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The Outdoors and Wellness at HIS

Hokkaido International School is an international boarding school that not only values academics but also emphasizes the growth of the whole person, placing tremendous importance on the outdoors and wellness through physical activity and hands-on experiential learning. 

"I hear and I forget.  I see and I remember.  I do and I understand." 

Fortunately, both of our campuses have great access to the outdoors. Niseko was once rated as the second snowiest resort in the world by Forbes Magazine, while Sapporo, despite being Japan's fifth largest city at around 1.9 million, is just a stone's throw away from nature. In fact, from the school's third and fourth floor windows, one can peek at the lush or snow-covered peak of the natural icon of the city: Mt. Moiwa. The changing view symbolizes our two seasons: The Green and the White. Just eight minutes away by car or 15 by bike, Mt. Moiwa provides real nature with real animals, including deer, fox, and even bears. But don't be too alarmed, the hiking trail up the mountain is well-trodden and leads to a building that not only houses vending machines with drinks but some of the best ice cream on the island. Urban hiking at its best! Traveling just an hour away will bring you to an active volcano: Mt. Tarumae, which provides a moonscape atop with views of majestic Crater Lake Shikotsu. The Tarumae hike can be completed anywhere between two hours and one FULL day, depending on your desired route and fitness. Coming back to Sapporo, biking enthusiasts and joggers will find joy in the Toyohira River trails, the same river which is a part of Sapporo's name. When translated from Ainu, Sapporo means dry, great river. But in spring, the river is anything but dry with the melt of the snowiest big city in the world.

For those who love skiing and snowboarding, there is no better place in the world for consistent quality powder snow. And while Mt. Moiwa is one of the last hold outs against snowboarding, it makes for a wonderful place to ski with 10 different slopes covering three different difficulties. For those who prefer a single board below them, Bankei is just around the mountain. If you explore farther, you can find joy in Furano or one of the larger resorts such as Kokusai or Teine, which was used for Alpine Skiing back in the 1972 Winter Olympics. But why stop there? Why not head over the Nakayama Pass to our sister campus of Niseko? There, you will find a true international ski resort with international quality powder snow. 

I hope I've made it clear how incredibly lucky we are to call Hokkaido home. Hokkaido International School does experiential learning amidst the beauty of nature. 

Please enjoy our posts out in nature or all of the other wellness activities that help build our students and staff into well-rounded well-living people of great well-being.

But before you get too sucked into the allure of our Outdoor and Wellbeing offerings, why not take some time to read some of our top posts from the 2022-2023 school year (the year we rediscovered our outdoor identities, post-COVID) or about the 2022-2023 White Season outdoor experiences and our Green and White Plan, which forms the basis for our post-pandemic pivot back to a school that truly embraces the outdoors! Or why not immerse yourself in the outdoors through our YouTube playlist. After watching it, I'm sure you'll want to be in the place that we call home!