Get the snowball rolling for Japan winter '23.
There’s no business like snow business. Live and work in Japan for up to a year with a pre-arranged English-speaking ski season job, arrival set up and job support for your whole visa.
Fancy a yarn?
What she said
"I'd never been to Asia before, let alone Japan. And I'd never done a wintersport. But I thought, what a place to learn."
Betsy, JENZA roadtester
We provide the visa help, pre-arranged ski season job and arrival support to live and work in Japan for up to a year.
Japan can feel intimidatingly unfamiliar to travellers, especially when it comes to workplace etiquette. Starting in Tokyo for the first six days, our in-country partners will personally meet you at the airport and accompany you to sort out all your work and tax formalities. After that, if you’re arriving in winter, you’re free to head straight out on the piste – flying to Hokkaido to start your ski season job. Or if you’re arriving at another time of year, the team will support you with finding a job in Tokyo until winter comes.
About the visa
Who and for how long
Japan's working holiday visa allows you to work for 12 months, doing most jobs other than working in nightclubs, dancehalls and gambling venues.
The application consists of an online visa application and in-person appointment at the Embassy of Japan in your home country. Applications can take 2-3 months, and once approved, you have 12 months to enter the country. You’re only allowed one working holiday visa per lifetime.
Confused? Our JENZA Support Squad are here to guide you through it.
Make it work
What you can do
Typical working holiday jobs in Japan include working as waiting staff, front of house, room attendants, housekeepers and instructors in Western hotels, restaurants and ski resorts. Or working as an English teacher or nanny.
Your visa doesn't require you to have a job before you go, but if you're arriving in winter (Nov/Dec) we can help you to secure a 3-4 month ski season job. You’ll typically earn between 1,000-1,2000 Yen per hour, with discounted staff accommodation.
You don’t need to be able to speak Japanese to work for our ski season employers, but it will improve your experience and be met with beaming smiles if you learn the basics.
Some of our travellers opt to do online courses before they go, or arrive a few weeks early to do a classroom course. We’ve partnered with the Kudan Institute of Japanese Language and Culture in Tokyo to offer 4-12 week courses. Ask us about dates and pricing.
On the piste
Where you can do it
Our ski season partners own hotels and lodges across the world-renowned ski resorts of Niseko, Rusutsu and Furano, and look for seasonal staff each year to do a range of hospitality jobs.
Bouji resort life and backpacker nightlife
Nearby hot springs after a day on the run
While numbers are not guaranteed (especially outside of the ski season), we suggest timing your flights with our group arrival dates for the best chance of meeting other working holidaymakers.
Visa application and document support
The Japan visa process can be as confusing as a Tokyo cuddle café. But we’re there for it. (The visa bit, not the cuddling strangers part).
We’ll guide you through the process – supplying the correct forms and guidance on how to fill them out. Plus, advise on how to format the supporting documents you need for your in-person embassy appointment. These include an outline of your intended activities and letter explaining why you want to do a working holiday. (A year of ramen – while technically correct – is not an acceptable answer).
Working holiday visas Japan are free for most nationalities, and currently cost £21 for UK passport holders. This must be paid in cash at your embassy appointment.
Pre-arranged ski season job
We include a 3-4 month ski season job in either Niseko, Rusutsu or Furano on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Typical jobs include guest services, concierge, front desk, bell hop, housekeeper, bus driver, bartender, chefs and ski instructors. As soon as you’ve paid your deposit, we’ll give you access to our JENZA Job Hub where you can start applying for positions.
You must be available to work the full season from Nov/Dec through to Mar/Apr, and be available to interview via video call from Jul/Aug. Jobs are filled on a first come first served basis, so apply early to secure your preferred position.
If you’re arriving outside of winter or would prefer to work in Tokyo instead, your arrival orientation includes comprehensive job support. This lasts for your whole visa, so you can tap in for year-round jobs before or after your ski season.
Expert advice from people who've been
Your Work Japan ride or die, all our JENZA Support Squad have worked overseas, so can give you firsthand advice on moving abroad. As well as being a geeky bunch of travel nerds and visa whisperers, we're also all mental health awareness trained. Which means we know how to connect like humans – not customer service bots.
On top of pre-departure visa and job support, we also include online intercultural Japan training and a group call with a live FAQ before you go to answer all your Japan questions.
Arrival orientation with 5 nights' accommodation
While you don’t need to speak Japanese to get hired, sorting all the formalities to legally start work when you arrive can be near impossible without a Japanese speaker. This is where our amazing in-county partners (and job hunting ninjas) World Unite step in.
Someone from the team will personally accompanying you to the relevant offices in Tokyo to get everything set up.
Tax number, bank account and SIM card
This is all the un-sexy stuff, but essential and legal stuff you need to start working in Japan. When you arrive, the World Unite team will help you set up:
Plus, these JENZA community perks
Free (or close to free) stuff Our favourite F word. Score hundreds of overseas discounts with our virtual JENZA X IYTC card.
Earn extra cash Shot it? Share it. We pay for blogs, vlogs, images and videos. DM us on Insta and send us a pitch.
Find a friend Meet people like you. Connect with travellers arriving at the same time on our JENZA Discord group chats.
Book now pay later Secure your spot with $200 deposit, paying the balance eight weeks before you fly.
About our pricing Our mission is to make working abroad more accessible. Meaning we do everything we can to pay our team, support our partners and make a profit – without screwing over the people who matter. Read about how our pricing works and the people involved in making your JENZA happen.
We also walk the walk, donating 5% of profits to our overseas scholarship fund.
What’s not included
Japan visa fee
Your working holiday visa Japan is currently free. Yay!
Support funds for Japan (NZD $)
You must have support funds of NZD $3,000 and proof of a return/onward flight, or NZD $4,000 if entering Japan on a one-way ticket.
We don’t recommend booking flights until your visa is approved.
To cover against cancellation, we recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance as soon as you book.
Japan language course
Ask us about optional 4-12 week language courses in Tokyo.
Included intercultural training
Trains as fast as bullets, restaurants run by robots and toilets that clean your... Japan may live in the future, but its customs are firmly rooted in the past. From leaving your shoes at the door to finishing your food, we include social etiquette training before you go.
Travel you can trust
Our Extra Mile Promise
Every JENZA experience has been shaped by our Youth Advisory Panel, roadtested by our travellers, and backed by 60+ years of work abroad expertise. But if we still don’t rock your world, we’ll refund the part of your JENZA program you’re not happy with. T&Cs apply
All the inspo and intel on life in Japan
Need to know / Japan
How to work a ski season in Japan. When you don’t speak Japanese. Or ski.