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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Working As A Gaijin Ski Instructor In Japan

My good friend Matthew had recently sent me a tweet regarding snowshoeing in Japan… which had me wondering just what the heck the boy is reading in the tremendous amount of free time he has… when I know he should be filling his own blog to entertain the ages.

Now… since I am a much faster writer than Matthew will ever be, I had some free time, and decided to try and find data to back up a story I was writing on a newspaper article detailing a huge Tokyo fire in 1892.

I Googled 'Tokyo Fire 1892" - and found absolutely nothing… but for some reason there were pages and pages of stuff about other fires in 1892 - notably one in Canada.

And while I was able to get a couple of great stories from some ukiyo-e I found re: firefighters, there were also other Google suggestions re: architecture and destruction, fire department helicopters… and something about what it is like working as a ski instructor in Japan.

I looked at it several times, skipped over it, went back to the headline, skipped over it, went back… and then opened it up.

It was pretty interesting.

I'm not a downhill skier. I like cross-country. I think I was always afraid of screwing up my knees and having to limp around… and didn't want to do so as an old man.

Naturally, I buggered up that scenario by doing Taekwondo and tore the never-healing meniscus in my knee. It's okay… as long as I don't play soccer or jog for long periods of time, the knee has promised not to cause me trouble. I could still kick butt, however.

But despite my well-placed cowardice, I do enjoy watching down hill schussing on television… whipping down a mountain in Kitzbühel with human hand-held cow bells clanging in the background.

This blog needs more cow bell.

Anyhow… I'm sure they won't mind too much, but I'm going to provide a link to the website where I saw the article on being a ski instructor in Japan, and I'm going to re-present it below because I know many people simply dislike clicking onto sites other than this and ones related to porn.

So… from the website - click HERE - enjoy a lighthearted look at what a different type of teaching job is like for the gaijin in Japan.

From May 9, 2014 comes:

What's it like working as a ski instructor in Japan?

That’s what people will ask when you tell them you’ve booked the trip of a lifetime. Here are 7 reasons why Japan is the best place in the world to be a seasonnaire.

1. BABY POWDER“The best snow in the world” you’ll reply. They weren’t lying when they told you that. Don’t go to Japan for the sunshine; expect 2 weeks of insane ‘J-pow’ days in every month with peaks finely dusted with a mere 4 metres of the white stuff. From waist-deep piste to epic treelines, you might be better off bringing a surfboard.

What the hell happened in Tokyo? (According to photos) all us interns met for unlimited food and drinks, all paid for by EA, before wandering the busiest streets in the world. What better icebreaker? Just be careful what nickname you acquire here – you’ll be stuck with it all season. Oh and try not to wake up barefooted in a Japanese man’s kitchen.

A sushi chef must spend 5 years scrubbing chopping boards before they are even allowed to touch the fish and in many ways, becoming a ski instructor is the same. Except in Japan, qualifications are not compulsory and so you can teach to any level of skiing or boarding that you are capable of. This means you’ll have plenty of days off the bunny hill, shredding the pow on black runs with clients – something we call a ‘touching the fish’ lesson.

Okay it’s not as big as Val D’Isere or Whistler, but the towns in Japan are full of lively bars and a true seasonnaire vibe. Sing karaoke until your throat is sore and drink until it’s better, as long as you can still teach wedge turns in the morning! The Japanese hide away after 9:00 and the town becomes 90% Australian – “I’m a ski instructor” is the only chat-up line you’ll ever need again and the best part is you can ride with them the next day, if you remember their name.

Japan is alien to all EA interns, and so is a lot of the stuff in supermarkets by the looks of things. Here in Nozawa, we are completely self-catered and have the pleasure of venturing aisle 6; the aisle where nobody knows what anything is for. The question is, on a scale of McDonalds to Octopus Goo, how brave will you be with your cooking?

Ever been in a flaming moshpit? Not a Metallica concert, I mean the Nozawa Fire Festival. Wherever you land in Japan, make the trip over for this battle inferno and stand as close as you dare as locals literally smash burning branches over you. Just one of the many surprising gems each resort has to offer, along with playing with snow monkeys and onsen parties.

You fill in the blanks! Japan is an amazing country and a season here is an experience you’ll probably never have again. It really does come down to what you make of it – whether you’re looking to build up certification to open doors to a skiing career or escaping your desk job for a lifestyle that keeps you smiling. Saying ‘yes’ is what keeps life exciting.

Japan is quickly becoming one of the world's most popular ski destinations, and reading this update you can see why! Japan really does have the best snow in the world, so if you are keen to get your share, get in touch with the team at EA at to find out more.


There ya go!

I like that they played up the boozing and the food… but really… the selling point is the four meters deep snow!

Being a Mad Magazine fan (What me worry?), I enjoyed the Mad Libs headline. As well, using the Touching The Fish headline shows these folks know a bit about Japan for real, bro!

However, they did not play up the Japanese babes, but that's what I am here for.

Hot chick at the top - that's my ex, Noboko before we met, but smoking hot with that long hair.

Looking back, it seems strange now, that during our relationship, my hair was longer than hers.

Hopefully options for being a ski instructor in Japan are still available, and since we are pretty late for this winter, maybe it's something you might consider for the next one.

Andrew Joseph

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