Tradition. Culture. Charm. Authenticity. Gastronomy. Hot spring onsen. World-class skiing. Powder, powder, powder. Japan has it all.
If you are interested in becoming an instructor on your ski season in Japan download your free Japan instructor guide to find out how you can become an instructor at one of our world-class ski resorts.
73% of Japan is mountainous, and you'll find some of the best powder snow in the world! A Japan ski season means super soft pillow lines, endless waist-deep powder, mushroom topped trees and incredible off-piste skiing! In a good Japan snow season, you can expect to receive up to 16 metres of powder snow, with an average of over 10 metres each year!
Japan is lauded for the consistency and sheer volume of snowfall it receives. The snow in Japan is super light, extraordinarily dry and unbelievably fun to ride. The snow is so good because cold winds from Siberia collect a tremendous amount of moisture while traveling across the Sea of Japan, and this is released in the form of snorkel-worthy powder when it hits the Japanese islands. These conditions make for a long Japanese snow season, usually lasting from November through to April/May.
We’re still accepting applications for ski instructor internships in Japan for the 2023/2024/2025 ski seasons. Spaces are limited, and filling up fast. Find out if you’re eligible for a ski instructor internship with EA Ski and Snowboard and secure your spot!
For a flavour of what a ski season is like in Japan, check out Charlie's ski season in Shiga Kogen.
So, what's the advantage of doing a ski season in Japan?
- There is 12 to 15 metres of snow falling in just three months
- The food is incredible (this is not an exaggeration), it’s cheap and maybe even beats grandma’s cooking, sorry!
- The bullet train offers easy access to nearby cities and towns to truly immerse yourself in the Japanese culture
- One of the safest countries in the world
- Skiing in Japan is very affordable. The lift passes in Nowaza Onsen are only $40 per day!
- There’s so much amazing traditional and modern culture to explore, so many beautiful places to food, amazing food to try and savor, interesting nightlife and museums and attractions, and most of all, wonderfully kind and interesting people.
- Japan has epic surf and hiking to enjoy after the ski season ends!
- There are plenty of English-speaking instructors and staff throughout the resorts and ski fields that are fluent in the English language. Much of the Japanese ski world caters to foreign tourists but it would be recommend to learn some of the language
With fresh snow, adrenaline and high alpine air in your lungs, there’s no other empowering feeling than shredding a mountain in the land of the rising Sun. At EA we have many resorts in snow-laden ski town. Have a look at our Japanese courses here and start planning your ultimate gap year.
What to do when not skiing?
For your rest days, there are plenty of other wintery activities to enjoy in Japan.
A big part of Japanese ski culture is the use of hot springs, or onsens. Most ski towns will have onsens, and it is traditional to soak in the hot water after a long day on the mountain. The village of Nozawa Onsen has 13 public bathhouses that are free to use. Legend has it the first hot spring in Nowaza was discovered by a hunter who was led there by an injured bear. Nothing is more refreshing after a day on the slopes than a rejuvenating soak!
Tourists are welcome, but be warned that it is culturally expected that bathers be completely naked. Some bath houses are mixed whilst others are either for men or women only. If staying in the Nagano region, a visit to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park is a must do. You’ll see the monkeys bathing and playing in the natural hot springs amongst the mountains. There is plenty of temple and historical sightseeing to do. The sacred 88 temple pilgrimage is Japan's most famous!
Working at one of our ski resorts in Japan can seem like a large commitment away from the comfort of your home, but the best part is the incredibly social landscape. You will always be able to make new friends for life, after all, we are all there for the same reason – love for skiing, snowboarding and oh, that perfect powder! There’s nothing like getting cosy ramen with your friends after shredding a day on the slopes, it’s one of the most heart-warming feelings out there.
If you’re interested in taking a gap year with us. We offer a number of instructor courses and would be thrilled to discuss the details with you. Apply here if you want to have the best gap year possible.
A ski season is an amazing way to travel, and by actually moving to and working in a country you get a much better feel for it than you ever would just in passing. Snowboarding and skiing aren’t just sports or adrenaline rushes. Skiing/snowboarding is a way of life, and you’ll meet some great people if you immerse yourself in its world. Being in the mountains has a unique mix of absolute peace and daily adventure.