8 Week Ski + Freeride Program in Hakuba Valley

Enjoy Japans largest ski area with other Snowminders for 8 weeks of freeride

Hakuba Valley is waiting!


Snowminds are proud to present an 8-week course in Japan, with a strong focus on becoming a better skier, qualifying as an instructor and having fun. The program is filled with activities to give you a complete Japanese experience with great training, work experience and cultural exploration.

The equation is simple…

10 different individual resorts (2.5 hours from central Tokyo!) + World-class cuisine + The finest powder = JaPOW.

We focus on freeride, meaning we ride freely all over the mountain, exploring the off-piste and all its wonders.

A big part of the lessons during this course, is the introduction to freeride and off-piste, where we will give you the full backcountry experience.

Besides the freeride training, you will be training to become a fully certified level 1 ski ski instructor, where you will get some work experience as an instructor, all with a big group of likeminded people.


Ski instructor course hakuba valley japan snowminds

The Training


The 8-week course opens doors to a world of opportunities in the industry. The program will guide you every step of the way, assisting and mentoring you to become the best possible instructor. We will guide, coach and support you all the way.

Through this Snowminds course, you will receive a high-performance alpine education and a backcountry experience you won’t forget, based in the Hakuba Valley, Japan.

We aim to develop your skiing to the next level, by training you to explore the backcountry as well as becoming a certified level 1 instructor. You will learn more about riding in powder, exploring the mountains and teaching others in the art of skiing. Furthermore, you will learn about the importance of the true Snowminds spirit! ⛷✌🏻


Hakuba Valley, Japan


Hakuba (“White Horse”) is a village in the Japanese Alps, located 40 km north-west of Nagano city. Some of Japan’s best-known ski resorts lie within this general region.  In 2016, ten of these resorts combined to form Hakuba Valley, Japan’s largest ski area. Hakuba forged its reputation at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, hosting several events. It is normally blessed with plenty of snow; an average of 13 metres of powder per season.


With the many powder days on offer, Hakuba is the perfect place to get introduced to backcountry skiing. With consistent snowfall during the whole season, there will be lots of opportunity to explore the whole mountain.


“It was a fantastic programme and the instructors were amazing. I learnt a lot from them and my riding has definitely improved. Thank you!”

- Loreen Chan, Attendee

Travel Program


All practicalities are taken care of by us during the program, leaving you to fully enjoy the whole trip. Just bring your inner freerider and a bunch of good vibes to enjoy the trip with new and old Snowminds friends.


Travel periods:

  • 8 Week Ski + Freeride – January 6th – March 2nd (In total 56 days)


What’s included (See FAQ for example of schedule) :

  • Level 1 Ski Instructor Course
  • AST Level 1 & 2 (Including CPR & MAT)
  • First Aid Course
  • Development with our EEA Trainers
  • Freeride Course
  • Career Mentoring & Work Placement
  • Work experience
  • Accommodation (Standard accommodation at Alps Hotel – Superior available, see FAQ)
  • Food (Half board)
  • Cultural Activities (See FAQ)
  • Hakuba Valley Season Ticket
  • Backcountry Experience
  • A total experience where all practicalities are arranged for you
  • A strong community with fellow Snowminders
  • Possibility to travel around Japan and Asia after the course


The trip does NOT include:

  • Flight and transport to and from Hakuba Valley, Japan
  • Everything else not listed above in the included section
  • Cancellation and travel insurance


Snowminds instructors japan pikachu



Below we have collected some of the frequently asked questions. Should you have a question that is not stated below, then feel free to give us a call 🙂


How is the eight week program?

Every Saturday and Sunday consist of freetime to ski, enjoy the food and the amazing Japanese culture.


Week 1: 

Monday: Welcome

Tuesday – Friday: Level 1 Training


Week 2: 

Monday – Friday: Level 1 Training


Week 3:

Monday – Wednesday: Level 1 Course

Thursday – Friday: Work experience


Week 4:

Monday – Friday: Work experience


Week 5:

Monday – Wednesday: AST 1

Thursday – Friday: First Aid Course


Week 6:

Monday – Friday: Freeride Course


Week 7:

Monday – Friday: AST 2


Week 8: 

Monday – Thursday: Back Country Tour

Friday: Culture trip


Please note, this calendar is for illustration purposes only and the final schedule may differ.

Where are we staying?

Participants will be staying in Hakuba Valley, which is Japan’s largest ski area.

You will be staying at Alps Hotel, which is a ski-in, ski-out hotel located in Hakuba. This means it’s a part of the mountain and you can literally ski out of the hotel in the morning.

You can choose between standard or superior lodging, with catered meals.

The standard accommodation is a shared room for 4, if ordering the superior lodging it’s for 2 people.

The standard accommodation is included in the package and the superior lodging is an additional addon.

If you’re interested in the superior lodging, feel free to contact us!

Which cultural trips are available?

There is a big range of non-skiing activities that provide a great insight into traditional Japanese culture, both locally and in surrounding areas. Soak in a natural spa onsen, dress up in a kimono, visit nearby world heritage temples, shrines, and castles, taste locally brewed sake and freshly grated wasabi, or visit the famous Japanese snow monkeys of ‘Hell Valley’.

Culture surrounds you on every step of your journey following in the footsteps of Samurai and hearty mountain explorers


Course Icon Ski + Freeride Program in Hakuba Valley

Course Icon 6th of January

Course Icon € 10195

Course Icon Next application deadline: May 1st!

Course Icon Hakuba Valley

Course Icon 8 Weeks

Sign up!

Any Questions? Call us!