Japan: Japanese Language & Culture

Video and Photos


Land in Tokyo for exploration before traveling to Sapporo, where you will immerse yourself in Japanese language classes and practice Japanese writing systems like kanji. Experience Japan’s enthusiasm for karaoke with local students, who will help you practice your Japanese. Other highlights include tasting local sushi and ramen, learning about the cultures of Hokkaido, and visiting local college students to learn about Japanese pop culture and daily life.

Practice Japanese during your homestay. Cook homemade soba noodles or roll your own sushi with your host family. Try the art of Japanese flower arrangement, the traditional tea ceremony, or zen meditation.

Continue exploring as you spend several days exploring the temples, markets, and shrines of ancient Kyoto. You will hike to Nijō Castle and visit the famous golden-walled Kinkaku-ji temple. Return to Tokyo, where you will see the anime and manga in Akihabara and the fashion scene in Harajuku.

  • Language
  • Temple Stay
  • Arts
  • Culinary
  • Homestay

Questions & Answers


based on 5 reviews
  • Growth 9.4
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
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What Japan Has To Offer

Despite the slight cultural variations in different parts of Japan, Japanese people homogenously value cleaniliness, respect, and productivity. Due to their desire to full fill their social responsibility, they make sure that foreigners, irrespective of their own personal beliefs, are welcomed and treated well. Apart form the welcoming atmosphere, there are a plathera of places to explore and things to do. Every corner has something to offer, so don't limit your journey to just touristy destinations.

*The more you make an effort to learn the language, the more they make the effort to assist you in doing so.

How can this program be improved?
Due to only having a month in Japan, most days are very eventful. However, certain days need to be set aside to rest and recharge.
Yes, I recommend this program
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The Best Trip of My Life!

My trip to Japan was an experience that I will never forget. Not only did I expand my cultural knowledge and awareness but I also got to immerse myself in and around groups of amazing people. Never before had I felt so welcomed and thrilled to keep learning. Everyday was a day in which I felt in paradise. Whether it was exploring with my group, playing with my host siblings, eating amazing food, hanging out with college students, or having language classes, I always had an extreme amount of fun. Japan will forever be one of my favorite places.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Growing in Japan

I attended EIL’s Japan: Language and Cultural Traditions program this past summer and I could not dream, of a better experience. The people, the culture, the food, the experience was one that seemed out of a book, but what I found most amazing was how my view of myself changed over those four, hot summer weeks and even more once I returned.
Throughout the program, there were always new challenges being presented every time we changed location, ate at a new restaurant, or met a new person. As a study abroad student in Japan that does not know a significant amount of Japanese, this was extremely challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. It became an essential survival skill to have to put yourself out there and face the difficulties. Never before in my life have I had to do that and eventually it became comfortable to be uncomfortable. I learned new ways of communication not just through language, but with hand gestures, body language, and facial expressions. Other challenges, like behavior, also changed the way I saw myself. The people there had different customs and social norms for behavior that I was not used to. Sales associates bowing, only being able to use the left side of the elevator, showing politeness by keeping your hands on the front of your body, and the manner in which you gave and received money was all brand new to me, and it taught me a lot about cultural sensitivity and customs. I had to fight against by basic social instincts because I did not want to be rude to anyone. It opened my eyes to the way others receive culture and how people adapt to the change. I saw tourists and other students either be completely fine with the shift or have this great internal war with themselves like many others were probably feeling at the time too. I began to understand the importance of culture in its most natural form. I had to experiment with my Experiment.
The way I view myself now was not the way I viewed myself before those four weeks. There were a few moments in particular where I saw this shift. The first was during my homestay in Nanae, Japan. I was having a delicious dinner with my family when my host father began to tell me how “Japanese” I was in character. He praised the way I addressed people, showed respect by bowing, got along with others, and in general how I acted. Never in my life have I received such praise, and at first I didn’t know what to do with this information. It was like looking at a mirror, recognizing the way you always looked, except your reflection began to tell you things you never knew about yourself. It was a confidence boost that will survive for the rest of my life. The other time was at the end of my program during the closing ceremonies/activities. As a group, each person would tie a string around another person’s wrist and tell them something you would remember them by, or what you appreciated about them. When it came time to exchange ties with one of my group leaders, she explained how she was grateful for my quiet leadership. As a socially shy person, the idea that I could be a leader in any shape, way, or form was insane, but the sincerity of my leader’s words caught me off guard, and I realized she truly meant it. Coming home I was expected to be bombarded by questions about my experience abroad, which turned out to be an understatement, but I was still questioning myself as to how I was going to receive it. I found it very easy to answer peoples’ questions, not just because I had the time of my life, but because I had more confidence in myself to talk to people and explain what happened and what I learned.
After my experience abroad I want to do so much more. I want to explore more, talk more, explore more, and learn more. My perspective on myself and the world has changed, and I couldn’t have had a better way to spend my summer than doing my program with the Experiment.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Life-Changing Experiences

On my trip, I went to various cities: Tokyo, Sapporo, Bihoro, and Kyoto.
In Tokyo, we navigated the train systems and experienced the various cities along the Yamanote line, which was a truly interesting experience as I had never been on a train before.
In Sapporo, we completed language lessons and met with college students for karaoke, cooking, and purikura as we prepared for our homestays.
Bihoro was where we had our homestay, and I truly had an amazing time in this city. The local culture was so amazing and everyone knew each other. I spent a lot of time with the other host families doing barbecue and hanabi (fireworks). We learned Taiko and etegami and went shopping with our families before preparing for our farewell party. I grew extremely close to my host family and truly love them as my own family now. They are very eager to learn English, but you must be eager to learn Japanese as well. The language barrier isn't that scary, especially with translation apps that are out now. Plus, mistakes lead to amazing stories later on in the trip!
Kyoto was beautiful and was truly a tourist site. We made it our mission to go to Osaka and experience the Osaka Aquarium with whale sharks, which was so amazing to see.
I really wouldn't trade this experience for anything. I met so many amazing people, including many very nice locals! I would give anything to be able to return to Japan.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Life-Changing Experience

Konnichiwa, Summimasen, Hajimemashite. When I first decided to travel to Japan, what I expected from when I visited there was totally different from what I actually experienced. I thought everyone drove cars, the roads wider, and people being more open and such. What I got was different though, I never knew that roads were so small, all the buildings are bunched together and people are polite but keep to themselves. Everyone is living in their own world over there, the atmosphere is quite different from America. Although the country is advanced in technology and such, the use of it in every-day life goes to an extreme along with the fantasies and the art of animation. Once the rural part of japan is discovered however, there, people are more open to making conversation. The traditions they practice also rises to the surface because they are away from techy Tokyo and such. The urban, sub urban, and rural life actually differ drastically. The places I have travelled to, Tokyo, Sapporo, Kamaishi, and Kyoto were all unique in there own way, they're all pieces in a puzzle that make up Japan as a whole. Almost all the Japanese people that were encountered were surprised at us American-jins and loved to hear us try to speak Japanese. Coming to japan I knew only a crumb of the cake and left with1/4 of it. There is still a lot I don't know about japan but what has been learned is more than enough for now, which sums up to quite a lot too. Along with the Japanese people I met and stayed with I was also able to communicate well with the people I went there with. My leaders were helpful and knowledgeable, their resourcefulness gave me a surprise too. Overall, everything was spectacular, this is an opportunity that shouldn't be missed!

How can this program be improved?
The amount of money that is recommended to be brought should be a bit higher.
Yes, I recommend this program


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About The Experiment in International Living

The Experiment in International Living is the most experienced provider of summer abroad programs for high school students. For more than 85 years, our immersive programs have allowed participants to explore the world in an authentic and impactful...