Mathilde’s daily life as a Ski Instructor in Japan: Unexpected Ski Destination Turned into a Cultural Match

Mathilde Hansen March 15, 2024

Mathilde became a ski instructor through Snowminds and was surprised to discover Japan as a ski destination – famous for its deep snow but also for a culture of peace and order, which matched Mathilde’s perfectionist nature. Read more about Mathilde’s Japanese journey, from her ski instructor course to the friendships she made with people from all around the world, and what her daily life as a ski instructor in Japan looks like.

The Start of My Japanese Ski Instructor Adventure

I was drawn by the opportunities Snowminds offers to work as a ski instructor in Japan, a place I had never imagined as a ski destination. It was a huge surprise for me to discover that Japan is a snow-rich country. Some seasons there can be over 18 meters of snow, which is incredible. I was deeply fascinated by what they call “powder snow,” known for its light, fluffy nature. Besides the snow, I was very inspired by Japanese culture, known for its peace and order in all aspects – something that fits perfectly with my own organized and perfectionist nature.

Til venstre- vulkanen Mount Yōtei. Til højre- Mig på en “hård” arbejdes dag som skiinstruktør i Japan

To the left – the volcano Mount Yōtei. To the right – Me on a “hard” work day as a ski instructor in Japan

My interest in exploring Japanese culture grew day by day. From their culinary traditions to their religious practices and society. Therefore, I sent an application to Snowminds. I explained why they should choose me as a ski instructor in Japan. It wasn’t long before Snowminds accepted my application. It was huge for me! I was happy to now have the chance to pursue my passion. They helped me get in touch with a ski school in Japan, where I started my ski instructor course. Here, I not only learned to teach others skiing but also to improve my own skills on the skis. This was a fantastic opportunity for professional growth. My adventure in Japan was now in full swing, an experience that would prove to be the beginning of both personal development and many new friendships.

Nyuddanede skiinstruktører

Here we are celebrating that our ski instructor course in Japan is passed

Community On and Off the Slopes as a Ski Instructor in Japan

After the course, I went out to my assigned ski school, where I had the pleasure of living right next to the slopes. This proximity to work made everyday life both easy and comfortable. I lived with the other instructors in a dorm-like environment. We shared rooms with 2-3 people and had common facilities like kitchen, bath, and living room. Living so closely with your colleagues strengthened our bonds. I have made lifelong friendships here at the ski school and have had countless memorable moments. Although we were of many different ages and backgrounds at the ski school, we found a fantastic community. We came from different cultures, traditions, and countries but found unity in our shared passion for skiing. It was enriching with personal development and cultural exchange, a truly unforgettable experience.

Rusutsu, Japan, Mathilde, shred crew

Here I am out enjoying a day off with my ski instructor friends

I made friends who are up to 10 years older than me and came from different parts of the world, such as Australia, Canada, and Norway. We formed a large group where everyone was equal, both as roommates and instructors. In our free time, we often enjoyed time together, either at the local bar with a couple of beers or by spending the whole day skiing. There was always room for everyone, and we all had fun together. I am so grateful for all the friendships I have formed and still keep in touch with many of them.

Daily Life as a Ski Instructor in Japan

Daily life as a ski instructor in Japan was very exciting and educational. My morning routine began around 8:20 am, where I attended the morning meeting at the ski school, which was located right below my housing. After the meeting, I prepared for the day’s teaching. Dressed in ski clothes and with ski boots and skis, I was quickly ready for the day.

Her holder vi en lille pause under ski lektionen

Here we are taking a little break from skiing, visiting the horse at the ski resort

In my work as a ski instructor, I met a wide range of students. It varied how long and how many people I taught each day. Some days it was only half days with a single student, while on other days I taught whole families over several days. I faced different challenges, as I taught both children and adults. Some aimed to learn the basic skiing skills, while others dreamed of conquering the steepest black slopes. This required the ability to adapt to different preferences and personalities.

Mathilde og hendes elever

Here I had a group of 5 sweet students

At work, I could have anything from a five-year-old boy struggling to keep balance on skis yet still wanting to ski the black slopes, to a 76-year-old feeling insecure on even the mildest green slope. Each student presented their own challenges, requiring patience and the ability to recognize and adapt to each individual’s unique abilities and levels. It was good personal and professional development that has given me some unique professional experiences.

Jeg er meget taknemmelig for min sæson i Japan som skiinstruktør

I am very grateful for my season in Japan as a ski instructor

Go as a Ski Instructor to Japan, You Won’t Regret It

My time as a ski instructor in Japan has been incredibly valuable. I learned a lot about myself and how to interact with different cultures. Seeing the guests’ joy was incredibly rewarding. I am grateful for every single experience, the memories and experiences I have gathered on this journey. Exploring the unknown is essential to truly learn and grow.

Find Mathilde on Instagram and TikTok for inspiring experiences from Japan.


Dreaming of becoming a ski instructor in Japan? Explore our ski and snowboard instructor courses in Japan, so you can have a lifetime experience, just like Mathilde. It’s important to apply in good time, as there’s fierce competition for spots on our courses, and a limited number of work visas for Japan. Snowminds guides you all the way with the visa process.

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