Ryokan Work in Japan

Work at a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese hotel, as part of your Working Holiday in Japan! You will not only learn about traditional Japanese culture and culinary arts, but also about the probably highest service level of the world.

The ryokans are typically of high standard and are targeting Japanese and foreign tourists. The rooms are designed in a traditional Japanese way with tatami floors, sliding doors and wall cabinets. One sleeps on tatami mats which are rolled out every night by hotel staff, and which are stored during the daytime. The room usually has no furniture other than a narrow table on which traditional Japanese breakfast and dinner are served. Some larger ryokans also have restaurant facilities. Ryokans have an average of 14 rooms. The rooms typically don’t include en-suite bathrooms, but instead there is a large communal bathing area (onsen), which is often fed by hot volcanic springs.


  • You must be able to get a Working Holiday visa – IEP will assist you with this!
  • You must have Japanese language skills at conversational level –  Ask IEP about our language school options!
  • You are expected to be seriously interested and motivated to work
    • Once your placement is confirmed, cancellation is only on the basis of emergency situations as the ryokan is counting on you to help with the season!
    • Punctuality and attention to detail is a must!

Contact us

What will you be doing at the Ryokan?

  • No two days are the same! You will be expected to do a variety of jobs including:
  • Housekeeping
  • Preparing futons for guests at night
  • Dishwashing and Kitchen Assistant tasks
  • Preparing tables and serving meals
  • Welcoming and Fare-welling guests
  • Operations, cleaning and service in the onsen area


Hours of work and pay rate

Ryokan jobs are remunerated at a range of 690-1500 JPY per hour. It is generally expected that you work up to 48hrs a week (6 days a week, 8hrs per day).

Contact us

Accommodation on Ryokan Jobs

For most ryokans accommodation and meals are included as part of your placement. The cost is subsidized and is deducted from your salary. The types of accommodation and meals will differ from ryokan to ryokan.

Ryokans often provide a single or dorm bed at a staff housing location near the ryokan. If it is further than walking distance, transport to the workplace is provided. You will likely not stay at the ryokan, but meals will be provided there when you are on shift.

Contact us

What does the ryokan jobs program cost?

You can add the ryokan jobs option to your Work and Travel Japan program for an additional EUR 200.

Can I choose where I work?

You can let us know your preferences and we will do our best to place you at a ryokan that matches your request. Placements are subject to availability so being a bit flexible is to your advantage!

Do I have to interview for the job?

Yes, you will have to interview for your job. Our partner organisation will coach you and provide advice you you can impress the employers! The employer will let you know at the end of the interview whether or not you have been successful.

How long do I have to work at the ryokan?

You can say how long you would like to work for before the interviews – placements can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 year.

Contact us