Resort Jobs in Japan – About Resort Life
Resort jobs in Japan are available all year-round. Depending on the season, you can choose to work in Ski or Summer (Beach, Golf, or Mountain) Resorts. Here are some details about what Resort life is really like:
You’ll be staying in large dormitories, with rooms for 2-4 Japanese or foreign staff. It’s rare to have a dorm room to yourself. Resorts sometimes place foreign and Japanese staff together in rooms, as it’s a great way to make friends and learn the language. However, due to some unfortunate incidents with foreign staff in the past (messy, noisy, etc.), foreign staff are often placed together.
All dormitories are single-sex, and some have a curfew. Male and female dormitories are strictly separated. Entering dorm rooms of the opposite sex can be grounds for dismissal. However, most dorms have common rooms where everyone can socialize. In cases where no common rooms are available, staff usually hang out in the dining room / nearby bars / restaurants etc.
Dorm accommodation is simple but adequate – a working holiday in Japan isn’t supposed to be luxurious – just fun! Some rooms are western-style, while others are fitted with Tatami (Japanese-style straw mats). All laundry, bathing, and dining facilities are communal. Dorms are equipped with beds, futons, sheets, blankets, ‘Rice Pillows’ (like a bean-bag), washing machines, microwave ovens, toasters, hot pots (to boil water) and telephones (to receive calls only). Ski Resort dorms also have central heating (or room heaters), so there’s no need to bring extra sleeping-bags / blankets with you. Refrigerators are not essential because there are plenty of cool places to store food. On the other hand, Summer Resort dorms are equipped with refrigerators and air-conditioning. In most Resorts, dormitory common rooms (used by all staff to chat and relax) are equipped with a TV, however TV’s in individual rooms is a rarity. Of course, drying rooms for gear are standard. Irons are not available – bring clothes that don’t need ironing.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the dorm or hotel cafeteria, while lunch is eaten at your work post. Usually, you’ll be eating breakfast at 7-7.30am, lunch at 1-2pm, and dinner after work at 6-7pm. In busy periods, you may find yourself eating hastily from a lunch-box at your post – but after the busy period, your lunch-break will be long enough to enjoy your meal.
Meals are simple, healthy Japanese-style dishes – nothing fancy, but nutritious and satisfying. During your working holiday at Resorts, you might grow tired of Japanese food every day, and decide to eat out with your friends, or buy some food from the supermarket/convenience store instead. PLEASE NOTE: Resorts can’t cater to specific dietary needs (vegetarian, diabetic etc). If you’re particular about your diet, you’ll need to buy your own food each day (as staff aren’t permitted to use dorm kitchen facilities to prepare their own food).
Doing a working holiday at a Resort in Japan, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful scenery, and lots of fun activities! Carving fresh tracks in champagne powder, lazing on tropical beaches in the sun, or hiking through pristine wilderness will all become routine activities. On your days off, and before / after work, you’ll be free to do as you please (within resort guidelines). In some Ski resorts, you’ll also have the opportunity to do night-skiing / boarding after work.
As Accommodation and a Season Ski-pass for your Resort are completely FREE, your only expenses will be for food and leisure / daily activities (ie. ski equipment, eating out, toiletries etc).
*IMPORTANT* RURAL LIVING
Please bear in mind that working at a Resort in Japan will mean you’ll be in a rural area – thus, the luxuries of the city are not as easily accessible. On your days-off, you may have to travel on a train/bus for internet access, international phones, supermarkets, etc. Your Resort may be located quite far from the nearest village, so there won’t be many bars / restaurants / shops like you’re used to back home. In the quiet season, most of the bars etc. will be empty, so you may find there’s not much more to do than swim/ski/board/hike, or hang out with your friends after work. It’s quite common for staff to feel a little lonely/bored in the 1st month, until they settle in and make friends with all the locals! Please try to remember this is all part of the fun, and heightens the sense of immersion into Japanese society. It’s important that you come with an open mind, and embrace the fact that you are far away from the “big smoke”. In Resort areas, the natural beauty, the outdoor activities, and the friends you make become the biggest source of enjoyment!
In the beginning, you may feel a little isolated if you’re unable to contact friends / family as much as you’d like – this is completely natural. We hope you can accept that contact will be less frequent, and try to immerse yourself in the Japanese culture as much as possible during your time here. Making new (Japanese!) friends at your resort will make your transition much more comfortable. It’s natural for Foreign Resort Staff to become close, because most of them are English speakers, and can communicate freely. However, it’s very important that you challenge yourself, and make local Japanese friends too – that way, you’ll learn so much more about the culture, have much more fun, and your Japanese will skyrocket! After a few weeks, Resort Staff are usually having so much fun on and off the job, they forget to contact their parents at all!
If you really can’t live without daily contact, you may like to bring a laptop with a wireless LAN card (if you have one), as there are often wireless access points around. Some of you may also wish to purchase mobile phones (which have internet connections).
Many of 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.