Generally full time winter employment will begin in Mid-November and finish in Mid-April.
Staff Accommodation Is available for all full time (and limited short term positions) and ranges from 40,000 per month for a quad share to 80,000 a month for a single room. We have a number of different housing options available in Hirafu Village and Kutchan, GoSnow provides a convenient staff. More info coming soon.
Getting from Sapporo Chitose Airport to Niseko
There are two ways to get to Hirafu Village (Niseko) from Chitose Airport. And both are very easy, reliable and cheap.
Train- from the airport follow the signs marked JR Train, which is below the ground floor (B1F). You travel down an escalator to the station. On the left side is a ticket information and ticket counter. The staff at the ticket information booth speak English and will also sell you the ticket necessary to get to Kutchan. Generally Trains run between 10:03 till 15:33.
You will need to transfer at Otaru (about 1.5 hrs into your journey) onto the local train going to Kutchan platform 5 to 4 (across the platform to left). Trains after 18:03 will transfer from platform 2 to 1, normally only one platform over. Be sure to be quick, as the connecting train is only a few minutes after and if you miss it you will need to wait in Otaru for the next train (usually 1.5 hrs). The total journey from Sapporo to Kutchan takes about 2.5 hours.
Here’s the link to the time table: http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/ttable/04.pdf
Important - do not take the train to Niseko Town (that is 30 minutes away). Get off at Kutchan Train Station!
Bus - There are a number of bus companies, which run from Sapporo airport. Some you can book in advance, but usually it is no problem to simply book at the counter when you arrive. The info desks for the buses are located on the ground floor of the airport terminal. They both cost the same, and usually leave about thirty minutes apart. Some bus services do not start running until December; if you plan of taking the bus please ensure the service has started. The bus will take you direct to Hirafu Mountain Center.
- Bus Companies- White-liner, Hokkaido Resort Liner (book 9 days in advance)
There are heaps of websites you can book from. Here are a couple!
http://www.goodsports.co.jp/white_eng/ski-bus/ (effective December 12)
http://www.tokyotravelpal.com/busliners-ski-resort... (effective December 1st)
There are many nice hotels at both Tokyo and Sapporo airport ranging in prices but here are a few that our staff have stayed at that are good value:
Tokyo Narita Airport - 9 hour Hotel (around 4500 yen) https://ninehours.co.jp/en/narita/
Sapporo New Chitose Airport – Airport Terminal Hotel (10000-13000 yen depending on time/date and room) https://asp.hotel-story.ne.jp/ver3d/di/?hcod1=6261...
Transport in Niseko
All operations staff will need to have their international driving licence.
If you plan on driving in Japan you must have your international driving licence before you travel, you will need to apply for this in your home country.
Niseko Car Rental
Niseko car rental has a range of second hand cars for rent for the season or short trips during the season for very reasonable prices ( staff last year rented a car for the season for around 150,000 yen)
090-6160-1023 – this number will be in your phone, ask for Yoshi
Transport to and from work
A regular shuttle service will be provided for those living in Kutchan to and from the gondola. We are also trying to schedule an AM/PM service from Midtown for those living in Izumikyo. This will be confirmed at orientation.
When do we open/close?
Current estimation for opening is on the 22nd of November pending snow conditions, the resort will generally delay the opening one week at a time until there is sufficient snow cover. Work prior to your contracted start date may be available with set up, and instructing pending business demand.
The resort closes on the 9th of May and your passes are valid until this time, group lessons end on the 10th of April and we run heavily discounted private lessons only until the 30th April.
Cash really is king in Niseko and most towns in Japan, not everywhere takes card and not all ATMS accept bank cards from overseas, therefore it’s a good idea to carry cash for meals, drinks, taxis.
There is an international ATM located at Shiki supermarket in Grand Hirafu and at 711 in Kutchan. ATMS for your Japanese account are more common; Lawsons, Seicomart and the post office.
There are three smaller supermarkets in Hirafru: Lawsons and Seicomart which are good for lunch, snacks, drinks and basics. Shiki international supermarket which will have some of your favourites from home as well as the basics but at a slightly higher price.
There are serval larger supermarkets in Kutchan which you can get using the local bus service or GoSnow shuttle. Lucky and MaxValu are the two most popular with the largest range. Next door to MaxValu there a pharmacy and a 100 yen shop!
You may not be able to get the same medications, as at home, it might be a good idea to bring some with you e.g. cold and flu, antihistamines and painkillers.
One of the only downside to the land of Japow is the lack of sunshine therefore a lack of vitamin D which can lead to vitamin D deficiency in some people. Some people experience the mid-season blues, symptoms may consist of:
- muscle/joint pain and weakness
- bone pain
- tiredness or fatigue
You might find this website helpful: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pag...
Once the season gets underway there will be lots of snow most days on the roads and footpaths, we advise waterproof footwear with good tread. Most staff choose gumboots/wellington boots to get around as they are extremely waterproof and come up high enough that they keep the snow out, it’s also advisable to wear liners or thick socks to keep your feet warm. You can also buy spikes for your shoes to help with grip. Homac in Kutchan is probably the best bet to buy all of these things for a good price but there’s lots of stores in Niseko and Kutchan that will also sell all of these.
This is a fantastic Japanese tradition which we advise you take part in as often as you can, it’s a great way to unwind that the end of the day with friends. There are several onsens in town within walking distance and further afield, here’s a few of our favourites
- The Prince Hotel
- The Aplen
- An'nupuri Mixed Onsen
- Mowia Arch
We are lucky enough to have our locker room right next to the gondola, you will be provided with a locker and a key, your locker will be allocated at orientation and you will be responsible for your key throughout the season. We have a boot room within the locker room which is heated and there is a secure storage for your ski’s/boards. The locker room is strictly for GoSnow staff only.