Winter School 2020
Theme: Sustainability in our New World
December 14th - 18th
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 offer an exciting set of programs!
With the ongoing challenges we face on a global scale, we aspire to help the younger generation rise to the challenge that we adults had never faced. We certainly do not have all the answers, but we can help the students learn the mindset and 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 give students lots of time outdoors as always.
This winter, we will...
Explore Mars - is Elon Musk right? Will we be immigrating to Mars? We will compare our home planet and Mars, shoot up some rockets, experiment with landing on Mars, and see what happens!
Search for a post-COVID sustainable society - how do we envision our new world to be sustainable? We will explore this big question using design thinking principles.
Cultivate media literacy - how do we navigate the era of SNS and fake news? We will discuss the media's impact and the role we play in building a more diverse and equitable world.
Discover nature - depending on how much snow we get, we will try cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or other outdoor activities!
To ensure the safety of the participants and adhere to the government guidelines, we will put the following policies in place:
We will welcome students from within Japan (if you live overseas and plan to spend the winter holiday in Japan, we accept students if their families have had a two-week quarantine period within Japan before the start of the program).
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 daily for 5 days.
We will put in place appropriate measures to mitigate the health risks, such as taking the temperature of students each morning, wearing a mask, ventilating the classroom, choosing the outdoor activities which allow for more distancing, avoiding buffet-style meals, incorporate extra cleaning of the venue, and so on.
9 - 15 years old
Dates / Time
Monday December 14th - Friday December 18th
Mon: 1 pm - 6 pm
Tue - Thu: 9 am - 6 pm (lunch included)
Fri: 9 am - 12 noon
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 108,000 including course materials, outdoor activities, lunches and insurance. Lodging costs and transportation costs to and from Hakuba are not included.
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. Since it is not a boarding program, lodging costs are not included.
Students are expected to arrive at Nomad Hakuba at 1 pm on the first day, and at 9 am from Tuesday to Friday. Students will finish the day at 6 pm on Monday through Thursday. We will conclude our program at 12 noon on Friday. 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 laptops or other devices for doing research and making presentations.
Please note that parents, guardians, and family members are welcome to attend the students' presentations on the final day from 10 am to 12 noon. The program will finish soon after the presentation.
Hakuba has 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 nice winter 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.