Jan 20, 2016
Summer seasonal work in Japan
Looking for options and opportunities for summer work in Japan for a (friendly!) non-Japanese speaker
I'm a Canadian world wanderer currently living in Niseko, where I happily spend hours strapped into my snowboard surfing Hokkaido's famous powder snow.
It might be worth doing a search for a town called Kamiyama, in Shikoku. The people there are trying to draw people out of the cities into their area and they offering a number of different programs to get people involved. Japan also has summer camps, if that's something you're interested in. They are usually held somewhere in the mountains so there will be plenty of opportunity to spend time in the outdoors. I wonder if there are any opportunities for English speakers in the hotels and dive focused resorts of Okinawa? Workaway might also have some interesting things to do, although I'm not sure what you could expect in terms of money. https://www.workaway.info/hostlist-JP.html
This May/June/July, check out www.ohayosensei.com It is updated twice weekly and last year I found a few seasonal positions as English-speaking camp counselors for summer camp programs based out of Tokyo. The work mostly seemed like a meet-up in Tokyo on a Monday, everyone takes a bus to the mountains in Nagano prefecture, then you camp for a few days with a bunch of kids, leading English activities and whatnot. During the weekend you return back to Tokyo, and the next week you go out again with a new batch of kids. It is the only seasonal summer work I have seen for non-Japanese speakers over the summer. Just before winter break, you can find similar work on the same site for ski lodges across Japan. Check it out!
Not 'work,' but a fun opportunity and free housing, is doing a work trade at a youth hostel. Khaosan hostels (Tokyo and other locations) are always looking for cleaning staff in exchange for accommodation. Four week minimum, three hours five days a week. I did this at the Beppu location (Kyushu), which isn't part of the same group anymore, but probably still does the work trade. It was a great experience to meet people from all over & have a long time to explore one area. http://khaosan-tokyo.com/en/recruitment/intern/