Tell me about Shiga Kogen

LOGO Shiga KoganEA Ski & Snowboard partner with Shiga International Ski School who operate at Shiga Kogen, Japan's largest ski area. Shiga Kogen itself is made up of 19 interconnected ski resorts, and Shiga International Ski School is an English speaking, international ski school based out of Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort, located at the north end of Shiga Kogen. Okushiga itself is one of the highest resorts in the area, and due to that, it sees around 12 metres of snow annually. 

There is also a terrain park, very few lift lines, few crowds and some of the best off-piste skiing you can find in Japan. Back in 1998, when Japan held the Nagano Olympics, Shiga Kogen was home to the giant slalom, and slalom course and this remains there to this day. Because of its size, there are many trails to explore there. The only challenge is whether you can fit every single one in.

Shiga International Ski School

Shiga Kogen Resort Facts

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Shiga Kogen has the largest ski area in Japan

There are 19 interconnected ski resorts. The best part - you can access all of them on the one season pass. Talk about season pass perks! We think this takes the cake

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Shiga International Ski School is based out of Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort

This is huge because Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort sees over 12 metres of snow a season as is one of the quieter resorts in the area. This means less crowds, smaller lift lines and more time to rip around the mountain! 

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Japanese riding at it's finest - Okushiga is the best Shiga Kogen ski area!

Okushiga has been described as the most progressive of the Shiga Kogen resorts, offering off-piste and grading it's tree runs. Not only that but, it has two high-speed lifts and a terrain park. 

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At over 2000 metres of elevation, this area is known for excellent snowfall and providing consistent JA-POW!!

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Great variety of skiing terrain available

Somewhat a rarity for Japan, Okushiga even has some steeps skiing in it's off-piste areas. 

Becoming a ski instructor at Shiga Kogen

We offer our ski instructor internship program at Shiga Kogen which is perfect for getting you on the path to becoming a ski instructor. Check out some of the inclusions and benefits! 

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  • Accommodation is included until after the level 1 exam
  • Guaranteed job offer
  • Employee season pass 
  • Level 1 training
  • Level 1 exam costs
  • Association membership
  • Transport to resort for training if applicable
  • Future job opportunities with our network of 27+ resort partners around the globe 
  • Program managers at each location
  • Preseason preparation webinar


$8,975 USD

Living and working at Shiga Kogen

On an instructor internship here, program participants train with world-class trainers in and around the Shiga Kogen wider ski area to prepare for the Level One NZSIA (New Zealand Ski Instructors Association) exam. Accommodation and lift pass, as well as orientation activities, are provided during this time.

After the Level One exam, you will be working for the Shiga International Ski School who will ensure you receive the necessary staff training and induction processes. This will help establish everyone within the company before the work begins.

Shiga International Ski School is the only operating international, English speaking ski school in Shiga Kogen. The team there at Okushiga are from all around the world and operate closely with each other, with the goal of making sure guests enjoy their time out on the mountain as much as possible (while learning a few skiing tips and tricks along the way). As an employee at Shiga International, you will receive locals discounts on shop items and free lunch every work day. The level one teaching wage is 2000 yen per hour (subject to increase with further qualifications).

There is the 1,000-year-old hot springs town of Shibu Onsen located next to the Snow Monkey Park and the city of Nagano is not too far away from the very historical Zenkoji Temple. There are great festivals to see nearby as well as many other ski areas to explore.


What about accommodation?

Accommodation during the training portion of this course will be covered for you. You will be housed in staff accommodation so even while you're training, you'll soon get to know not only your fellow EA interns but also the fellow instructors that will work with you this season.

Once you begin work, your accommodation cost will be automatically taken out of your wage. The cost of this is about 33000 yen (Approx. $300 USD) per month. One benefit to living here is that whilst the chef is available during the season, you'll also get your breakfast and dinner included at no extra cost, so you'll likely end up saving money compared to similar resorts. Due to the early start of our program, you may have a period self catering at the start of the program before meals are being provided by the chalet chef alongside the majority of school staff arriving.

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  • Double occupancy rooms (Couples rooms available on request)
  • Limited single rooms also available 
  • Fully equipped kitchen and dining room*
  • Laundry facilities
  • Wax room
  • Common area/lounge with views of the ski area
  • Sheets and blankets provided 
  • Bonus: Most breakfasts and dinners catered for



Certification overview

LOGO NZSIA ski and snowboard

Our Ski and Snowboard Instructor Course in Shiga Kogen, Japan allows you to obtain a globally recognised qualification with the NZSIA (New Zealand Ski Instructors Alliance).

The NZSIA is a well-established, educational body that is internationally renowned for producing professional, knowledgeable instructors, who have the capability to teach and ski at very high standards. They are internationally recognised as a well-established, professional provider and have a reputation for high-quality and knowledge. This means that NZSIA instructors are able to competently perform and teach on snow in many cultures and conditions. This qualification can truly take you anywhere.


Program manager

EA Ski & Snowboard want you to have the best season possible at Shiga Kogen. We have a program manager on the ground, who is easily contacted and there to offer advice and support at all times. Not only are they familiar with Shiga Kogen itself, they will also be a familiar face to make your gap year and first winter season that much easier.

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Click the resort names or dots to learn more about each resort

MAP Japan
Niseko Village
Niseko ISG
Niseko GoSnow
Canyons Nozawa and Yuzawa
Club Med Hokkaido
Hakuba Snow Sports
Evergreen Hakuba
Shiga Kogen

Niseko Village

Niseko Village Ski Resort, famous in Japan and around the world as Japan's premium snow resort. Located in Hokkaido and towered over by the giant Mt. Yotei, this ski resort is renowned for its consistent snowfall and dry, light powder.

How to become a ski instructor in Japan

Niseko ISG

At Niseko ISG, you'll enjoy visiting local onsens, big powder skiing, delicious ramen, and a fun nightlife scene.

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Niseko GoSnow

Niseko is well known as the hub of Japanese skiing, the mix of culture, incredible skiing, and amazing people make the resort town a must-see destination for skiers from across the globe.

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Canyons Nozawa and Yuzawa

Culture, fun and an immeasurable amount of yearly snowfall. If you are up for a steamy combination of authentic Japanese culture, deep fluffy powder and great people then this is for you.

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Club Med Hokkaido

Club Med is an exclusive ski resort offering world-class powder and top facilities in an English speaking environment.

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Hakuba Snow Sports

Hakuba Snow Sports School is a privately owned business catering to holiday-makers skiing and snowboarding in Hakuba Japan. Based at the Iimori Ski Resort, it has the best teaching terrain in Hakuba as well as steeps, powder, trees and the biggest terrain park in the valley.

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Evergreen Hakuba

Hakuba is famous in Japan and across the world for great skiing and boasts some of the best ski resorts and snowfall in the country. For more than 70 years, Hakuba has been providing skiers, snowboarders and outdoor enthusiasts the ideal conditions for an epic winter experience.

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Rusutsu Resort is located in the village of Rusutsu, Hokkaido. Famous for consistent annual snowfall and some of the deepest and lightest powder snow in the world. The winter resort has the largest skiable area of any single resort in Hokkaido.

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Shiga Kogen

Welcome to Japan's largest interconnected resort area. EA partner with Shiga International Ski School, in Shiga Kogan where there are 19 ski resorts, all interconnected on one ski pass, Shiga Kogan is no laughing matter!

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