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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Travel Costs For Japan

1. Airfare prices:
This is going to be the largest – and also most variable – of your Japan trip costs. The factors that influence how much or little you end up paying for your flight to and from Japan include the time of year you plan to travel, your choice of air carrier, and of course your departure city. If you live near a major city, you should be able to find a direct flight to Japan without having to transfer plans en route.

In terms of costs, they really vary. For example, you should expect to pay as little as $350 (if traveling from Korea or parts of China) to $1,000 to $2,000 or more if traveling from Europe, Australia or the Americas. If your travel dates are flexible, be sure to plug in different dates into an online travel planner to see how the rates vary by travel date.

2. Transportation from the airport to your place of lodging:
If you will be landing in Osaka or Tokyo (most people do), you will need to arrange ground transportation from the airport to your place of lodging. From both Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport, you can find train service into the city for about $25. Also, a popular choice for travelers flying into Narita is to take an express bus into Tokyo for around $40. The bus will take you directly to a major train station in the heart of Tokyo.

3. Hotel, inn, and bed & breakfast rates:
Rates for a 3- or 4-star Western style hotel in a big city will usually start at around $150 or $200 per night. If your budget is more limited and/or if you want to have a more authentic Japan travel experience, trying staying in a ryokan (inn) or minshuku (bed and breakfast) for around $40-$60 per night. Hostels will cost even less.

4. Eating out:
High-end meals in Tokyo can run $100/plate or higher, but there are food options to match just about any budget. At the low end of things, you can find convenience stores on just about every major street corner that offer healthy snacks and meals for under $5.

5. Snacks:
Again, convenience stores are a great way to keep yourself fed if you are traveling in Japan on a budget. $5 per meal is a reasonable budget when you go this route. You can find tuna sandwiches, pre-made salads, onigiri (rice balls with meat or vegetable filling), chips, and even hot soup (o-den) during the winter months.

Cheapest Times To Travel To Japan

1. Visit in late fall or early winter:

One of the best ways to keep your Japan trip costs down is to plan to travel during the times of the year when very few Japanese are traveling, either domestically or internationally. One of these times is during the period from September through November. There are few holidays of note going on during this time period, and Japanese children are in school.

2. Visit in late winter or early spring:

Another low season for Japanese travel is from later winter to early spring (February and March). Like the September through November time period, airports and ground transportation systems are not particularly crowded during this time of the year.

3. Avoid New Year and Golden Week:

On the other hand, if you want to save money you will want to avoid traveling during the New Year (last week in December/first week in January). Also, avoid Golden Week, a series of holidays that take place at the end of April and during the first week of May. During these two major Japanese holiday periods, the Japanese are out and about, which drives up travel rates and making things more congested in general.

4. Try traveling midweek:

Another money-saving tip: book your tickets for mid-week travel. Doing so can help you cut your travel costs way down.

5. Check prices with different air carriers:

Finally, check with different air carriers: you may be surprised at how much different the cost of your ticket will be when you shop around a little bit for the best rate.

Resort Jobs in Japan

Accommodation

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.

Meals

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).

Free Time

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.

Expenses

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).

Ski Japan

To participate in Ski jobs in Japan, you have to pay for your own Airfare and Travel Insurance. The cost varies – expect to pay between USD $1,500 – $2,000 for everything.

Do I need to pay a Registration Fee for Ski jobs in Japan?

No – as long as you complete your contract, you don’t pay any fees.

Will I really need $4,000 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.

How will I get to the Resort?

Once you arrive in Japan, you’ll be met at the airport, delivered to your Resort by bus, and your experience of a lifetime begins!

How will I be paid?

Once you arrive, you’ll be shown how to open a Japanese Bank Account, into which your salary will be paid monthly. Banks are located near the resorts, so withdrawing money won’t be a problem.

Will I be paying tax?

According to Japanese law, all foreigners must pay 20% income tax. All figures quoted on this site are after 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 – for help/information, you can contact the “Japan Association of Working Holiday Makers”.

Will I need to work overtime?

Yes. During the busy holiday periods (Xmas/New Year break, Jul-Aug Summer Vacation), your resort will ask you to work overtime, as they tend to be understaffed around this time. During this period, 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 period though, things quieten down a lot, and you’ll have about 6-7 days-off a month, working a standard 44-48hr week.

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

I’m a Vegetarian / diabetic / allergic to dairy foods – will that be a problem?

Unfortunately, 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).

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 / 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). Thanks for your understanding.

Will I have internet access?

Ski jobs in Japan give you a taste of rural life – you won’t be living in the big city. The air will be fresh, the nature vast, and the scenery spectacular. On the other hand, you may have to walk 20 mins to the nearest convenience store, and use a public phone because there’s no internet access nearby. You’ll never have to go too far (more than say 30 mins), but at some resorts, you may have to travel, or pay a little, for internet access.