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Season Length: December - April



$1399 per person


2023/24  Applications OPEN!


Programme travel dates:

1st Dec – 1st April 


Until recently it’s been extremely difficult for expats to undertake working holidays in the ski fields of Japan due to the language barriers. However, The Working Holiday Club is stoked to now offer positions which require no Japanese language skills across the country’s best ski resort towns including Niseko & Hakuba. With a variety of positions including Lift Operators, Rental Technicians, Guest Services, Reservations Host, Food & Beverage (of all varieties) & Ski & Board Instructors; there really is something for everyone.

Wait it gets better, all of our positions also come with on mountain staff accommodation, a free season lift pass as well as full training on arrival. Some of our partners even include a free meal each day. Unlike doing seasons in other countries you can actually save a few bucks rather than return to your home country with  wicked debt.

Between June-August you will have your Skype interview with the HR manager of the resort so you will have the luxury of knowing you have a job before you even book your flights or quit your current job in Australia.

If you love experiencing new cultures, have a passion for the snow and are ready for a truly unique working holiday experience then the Japow programme is your one stop shop to one of the most memorable experiences of your life!

Japow programme explained


Job Offer Pre-Departure

Free Season Lift Pass*

Japanese Language Material Assistance

Guaranteed Staff Housing*

Step-By-Step Visa Assistance

Orientation On Arrival To Tokyo (Selected Dates)

1st Night Free Accommodation On Arrival To Tokyo

Hakuba Staff Receive Free Resort Transfer from Nagano to Resort

Guide to living and working in Tokyo

Access To Closed Facebook Groups (Meet Your Work Mates Pre Departure)


Rental Technicians

Lift Operations

Guest Services

Food & Beverage (of all varieties)

Ski & board instructors


Bus drivers

Front Desk





Obtaining a one year working holiday visa for Japan is relatively easy in comparison to working holiday visa applications for other countries however you MUST apply for your working holiday visa from your country of citizenship.


The Key criteria for obtaining a Japanese Working Visa are:

  • Have no criminal convictions
  • Aged 18-30 (must be 20+ to be eligible with TWHC)
  • Application process takes 2 weeks
  • Must visit the embassy in person in your home country (no exceptions)
  • Must have flight itinerary (not booked/paid tickets) of intended trip
  • Must write a two-page document outlining why you want to visit Japan.

* TWHC will walk you through every step of the process to ensure it is completed correctly and you receive your visa without any hassles.


The type and cost of staff accommodation varies depending on which resort partner you chose. Staff Accommodation is extremely reasonable as it is subsidised by the resort/hotel so it will no break your budget.


All staff accommodation in Japan is shared style dorm accommodation. Couples can be housed together in some but not all locations. Please check with your working holiday specialist to ensure the resort you are applying for allows shared couple accommodation.


  • Japow programme $1399
  • Japan visa application  $30



Can I go with a friend or a partner?

We have placed plenty of pairs at the same resort location, however Japanese employers are not as accommodating when it comes to larger groups. For this reason it is a little harder for groups to all be placed at the same resort location.

Some resorts have same sex housing or different housing locations so it cannot always be guaranteed that you would be sharing a room. If you are traveling in a group or pair mention this to our Working Holiday Club specialist.

Do you need ski/board experience to work in a ski resort?

In most positions you will not need to have skied in your life before. Some of our applicants have never even seen the snow before! However, lift operations & instructor positions will need you to have experience on the slopes to be considered for a position.

What is the minimum age of ski resort workers?

The minimum age requirement  for our Japow pack is 20 years

What kind of people are we looking for?

Our Japanese resort partners love the international flair our participants bring to their ski resorts and the experiences they provide for their guests. As long as you are over 19, hardworking, outgoing, friendly and eager to be in Japan (and are available for the entire season) you should not have any problems. While some jobs require particular skills and experience, many provide full training on-site. Cash handling experience, if applying for ticket sales positions, or bar/wait experience in hospitality positions, would obviously be an asset, and you can never go wrong with customer service skills in almost any position.

They also want to see that you are genuinely interested in the Japanese language and culture, you do not need to know the language but it is important to show an interest. The resorts also do not want employees who only want to party so it’s important to not give this impression in your interview.

Can I specify a particular position I want to apply for?
  • You sure can! Once your application fee has been finalised and you have completed your online application, your application will be reviewed by a Japanese Working Holiday Specialist. However, as certain positions are very popular, you may wish to consider listing some different preferences. Remember, flexibility is an attractive trait for all employers!
  • The job you applied for might have many other applying for it as well, so consider the role and your suitability carefully. For example, many people apply for lift operator roles… those people who have worked outside previously or in labouring roles will have a distinct advantage over those who have never had a physical job. Reading and understanding job descriptions and how they will apply to you is incredibly important when considering jobs for six months or more.
  • Consider if you are fit for the role – if you have previous experience. Some roles start early and finish early. Again, read and research the roles you are interested in.
  • Ask your Working Holiday Club™ recruitment manager if you have any questions or require clarification.
What happens if i'm not offered a job?
  • Should you not be offered a position by one of our resorts, TWHC will, where possible, provide alternate employment opportunities and set up secondary interviews for you. We will continue to do this until all options are exhausted. Once all attempts at locating a job are exhausted we will refund the program fee (less your deposit).
  •  Should you decide to ‘drop out’ due to the fact, you weren’t offered a role at your first preference location, or your travelling partners were offered positions and you weren’t, you will forfeit your program fee. We are committed to finding you work in Japan… For us, the process is not completed until all avenues are thoroughly exhausted.
Will a Working Holiday Club rep meet me in Japan?

Yes there sure will be if you are arriving within the 10th-20th December which will time perfectly with 95 % of start dates.. The Working Holiday Club™ representative will also host the meet and greet drinks with the other staff heading to the same location as yourself, so you get to make some new mates before heading up to your resort/hotel.

Can I just do it myself?

You can. However, it’s extremely risky and no doubt costly. The Resorts & Hotels have staffing needs of hundreds of employees and can’t leave it until the last minute to do their hiring in case they fall short.

  • You might be able to score yourself a job at one of the local grocery stores, bakeries or restaurants, but without guaranteed hours, at $10.00 per hour, if you are only getting 15 hours per week that’s not even going to pay for your rent if you are not living in staff housing.

Here are some factors to take into consideration if you have decided to do it yourself.

  • If you decide to work at a ski resort, you will need to have accommodation before the resort offers you position.
  • If you manage to secure employment with a local grocery or retail outlet on the mountain, your accommodation will be very expensive if any is even available for you to rent on min wage.
  • You will need to fork out as much as $1800 for a season ski lift pass – local shops very rarely can offer you an annual pass for free.
  • You will need to budget for a minimum of three weeks in a hostel while you jobs hunt
  • For your interviews, you will need to travel to the resorts and pay for accommodation and flights. Very costly.

In a nutshell, those that DIY face accommodation issues, ski lift pass cost, a lack of consistent, reliable work and interview travel expenses!

The Working Holiday Club™ offers you the security to have everything pre-arranged so that you have peace of mind when arriving in Japan You’re also guaranteed:

  • Instant income
  • Free season lift pass
  • A roof over your head
  • Legal visa
  • Safe arrival into your new home


What is the legal age for drinking in Japan?

The legal drinking age is 20.

Can I apply for the Japow program if I am a uni student?
  • Yes… but be aware that Japan employers consider university students pathological liars because they rarely commit to the entire season/job contract. Because of the poor reputation of uni students, applicants are required to obtain ‘letters of deferment’ to prove their commitment to this program and employment.
  • If you are a uni student, remember that this experience is for potential employment for up to 12 months… don’t waste this opportunity by only coming for six months, Need clarification? Give us a call… we’ll help walk you through it!
Reference letters - what information do you require?
  • We would like you to provide us with a maximum of one page, the minimum of two paragraph, the document on a company letterhead, or at very least with the employer’s business card. This will outline your length of employment, skills, duties, responsibilities, work attitude and their personal reflections on your work ethic and presence within their team.


Qualification criteria to work in a ski resort in Japan?
  • No previous experience is necessary. Obviously previous experience is an asset, specifically in a hotel environment, if applying for these positions.
  • Applicants are advised that hotels are very picky regarding applicants entering the world of a four-to-five-star location.
  • Applicants need to be verbally polished, well spoken, articulate & well presented. It is highly advisable for applicants to visit five-star hotels in advance of their interviews to do some on-the-ground research, ensuring they have a realistic gauge of what they are getting in to.
  • Those applicants looking to kick off a career in hotels usually look at this program as a huge opportunity to obtain experience in hotels while completing a working holiday.
Terms & conditions/refund policy

Applicants will be sent The Working Holiday Club™ Terms & Conditions which need to be read, understood and signed prior to the commencement of the program. Any questions… let us know… we are very clear about what we offer and what we don’t… so should you need clarification, ASK!

  • Once these T&C’s are signed (online) and the program has commenced, should applicants drop out or no longer want to continue, all money paid, be it partial or full payment, is not refundable.
  • Once applicants have secured employment and commenced work at the resort/hotel, The Working Holiday Club™ will not interfere with the employment relationship. We are a facilitator of the employment relationship.

We are, however, always there for you should you have any questions down the track, are interested in a second employment opportunity after the season, or simply want some advice.

Past participant review

Video gallery




First of all we want to get to know you and what type of working holiday experience is going to be best for you! We will then ensure you meet the basic requirements of the Japanese Working Holiday Visa & that you are a good fit for our Japanese ski resort and hotel partners. Basically we want to make sure it’s a solid fit for you and for the resorts / hotels. We don’t make the final employment decision…the resorts / hotels do…we just make sure we prepare you as best as we can so employers have no other choice but to hire you!! We’re not backward in coming forward…so if this programme isn’t right for you…we’ll let you know, so we don’t waste your time, the resort/hotel’s time, our time and most importantly…your money!!!


Once you are keen to get things rolling and we are happy you fit the requirements an invoice will be sent to you of $399 by your Student Flights Travel Agent or TWHC directly.


Once your deposit payment has been received we will then send you an online application form and our T&C’s. Our T&C’s are there for you to READ not just tick off…so make sure you read everything prior to jumping in with two feet!!! The online application form is an opportunity for applicants to let us know what resort & roles you’re interested in & when they can start and plan to finish!!


On completion of the application form, your documentation will be forwarded to our recruitment manager Jake who will then use this form to set up and conduct a pre-screen interview phone call. This is usually a 15-30 minute phone call where he will discuss the employment opportunities and job roles and help you to decide where you would like to apply and what would be the best fit for you. The pre-screen is an interactive session & once complete, the applicant’s brain will be at critical mass with the massive amount of information given. Have a pen at the ready to jot down any relevant tips for later recall!! This is a great chance to ask any questions you have about employers or locations and pick our recruitment Managers brain.


Post pre-screen, a resort & job preference will have been determined for the applicant given the amount of relevant experience, start and finish date availability and interview performance. Applicants will be advised by the recruitment manager if they are a fit or non-fit for specific resorts or hotels to ensure expectations are managed.


A resort specific application form will then be sent to the applicant. This form, once completed, will eventually be sent to the resorts for their consideration prior the resort online inteview. The resort specific application form allows the applicant to upload their personal information and make statements on why they should be hired. This form requires applicants to upload their resume, letters of reference and a passport sized smiling photo plus other written information about themselves and their experiences.


We include the 8 Session Online Japanese Language course as part of the programme which we get you started with right away so you can get to work on building your Japanese skills prior to your resort interview.


Our visa specialists will also get you started with your visa process once you are on board as resorts really love it if your visa is already approved before your interview!


30 days after making deposit payment your $800 programme fee will be due. Don’t stress we do have payment plans available if you need a little help – Just Ask!


A one-on-one online Skype interview will then be arranged with the hotel/resort or employer you are applying for. This date is usually set up months in advance allowing applicants to research and practice their interviewing and Japanese skills. Once applicants have had their interviews with The Japanese resort or hotel reps, applicants will not be advised if they have been successful until all applicants for that particular resort or hotel have been interviewed and considered. This can be at last 3-4 weeks. We are proud of our 96% Success rate with our interviewees.


For those who have been offered roles, job offers will be sent out confirming you have passed your interview and you have been offered a job contract for season!!


Japanese Ski Resorts generally wait until October before they determine exact job roles and start dates. The moment we have these details we will help you to book in your flights, insurance and arrival into Japan.


For those who failed their interview, secondary interviews will be set up and the recruitment manager will be in touch to advise specifics of the next interview date and time. Secondary interview opportunities are based on resort availability and applicant suitability. No refunds will be considered until ALL avenues of employment are exhausted. At this point, if there are no remaining locations for potential employment, then a program refund will then be issued. Our role is to locate employment in Japan for all applicants and we do not stop until we have tracked all opportunities down!!!

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