Canyons Yuzawa Nozawa




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Culture, fun and an immeasurable amount of yearly snowfall!

If you are up for a steamy combination of authentic Japanese culture, deep fluffy powder, fun parties and a chance to teach skiing in an English speaking ski school then this is for you. Canyons operates at a number of resorts in the area which receive a crazy amount of snow! 


EA’s Ski and Snowboard Instructor Internships with Canyons Snowsports School start with training and an exam based at Kagura Resort. Trainers are English speakers predominantly certified through the NZSIA. Kagura is one of the earliest ski resorts to open in Japan as it is high in elevation and has snow-making. Canyons Snowsports School have agreements to provide ski and snowboard lessons for many of the resorts in the local area.


Gala Yuzawa Resort and Nozawa Onsen Resort are the two Resorts where EA Interns instruct after the initial training and exam. 

Where Doing Course Start End Price
Internship Ultimate
Canyons Yuzawa Nozawa Ski Internship Ultimate 22 Nov 17 Apr 2018 USD $7975 Enquire
Canyons Yuzawa Nozawa Snowboard Internship Ultimate 22 Nov 17 Apr 2019 USD $9975 Enquire

Check out what's included:


Nozawa Onsen is a village in Nagano built in the image of an Austrian mountain town. It's twinned with St Anton, is famous for it's natural, free onsens (hot pools) and the annual fire festival (think Japanese locals literally fighting each other with fire.) The resort experiences massive snowfalls and has some of the best terrain for free-riding in Japan.

Nozawa is popular with holidaymakers and has a lot of bars and restaurants for after work; the town has a real resort town feel once the winter gets into full swing but retains a traditional Japanese feel and character, reflected in both the bars and restaurants, as well as the onsens!

  • Skifield sits under Mt Kenashi (1,650m)
  • Total ski slope area of 297 hectares
  • Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort has an incredible 36 trails, check out the trail map here
  • Uenotaira Snow Park is around 2km long, including kickers, boxes, rails, and a half pipe
  • In town there are a total of 13 public hot-spring baths known as “Sotoyu” which are a common asset of the village
  • For more info check out our Nozawa Onsen Resort page here

Nozawa Onsen pistemap full


    Yuzawa is a mountain town in the Niigata prefecture of central Japan famous for huge snowfalls, hot springs and sake. Rather than there being one big resort, Yuzawa sits in a valley with about ten smaller resorts close by. Interns work for a ski school that mainly runs lessons at Gala Yuzawa, the only ski area in the world with it's own bullet train station, with the opportunity to teach and ski at some of the other resorts in the area

    The town itself retains a strong Japanese character, so nightlife is a departure from the bars and clubs you might be used to, one night you might be doing karaoke, the next dancing in a half pipe at a bar with skatepark inside it. The snowsports school here works closely with the resort and there is a lot of opportunity to meet Japanese people, learn the language and experience the culture; this is your opportunity to go full Japan.

    • Direct access from Tokyo with a bullet train station at Yuzawa
    • Skiing from 1,181m down to 358m, check out the Gala Yuzawa trail map below 
    • Area famous for its incredible natural scenery, hot springs and traditional Japanese Culture, as well as epic snow!!
    • A must see is the Takaragawa Onsen (hot spring), voted the No1 hot spring in Japan by international travelers.




“Thank you for your interest in doing your training in Snow Country, Japan with Canyons. We are very happy to be working with Educating Adventures to provide a programme that is a fantastic start to a career in the winter sports industry. It is much more than just passing an exam. The course offers a solid ground in all aspects of instructor work and life and the skills you pick up will set you up thrive in any resort in the world. Japan is a unique place to live and work with so much to offer – deep snow, stunning food and friendly locals. You’re going to be an a completely new environment in every sense and you’re going to love it.”

Patrick Latter – Snowschool Manager


The photos above are of the Canyons Ski School Lodge. Instructor internship accommodation will be based here during the training and examination period. This will be set up so you can shift straight in and feel at home. There is ski/snowboard storage, kitchen and bathroom facilities, a communal living area, pool table, TV room and sleeping in shared dorms. As the kitchen is small there is a compulsory breakfast and dinner meal plan with a subsidized cost for Interns. There is also a small damage deposit payable on arrival in case of damage.  

Training and Exam Period

After the level 1 exam Interns will start work at either Minakami area, Gala Yuzawa Resort or Nozawa Onsen Resort. In all cases Canyons Snowsports School have staff accommodation options that they will arrange for Interns to move in to.

Gala Yuzawa

Staff accommodation consists of self contained four or six person apartments ten minutes' walk from Gala. Each apartment has it's own bathroom and kitchen, although most staff take advantage of a meal plan which is available through Gala. There's a supermarket and hardware store within a short walk from the accommodation and the town has a chemist and a convenience store amongst other things.

Nozawa Onsen

Ski school staff live in shared rooms at a building about 20 minutes walk from the resort although commuting on skis or snowboard will shorten the journey considerably. Kitchen and bathrooms are communal and vehicles are available to travel to shops which are in the larger town of Iiyama. 


Living & WORKING at Canyons Snowsports SChool

The price of food and drink in this area of Japan is very reasonable. As an example a good Japanese style meal of meat, rice and vegetables (to keep mum happy) in a local restaurant will cost around 800 Yen – which is $9 USD. Depending on your employing resort you may also have access to discounted or free food. You will also get all the benefits of being an employee such as staff parties, discounted gear, and many other opportunities.

When you get  here you may end up staying longer than you intended! There is a huge amount of snowfall each season and fewer people to snake your fresh lines! There is also a great crew of Instructors from around the world so you will make a load of new friends and have an epic time, even staying on to work the summer season.

Once successfully through your initial training and level 1 examination you will start work for your employing ski school. You will teach lessons in English because there are a lot of foreigners who live and ski in Japan who want to learn skiing or snowboarding in English. Lessons are usually in 2 hour blocks and your pay rates as a first year instructor for Canyons Snowsports School will be approximately 1,000-1,300 JPY per hour. 

Level 2 Training

Although not an Internship Plus program, there are opportunities for those on the ski side to work towards and complete the Level 2 exam during the season. This is a separate add on including just training and the exam, organised directly by the team at Canyons. This package makes the most of the quieter, low season weeks in January when work levels are less and is run by Canyons at a near cost price to help interns who are keen to push their professional development. This involves roughly 12-16 training days in January, with an exam at the start of February, and can also include a rent reduction during the period. Approximate cost is $1750-$2250USD depending on the exact inclusions/numbers.



Jock 180 150x150
Check out Jock’s testimonial looking back on his season at Canyons. Snow, work, play, new mates… it sounds pretty
amazing! Click here to read the blog.