8 Week Snowboard + Freeride Program in Hakuba Valley

Eight weeks of snowboarding and freeriding in the amazing Hakuba Valley!

Become an expert in the Japanese snow and freeriding!


Snowminds are proud to present an 8-week course in Japan, with a strong focus on becoming a better snowboarder, 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 individual resorts (Very close to the centre of Tokyo!) + Amazing cuisine + World famous powder = JaPOW!

Freeride literally means free driving and that is exactly what we focus on… You will spend a lot of time in the off-piste and get a backcountry experience as well!

During the lessons you will be introduced to freeriding and who knows, maybe after the course, you can also participate in freeride competitions 😉

The course will also train you to become a fully certified level 1 snowboard instructor. Besides the backcountry experience, you will get some work experience as an instructor as well.


Japan snowboard instructor Course freeride backcountry japow snowminds



This course opens doors to a world of opportunities in the industry after completion. We will guide you every step of the way, assisting and mentoring you to become the best possible instructor.

You will receive a high-performance alpine education, and an introduction to backcountry and freeride, based in the Hakuba Valley, Japan.

Snowminds aims to develop your snowboarding skills to new heights – on and off the piste! The freeride training will give you a better understanding of going into the backcountry, as well as riding in powder. Furthermore, you will learn about our community and 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. Many 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. It got its reputation at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, hosting several events. There’s an average of 13 metres of powder per season.


With 13 metres of snowfall, there will be days upon days of powder, and Hakuba will therefore be the perfect place to learn to ride in the beautiful Japanese powder.


“The program was exceptional for the variety of programs that were available and the quality of the instructors that were provided and the group of people that were training along side me are some of my best mates to this day.”

- Calum Murdoch

Travel Program


We take care of the practicalities 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 Snowboard + Freeride – January 6th – March 2nd (In total 56 days)


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

  • Level 1 Snowboard Instructor Course
  • Avalanche Skills Training & Companion Rescue Course
  • First Aid Course
  • Development with an experienced trainer
  • Freeride Course
  • Career Mentoring & Work Placement
  • Work Experience
  • Accommodation (Standard accommodation at Alps Hotel – Superior available, see FAQ)
  • Food (Half board)
  • Cultural Activities
  • Hakuba Valley Season Ticket
  • 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 snowboard instructor course off piste freeride japow



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 in our 8-week course 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 Snowboard + offpiste course in Hakuba Valley

Course Icon 6th of January

Course Icon € 10195

Course Icon The next application deadline is October 12th

Course Icon Hakuba Valley

Course Icon 8 Weeks

Sign up!

Any Questions? Call us!