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Start the snowball rolling for winter '24

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Jenza Work Japan

Working holidays in Japan

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.

Get ready! Japan hiring for winter'24 ski jobs is about to drop.

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Out of this world

Why do a working holiday visa Japan?

Home to ancient Shinto shrines, serene snow-covered peaks and off-the-wall cities – Japan is like nowhere else on Earth. With no language or downhill skills required, if you're looking to experience a culture completely different to your own – but with the security of an English-speaking job – Japan is the working holiday to do it. Ride the world's best powder with a pre-arranged ski season job in winter (Nov-Mar), with the option to stay and work in hospitality, retail and teaching jobs in Tokyo for the rest of your visa.

The Jenza difference

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Roadtested experiences 

Hear from travellers who’ve been there and worn the ‘Hello Kitty’ tee. Our roadtesters trial every JENZA experience to ensure it serves our travel community first. 

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Pre-arranged job

We include a 3-4 month English-speaking ski season job in either Niseko, Rusutsu or Furano – with subsidised staff accommodation and free or discounted lift passes.

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In-country support

From Japanese etiquette training to one-on-one support getting your residence permit, tax number and Japanese bank account – we help work out all the details.

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Is it for me?

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18-30 years

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12-month visa

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Apply year round

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3-4 month ski season job

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No Japanese required

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5 nights when you land

£1,099

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Ski ya later!

All the inside intel on working in Japan from our roadtester.

Ebony, JENZA roadtester

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Cool runnings

Work Japan | £1,099

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. We help to both embrace the differences with online intercultural training and optional Japanese lessons; and navigate the hurdles with extensive support when you land.

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.

Japan's working holiday visa allows you to work for 12 months, doing most jobs other than working in nightclubs, dancehalls and gambling venues.

Every April, a new annual quota of visas is allocated to eligible countries. Since the pandemic, these quotas haven’t always been met, but we still advise applying as early as possible to secure your visa.

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.

  • You must be 18-30 (inclusive)
  • Hold a UK passport and have lived continuously in the UK for at least one year prior to applying
  • Have support funds of £1,500 and proof of a return/onward flight, or £2,500 if entering Japan on a one-way ticket
  • Able to attend an in-country visa appointment at the Embassy of Japan in London. If you’re from Scotland or live north of Lancaster or Darlington, you’re able to go to the Japanese Consulate in Edinburgh

Confused? Our JENZA Support Squad are here to guide you through it.

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 1,000-1,400 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.

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.

Niseko

  • Japan’s most popular ski resort
  • 15+ metres of snow each season
  • Famous for off-country terrain and 100+ runs
  • Known for the world’s best champagne powder
  • Bouji resort life and backpacker nightlife

    Rusutsu

  • One of Japan’s largest ski resorts
  • 14+ metres of snow each season
  • 35+ runs and 21 lifts across three mountains
  • Family-friendly with fewer crowds
  • Nearby hot springs after a day on the run

    Furano

  • Awesome all-rounder for all levels
  • 9+ metres of snow each season
  • Less snow but the finest Hokkaido powder
  • More authentically Japanese resort
  • Nearby backcountry for powder pros

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.

  • 12 Jan 24
  • 9 Feb 24
  • 8 Mar 24
  • 12 Apr 24
  • 10 May 24
  • 14 Jun 24
  • 12 Jul 24
  • 9 Aug 24
  • 13 Sep 24
  • 11 Oct 24
  • 8 Nov 24
  • 13 Dec 24

What's included

Everything you need to get your visa, get hired and get on the plane – with one-on-one support 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.

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.

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.

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.

  • Airport meet and greet
  • 5 nights’ accommodation at a househare in Tokyo
  • Discounted staff accommodation for 3-4 months (ski season jobs only)
  • Accompanied appointments to sort your residence permits and health system registration
  • 90-120 minute job counselling session to run through all the available jobs and how to apply
  • CV translation and cover letter support
  • One-on-one job and translation support for your whole visa from the team in Tokyo

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:

  • Japan bank account
  • Tax number registration
  • SIM card

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 £100 deposit, paying the balance when recruitment starts for the winter season.

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

Flights

We don’t recommend booking flights until your visa is approved.

Japan visa fee (UK passport holders)

This is paid in cash to the Embassy of Japan and currently costs £21.

Support funds for Japan (£)

You must have support funds of £1,500 and proof of a return/onward flight, or £2,500 if entering Japan on a one-way ticket.

Travel insurance

To cover against cancellation, we recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance as soon as you book.

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Polite society

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.

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2023 jobs looked like...

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Check back soon for winter '24

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Meet the employers

Why do a ski season in Japan?

Ski seasons for non-skiers can feel like a scary place – full of ski run rules and confusing lingo that may as well be Japanese. But ski seasons aren’t just for seasonnaires. They’re a great way to meet other travellers, add international work experience to your resume, and ease your way into Japanese life. All our ski season jobs are English-speaking, usually don’t require previous experience, and you don’t need to be able to ski or board.

Meet one of Japan employers for the rundown on life working in Japan.

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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

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The JENZA blog

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All the inspo and intel on life in Japan

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Need to know / Japan

Everything you need to know about a working holiday in Japan

Betsy Lake

How to work a ski season in Japan. When you don’t speak Japanese. Or ski.

You shaped travel

What our Japan roadtester had to say

All JENZA experiences are roadtested first. Because if it didn’t fly with our roadtesters, it sure as heck isn't going to fly with you. Meet Ebony. Who left Australia to work a ski season in Niseko. From packing cubes to posting yours skis - here's the inside intel on what you need to work in Japan this winter.

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Our roadtester community

"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, 2023 JENZA roadtester

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Who you gonna call?

Let's talk Japan

Get some facetime with our amazing JENZA Support Squad. When they’re not posing for pool pics, they’re making your work aboard adventures happen with their endless enthusiasm and mad traveller skills. These include: parent whispering, visa geekery and the ability to pack a backpack in 30 seconds flat.  

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Privacy Policy

BUNAC Travel Services Ltd trading as “JENZA” is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 01391030 and registered address at 5 Richbell Place, London, UK, WC1N 3LA.