11 Week Ski Program in Hakuba Valley

Become a qualified instructor in Hakuba Valley, Japan’s largest ski area.

You are only one step away from the experience of a lifetime!


Snowminds are proud to present an 11-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.

You will be a part of a likeminded group, train to qualify as a level 1 and level 2 ski instructor and get some work experience within the eleven weeks.


Snowminds ski instructr course japan freeride japow off piste backcountry

The Training


The 11-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 a fully certified level 2 instructor. We will guide, coach and support you all the way.

Through this Snowminds course, you will receive a high-performance alpine education, which is based in the Hakuba Valley, Japan.

We aim to develop character and accountability, by working with you to develop personal goals, health and sustainability in a supportive environment. You will learn the importance of teamwork and community – 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.


Hakuba offers lots of powder-days and plenty of opportunities to sample the famous jaw, and the 10 alpine resorts in the area consistently receive heavy snowfall with deep powder covering the area for long periods.


“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


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 Snowmind friends.


Travel periods:

  • 11 Week Ski – December 9th – February 24th (In total 77 days)


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

  • Level 1 & 2 Ski 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 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 eleven week program?

Every Saturday and Sunday consist of freetime to snowboard, 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 – Thursday: Level 1 Course

Friday: Work experience


Week 4:

Monday – Friday: Work Experience


Week 5:

Monday – Wednesday: Level 2 Training

Thursday – Friday: Work Experience


Week 6:

Monday – Friday: Freeride Course


Week 7:

Monday – Wednesday: AST 1 +

Thursday: Work experience

Friday: Culture Trip


Week 8: 

Monday – Friday: Work Experience


Week 9: 

Monday: First Aid Course

Tuesday: Work Experience

Friday: Culture Trip


Week 10: 

Monday – Friday: Level 2 Training


Week 11: 

Monday: Level 2 Training

Tuesday-Friday: Level 2 Course


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

Where are we staying?

Participants in our 11-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 Ski instructor course in Hakuba Valley

Course Icon December 9th

Course Icon € 11945

Course Icon Next application deadline: May 1st

Course Icon Hakuba Valley

Course Icon 11 Weeks

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Any Questions? Call us!