition, you may not always have two consecutive days-off at a time, so it’s best to explore Japan at your own leisure before or after your Resort work experience.

Will I need to work overtime?

Yes. During busy holiday periods (Ski: Xmas/New Year’s Break + mid-February, Beach: Jul-Aug Summer Vacation), your resort will ask you to work overtime, as they tend to be understaffed around this time.

During these periods, please accept you may not have much free time (in some cases, staff have to work up to 50-60hrs a week!). After the busy periods though, things quiet down a lot, and you’ll have about 6-7 days-off a month, working a standard 40-48hr week.

NOTE: Work hours depend on snow conditions (eg. if there’s no snow, you’ll be working less because the resort won’t be as busy).

Try to look at the busy periods on the positive side. It’s a fantastic opportunity to: a) Learn Japanese, b) Make new friends at work, and c) After the busy periods end, you’ll have a sizeable paycheck to go out and live it up a little!

I am a vegetarian or diabetic or gluten or lactose intolerant?

Unfortunately, Resorts cannot cater to specific dietary needs (vegetarian, diabetic etc). If you have dietary constraints, you’ll need to buy your own food each day (as staff aren’t permitted to use kitchen facilities to prepare their own food).

PLEASE NOTE: Japanese food is high in fish and meat. In the past there have been vegetarian staff who could only eat the side salad (very small) which accompanies the regular menu, and as a result, they began to complain of lack of energy, and became sick etc. Please understand that kitchen staff prepare food in bulk, for hundreds of staff dishes every day, so you can’t expect them to go out of their way to prepare something especially for you.

If you have particular dietary needs, please think seriously about whether you’ll mind making a trip to the nearest supermarket / convenience store every day to purchase food (as there won’t be kitchen facilities for you to use). Thank you for your understanding.

Can I prepare my own meals?

Resorts do not provide kitchen facilities for staff, so you will need to accept meals provided by the resort. Of course, you can always keep snacks / food that doesn’t require cooking in your room, or go out to restaurants anytime you wish.

What if I cannot complete my contract?

Any staff who break their contract with the resort must vacate the staff dormitory within two days of their final day of work.

Please be honest about your availability when applying online. Staff who leave early inconvenience the resort by leaving them short of staff, and may result in future foreign staff not being able to work there.

Furthermore, if you quit early, the 50,000yen Processing Fee will no longer be waived. You’ll also be responsible for getting back to the city yourself, at your own expense. Of course, we’ll assist you with directions / bus/train reservations etc. if you need.

What if I have an accident?

All resort staff must have valid travel insurance for the entire period of their contract, so in case of an accident, you’re completely covered by your insurance policy for the costs. You’ll also be covered by “rousai” Japanese Work Insurance while on the job.

In case of an accident, you’ll be taken to a local hospital for treatment. Rest assured; we have English-speaking staff contactable 24/7 to assist you anytime.

In the event of an accident which prevents you from performing your job, unfortunately your resort will be forced to dismiss you. For this reason, we can’t stress enough how careful you should be; please be responsible!

After Resort Work

What is the process to change my address while in Japan?

After working at your resort, you must go to your local city office and complete a ‘Moving Out’ form.

You will be asked to write the address that you intend to move to. If you don’t have a new address yet, you can just write the area you will be going to, eg. ‘Tokyo’.

If you are enrolled in the Japanese Health Insurance system, you need to tell the city office that too.

Failing to get a Moving Certificate will cause you extra paperwork and headaches later, so we recommend making the effort to do it before you leave.

Once you’ve settled in your new location, you need to register your new address at the city office in that area. Be sure to take the Moving Out certificate you received at your last city office with you.

How long is a Japanese Working Holiday Visa valid?

A Japanese Working Holiday Visa is valid for 12 months for all nationalities except Australians, who can extend their Visa for a further 6 months while they are in Japan (total 18 months).

Can I get a 2nd Japanese Working Holiday Visa?

No, you can only get a Japanese Working Holiday Visa once. If you want to return to Japan to work/live in future though, you can. Many foreigners enter Japan on a 3-month Tourist Visa, then get sponsored by a Japanese company (eg. English language school), which gives them a 1 or 3-year Working Visa.

Can boobooSKI or the resort sponsor me for a Work Visa?

No, unfortunately we cannot offer Visa sponsorship. A company has to guarantee a job for 12-months continuously in order to provide sponsorship. As ski and beach jobs in Japan are only seasonal, this isn’t possible.

How to Apply