The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

New rules mean Japan snow jobs easier to get

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Australia, Japan | 0 comments

Skiing Annupuri in Japan

Michael Coventry getting the goods at Annupuri, Japan. You may be able to join him on your day off ski instructing. Pic: Dale Goulding

Big changes in visa requirements set to make things easier for ski and snowboard instructors wanting a job in Japan.

While Aussies still can’t get enough of skiing and snowboarding in Japan it seems the industry is still on the skids domestically in the land of the rising sun.

But that looks like being to the advantage of foreigners looking for ski instructor jobs with Kyodo News reporting the government plans on easing visa requirements for foreign ski instructors. The belief is it will help the stuttering industry in Japan.

The suggestion is it will happen over summer, paving the way for a raft of instructors to come from overseas. At the same time it  is understood the government wants to clamp down on instructors working illegally in Japan.

It is understood preference will be given to those with three years’ experience or with special skills such as having competed at major events.

Currently there is a visa exchange program for Australians wanting to work in Japan but there are some significant limitations such as:

  • Having to be under 30
  • Only being able to do it once
  • Edict that you shouldn’t be able to work in one place for more than three months

Dale Goulding from Deep Powder Tours said it will have a significant and positive impact on the industry as there would be many more and much better qualified instructors able to work in Japan. Currently most positions for foreigners are only of a level one instructor standard.

“Having spent 23 seasons in Niseko and seeing the many changes come to town, our ski schools lacked depth of quality senior instructors until season 2016,” he said. “The changes in visa for ski instructors has opened up possibilities for senior instructors to now work in Japan.”

Skiing and snowboarding in the country is thought to have hit a peak in 1998 when around 18 million people participated in the sport. The figure fell to 7.7 million by 2013 due to Japan’s falling birthrate and graying society.

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