Summer School 2020

Theme: Compassionate Systems Framework and SDGs

July 27th - August 1st & August 3rd - 8th

Let Curiosity Be Your Guide

Hakuba International School Foundation will welcome a small group of students to take part in a unique learning experience in the spectacular natural setting in the heart of the Japan Alps. With SDGs as our continued theme, we will incorporate the Compassionate Systems Framework developed by a world-renowned MIT Professor Peter Senge into our program this summer. 

With the ongoing challenges we face at a global scale, we felt very strongly that now is the time more than ever that we should help the younger generation learn the mindset and tools to rise to the challenge that we adults have never faced. We will be forthcoming in saying that we do not have all the answers, but we can teach the students tools to become independent thinkers and learners, and our expert teachers will cheer them on as the students discover their potential. Of course, we will make sure we give students lots of time outdoors as always. 

To ensure the safety of the participants and adhere to the government guidelines, we made a few changes to our program as follows: 

  • We will welcome students from within Japan (if you live overseas and plan to spend the summer in Japan, we accept students if their families have had a two-week quarantine period within Japan before the start of Summer School).

  • We will run the day program only, which means the students from outside of the area will be asked to come to Hakuba as a family and join the program from 9 am to 6 pm daily for 6 days.

  • We will put in place appropriate measures to mitigate the health risks, such as taking a temperature of students each morning, wearing a mask when appropriate, taking the lessons outside whenever possible, choosing the outdoor activities which allow for distancing (hiking, standup paddle, etc.), avoiding buffet-style meals, incorporate extra cleaning of the venue and so on.


We have two sets of Summer Schools in 2020. Please choose the one that fits your family's schedule. 



12 - 16 years old


Week 1: Monday July 27th - Saturday August 1st

Week 2: Monday August 3rd - Saturday August 8th



Nomad Hakuba

3020-870 Hokujo, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun, Nagano-ken 399-9301

Access from Tokyo


> Shinkansen & Bus

1.5-hour Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano, and 1-hour bus ride from Nagano to Hakuba

> JR Express Train

4-hour train ride (Azusa) from Shinjuku to Hakuba Station

> Highway Bus

5-hour bus ride from Shinjuku Bus Terminal to Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal


JPY 118,000 including course materials, outdoor activities, lunches and insurance.  Transportation costs to and from Hakuba are not included.


Science of Sustainability by Mark Grimshaw

Mark is a native of the UK and resident of Japan, with long term links to Hakuba and the surrounding environment. An accomplished teacher of science, he has shared his love of science at prestigious schools in the UK and in Japan for years. He also has a wealth of experience in Outdoor Education and the International Award. With his personal interests of rock climbing, snowboarding and scuba diving, he is always looking for an excuse to link his passion for science to his love of the outdoors. 

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Compassionate Systems Framework by Akihiro Fukutani

Aki is a systems-thinking educator based in Tokyo, serving as a program advisor at multiple universities, middle and high schools to help apply systems-based ideas in schools. He formerly assisted in a series of workshops with Dr. Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline and Schools That Learn, at the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) North America in Boston. Born and raised in Osaka and has lived/worked in the US, UK, and Germany. At Summer School, he will introduce the Compassionate Systems Framework to students and help them think about the current global issues. 

Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship by Ian Shimizu

Ian Shimizu is an environmental activist based in Tokyo. After spending three years at international environmental NGO, Ian began working as a freelance on various projects aimed to raise environmental awareness. He is a part-time radio MC, writer, and public speaker. Ian has started up a new venture called weMORI which aims to protect and restore forests worldwide. At Summer School, Ian will share his passion for the environment and discuss what it means to be a social entrepreneur.

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Learn with Minerva Students

Students from Minerva Schools at KGI, the newly established, arguably the hardest university to get into with an acceptance rate of less than 2%, will join us again! This year Minerva students from Japan will join us and help guide the students' learning. 

Outdoor / Sports by Nobu Naruse


Native of Hakuba, Nobu is an Olympian cross country skier who represented Japan at 2006 Turin, 2010 Vancouver and 2014 Sochi Olympics.  Nobu will tell us how he suffered from asthma as a child but with determination and relentless training became an Olympic athlete in one of the toughest endurance sports on earth.  

He will share with us the joy of Nordic Walking as well as the tips to stay fit and healthy for life.  

More Outdoor and Other Activities

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Lakeside Activities


Activities may change depending on weather and other conditions. 

General Information


Please read this information carefully before submitting an application.  


The fees are based on an all-inclusive charge, which covers medical and accident insurance (excluding any pre-existing conditions), lunches, course materials and planned activities.  


Students are expected to arrive at Nomad Hakuba by 9am every morning and will finish the day at 6pm. If students need transportation to/from Nomad, please notify it in the application. 


Please ensure your child has a suitable level of fitness which will enable him/her to fully enjoy the physical nature of some of our activities.  

Computers and other devices

​Students are encouraged to bring their own laptop or other device for doing research and making presentations. 

Student presentation

Please note that parents, guardians and family members are welcome to attend the students' presentations on the final day from 3pm to 5pm. The program will finish at 6pm.


Hakuba has so many different types of accommodations and you will be able to find a great place to stay where you and your family will enjoy a wonderful summer holiday. If you need help in finding suitable accommodation, please indicate it in the application form and we will connect you to the local travel agent. You can find some examples of self-contained accommodations on this site:

How to Apply

Placements are limited.  To avoid your child missing out, please read below and submit an application at your earliest convenience.  

1. Click on the link below and fill in the application form. After submitting the form, please send a recent photo of your child (no need for a passport photo, a snap photo taken on your mobile phone will do as long as we can see your child's face) by e-mail to  




2. Expect to hear from us within a week.  We will get back to you to confirm your child's acceptance for the program should he/she be accepted within a week.  

3. The place for your child will be secured when the payment of fee is confirmed.  

4. Please read through our Conditions of Acceptance, which outlines our expectations of student conduct during the program and our cancellation policy.  


Conditions of Acceptance


We expect the parents and guardians of HIS holiday program students to read and accept the following conditions.  



We expect students to demonstrate respect for each other, teachers and members of staff so everyone has a positive experience during the program.  The HIS Director reserves the right to send home students whose behaviour affects the learning and/or well-being of others or themselves. Students are expected to demonstrate care towards the facilities and the local community.  Students may not leave the facility without permissions of the HIS Director and the use of mobile phones may be restricted during the program.  


We reserve the right to cancel the program before the start date if the HIS Director deems the safety risk has increased or we do not have enough participants to make the program meaningful, in which case the fees will be refunded in full.  In the event of a cancellation by student due to health reasons, the full fee minus the bank transfer fee will be refunded.


Subject to weather and other conditions, we reserve the right to change any activities specified in the program.