School Ski Trips
Provide your students with a safe and educational trip with experienced school ski trip experts
With hundreds of resorts, some of the world’s best natural snow conditions, a fascinating and distinctive culture, incredible cuisine and delightful customer service standards, Japan is the natural choice for any international school taking students on a ski trip abroad in Asia.
School ski trips are the roots of Imagine. Our journey started with school ski trips back in 2014 and it has remained the backbone of the business ever since. This means that Imagine truly understands both how to deliver top safety standards and how to meet the unique requirements of international schools, with years of experience.
Most ski schools are more focussed on adults, or small groups. Imagine truly understands the extra complexities, challenges and joys of hosting large groups of excited students of all ages and abilities.
Many travel agencies will simply outsource the skiing part of your trip to local ski schools. This can create a disconnect between the safety and learning needs of the group and the actual delivery on snow. The advantage of Imagine is that we are not only the trip organisers but the ski school itself, meaning that we can directly arrange the ski and snowboard lessons with full attention to every detail. After all, if there’s one part of the itinerary that you want to get right, it’s the skiing!
Imagine’s experience in a range of Asian countries and Japan itself places us in a unique position to deliver programmes that are sensitive to a wide range of student demographics and cultures.
As a long-time member of the education industry and not only the travel and ski world, we understand that schools are often keen to integrate other educational elements besides the skiing itself.
We listen to how you would like your group to benefit, and tailor the programme towards these desired outcomes. This can involve anything from cultural experiences, language lessons and historical or natural site visits, to facilitated reflection sessions and journaling or developmental goals within the ski lessons.
Lastly, one advantage of Imagine is that we are based in Hokkaido, which typically has longer seasons with more consistent snowfall (14 metres per year!) than other parts of Japan. This means you have a much longer date range to choose from and more snow confidence.
In our standard school trip format, groups stay in accommodation close to Niseko Village Ski Resort in Hokkaido and we provide daily private transport to take you to explore a range of famous resorts in the Niseko area.
Typically, the first two days will be at Niseko Annupuri, followed by Hanazono and Grand Hirafu excursions later in the week. The great thing about this format is that we can adjust the itinerary dynamically according to weather, abilities and other factors and take you to the most suitable location each day.
On itineraries with 5 days of skiing or more, we like to treat you with one day or more at Rusutsu, for a unique opportunity to explore many mountains in one trip.
Of course, we take preferences into account too so if you’d mostly like to ski at one particular resort, just let us know.
TIME OF YEAR
In early December, conditions can be hit and miss. Sometimes snow cover is already good but often resorts will have a late start. If you choose to come at that time, we will have backup plans such as shuttling the group to other resorts when necessary to ensure lessons can go ahead.
The international school Christmas break (from around 17th December to International New Year) is the first peak season. Snow can be a little thin on the ground at the start of this period if the season gets a late start but we will be able to take you to some great spots either way. There will usually be some big dumps of snow during this period to really get the season going. However, we recommend avoiding this period if at all possible as rooms and instructors get fully booked very early on.
If you are hunting the real powder days, January and February are your best bet. If you are able to avoid the true peak Chinese New Year period and come during term time, prices and availability will be the most preferable.
Early March is fully operational with full snow cover. There are many advantages to March such as more availability, cheaper rates, sunnier and longer days, less crowded slopes and more space in restaurants. Towards late March, there is still enough snow to cover the slopes but less fresh snowfall.
Early April is fine for a cheaper trip, if your expectations are not as high for snow quality and you can accept a few lift closures. The biggest resorts usually don’t fully close until May.
Imagine will take care of everything from airport pick-up onwards. We will arrange a private transfer, appropriate accommodation for group sizes, meals, lift passes and group ski and snowboard lessons! Trips can be any number of days.